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In Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, author Todd Perkins explains the fundamentals of Flash Professional CS5, the industry standard for creating animations and interactive applications for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. This course starts with the basics, such as using the drawing tools to create simple animations, and progresses to automating animation with tweens and adding interactivity with ActionScript. This course also covers how to add sound and video to projects, enhance realism with effects like easing, and publish a project to a variety of platforms. Exercise files are included.
Before you start writing ActionScript code, you should be familiar with the Actions panel. The ActionScript panel has some tools for you to write code more efficiently. So I'm going to open the Actions panel, remember that's Window > Actions, and if you plan on using a lot of ActionScript, you might want to memorize the keyboard shortcut. So I'm in the Actions panel now. The Actions panel has a few different windows. One for finding code, so I can expand these sections and find bits of code and apply them. But honestly, I actually never use this section, so I'm going to click to minimize that.
The other section allows you to navigate through the code in your Timeline. And to be honest, I don't use this section that often unless I just can't find a bit of code. So I'm going to minimize that area as well by clicking on that vertical divider in between these two sections. So now I just have the coding area. The other important thing about the Actions panel is the font that you use and the font size. That can be set in Flash > Preferences. So I'll go to Flash > Preferences or Edit > Preferences on PC and then you can go to ActionScript and choose your font settings here. In case you're interested, my preferred settings are Monaco 18.
I always use 18 when I record movies and I go a little bit smaller when I'm writing code for an actual application. But I do prefer the fonts a little bit larger than the default size. So back to the Actions panel. Let's talk about some of the buttons that you're going to be using. These are the top of the Actions panel. So there is the plus button to add code. And again you're probably not going to use this, because in order to use this, you already need to know the ActionScript language. If you know it, it's faster just to type the code than to find it anyway.
So that's what that does. Then you'll find the Insert a target path. This enables you to find a movie clip symbol or a button symbol and then communicate to it with ActionScript. You also may use the commenting tools. If you use the commenting tools, like the block comment or the single-line comment, you can write in your code without that code being processed in ActionScript. So I can insert a single-line comment and I can just type in anything right here and Flash will not give me an error when the code is processed because, as you can see that it's gray, Flash will skip over these lines of code.
I'll click the Remove Comment button to remove that comment. Now you'll see that the code is black, so I want to delete that so Flash doesn't give me an error. Finally, through the Actions panel, we can access the Code Snippets panel. So you can just click that button, get to your Code Snippets, and add simple interactivity by just clicking. So that's an overview of the Actions panel. Again, you could open it up by clicking the small icon on the screen or going to Window > Actions.
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