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In this movie, we'll take a look at some of the most common panels in Flash CS5. If at any time, you don't see the panel that I am talking about on your screen, you can go to use the Window command to find the panel that you are looking for. All the Flash panels can be found under this menu. The Properties panel is an important panel in Flash. You'll be using it very often. Note that the Properties panel changes based on what you have selected. For example, if I were to draw shape on the Stage -- you don't have to draw the shape, just watch my screen.
When I select the Shape, the Properties panel updates to show options for that Shape. When I click in the pasteboard to deselect the Shape, the Properties panel then shows properties for my Document. So, that includes Frame Rate, Size, Stage background color etc. So depending on what you have selected, the Properties panel changes. That's a good thing to remember for the future, if your Properties panel looks different from mine at any point in the rest of this title. The toolbar is another panel that you'll be using often. The toolbar enables you to create and manipulate artwork.
One thing that's important to keep in mind with the toolbar is that there is one portion of it that changes based on what you have selected. So if I select a Rectangle, the very bottom of the toolbar updates to show options specific to rectangles or other shapes. This is called the Options area of the toolbar. It's below that gray line that's right under the Colors. So, just note that that area can change based on what you have selected. Also, notice that the Properties panel updates, when I select certain tools. So, you can get options for a particular tool through Properties panel or through the toolbar.
Some other panels that are important to note are the Color panel, which allows you to control Colors and Gradients. The Swatches panel, which saves Colors and Gradients. The Align panel, which you can use to align artwork. You can align artwork to the Stage by checking the Align to Stage button. You can also distribute different selected objects so there is even space in between them. You can Match the Size of different objects, and you can evenly distribute Space between objects. The Info panel has information about the object that you have selected, and where your cursor is on the Stage.
The Transform panel, allows you to apply transformations to objects, including Skewing, Rotation and Scale. At the bottom of the screen you'll find the Timeline and Motion Editor. The Timeline is used to create animations that you can organize into layers and frames. The Motion Editor is used to fine-tune animations, so that you can add special effects, like Easing. When you are working with panels, it's important to note how to move panels around and how to select them.
Some panels are hidden behind other panels. For example, see the Properties panel is next to the Library panel. But right now, I don't see the Library panel. It's hidden behind the Properties panel. So if I click Library tab, the library then shows, so I can tab back and forth between the two of them. Notice that the some panels have little icons. So, I have the Color panel icon, the Swatches icon. To expand the panels, you can click the Expand Panels button. That's at the very top of the panel group and looks like two triangles.
So, now here are the panels in expanded mode. Now, I can Collapse them to Icons again. If you want to separate panels, you can click on a panel and then click and drag the panels tab somewhere else. The Align panel is now separated from the Info and Transform panels. If I want to put it back, I can click and drag that panel tab and hover over the area where I want to drop it. So, let's say I wanted to put the Align panel in between the Info and Transform panels. I'll hover my mouse in between the Info and Transform icons, until I see a blue line in between there, and then I'll release my mouse button.
Now, the Align panel is in between the Info and Transform panels. You can also move around panel tabs by clicking and dragging horizontally. At the top right off panels, you'll see a flyout menu, if you click and hold your mouse down. This is called the Options area of the panel. For some panels, there are special options that you can only find in this place. I'll minimize these panels now. So, that's a look at how to work with panels in Flash CS5. Once you get used to working with panels, you'll feel more comfortable working in the Flash environment.
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