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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.
When you are working in Flash, sometimes you want to group objects together so you can move them all around at once and you are less likely to isolate artwork that you don't want to be isolated. So on the Stage here I have a bunch of different objects. Some shapes and some texts. I will convert it to a group by first selecting everything on the Stage. Now you can do that by clicking and dragging a selection area or just pressing Command or Ctrl+A, or you can select objects and Shift+Click them until you have every object selected.
This seems like the least effective way to do that. Just so you know that's an option. And so once everything is selected, I am going to press Command+G on the keyboard. That's the keyboard shortcut for Modify > Group. Note here that there is a keyboard shortcut for Ungroup, Shift+Command+G. So now with my group selected you will see that I have Group Settings in the Properties panel. So I can move this whole set of objects around as a group. Now if I want to edit the group without ungrouping the object, I can actually double-click to get into Group Editing mode.
If you notice at the top-left of the screen, it says Group immediately to the right of Scene 1. So what that's telling me is I'm editing a group inside of Scene 1, which is the main Stage or main Timeline. So I could move the cactus or any of the other artwork. Then I can click Scene 1 to return to the main Timeline. Now as I showed earlier, you can ungroup a group by choosing Modify > Ungroup. Now this command may be useful, but I wouldn't spend time memorizing that.
In my opinion the better command is Modify > Break Apart or Command+B. The reason why I prefer this command is because it does ungroup groups but it also breaks apart other objects. Let me show you. I'll choose Modify > Break Apart and now I can see that the object is ungrouped. So let's say I wanted to take this cactus and convert it to a drawing object. I can use that same keyboard command. Command or Ctrl+B or Modify > Break Apart.
Now the cactus is converted into a merged drawing shape. I'll undo that change and put the cactus back. So by using groups you can combine objects and move them around together to more efficiently work in Flash, and when you double-click a group you enter Group Editing mode and you need to click Scene 1 to return to the main Timeline. Finally to ungroup objects I recommend using Modify > Break Apart, which works on grouped objects and many other types of Flash artwork.
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