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Working with variables

From: Flash CS3 Professional Beyond the Basics

Video: Working with variables

In this chapter we'll take a look at some of the fundamental elements of ActionScript 3.0. If you've already seen ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS3 Professional Essential Training or ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS3 Professional Beyond the Basics, then you're already familiar with ActionScript and these movies will be just a refresher for you. If you're not familiar with ActionScript and it seems confusing after this chapter, then you might want to go back and watch one of the ActionScript titles that I mention. Then you can have a good foundation for ActionScript for the rest of this title. The first element of ActionScript 3.0 we'll be working with is something called variables. If you're following along I'm working in 01_variables.FLA in the Chapter 2 folder in the Exercise Files folder.

Working with variables

In this chapter we'll take a look at some of the fundamental elements of ActionScript 3.0. If you've already seen ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS3 Professional Essential Training or ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS3 Professional Beyond the Basics, then you're already familiar with ActionScript and these movies will be just a refresher for you. If you're not familiar with ActionScript and it seems confusing after this chapter, then you might want to go back and watch one of the ActionScript titles that I mention. Then you can have a good foundation for ActionScript for the rest of this title. The first element of ActionScript 3.0 we'll be working with is something called variables. If you're following along I'm working in 01_variables.FLA in the Chapter 2 folder in the Exercise Files folder.

Now this file's actually just a blank document with layer 1 renamed to actions so let's select the first keyframe of the actions layer and open up the Actions panel using the keyboard shortcut Option+F9 on the Mac or F9 on the PC. Going to hover my mouse over the top of the Actions panel until my cursor changes to show that I can scale down the size of the Actions panel. So I'm going to click and drag to resize the Actions panel. Then I'm going to move the Actions panel in the middle of the screen. Now remember variables are containers that hold data. To create a variable type var and then a space and then the variable name. Remember that variable names should start with a lowercase letter.

Let's say we're creating a game and the game has a score, so I'm going to create a variable called score. The next thing that we do when we create a variable is we tell Flash what type of data this variable container will hold. So score is going to hold a number. The way that we tell Flash what type of data a variable will hold this by typing a colon, and then we type the data type. Now most data types start with a capital letter. For example, the value of score could be a Number with a capital N. The number data type supports floating-point numbers, which means whole numbers or integers and decimal numbers.

What if we know for sure that our number is not going to be a decimal? We know that it's going to be a whole number. It's going to be either positive or negative. Then we tell Flash that the data type is an integer. So instead of number I'm going to type INT and that's lowercase. An integer is a positive or negative whole number. Now what if we know that the score is always going to be positive? The data type for a positive integer is UINT and that's all lowercase. Let's say we want the value of the score variable to be a positive integer. So we'll keep it at UINT and type a space, and then to set a value of a variable type an equal sign and then a space and then the value that you want to give. Let's say the score in this game is 15.

So I'm going to type 15 and then a semicolon. 15 here represents the value of the variable and the semicolon ends the statement. You can think of a semicolon like a period in a sentence. So let's take a look of what this line of code does as a whole. First thing is we type the var keyword. That tells Flash to create a variable or to create some sort of container that holds some data. We type a space and then the name of the variable, which in this case is score. Then we type a colon and the colon tells Flash that we'll specify a data type for that variable or what type of data will be inside of the variable container.

The type of data is UINT or a positive integer. We give a value to the variable using the equal sign and the value after the equal sign, which in this case is 15, and a semicolon to end the statement. So there's a look at creating a variable. We're going to be working with variables a lot in this title and if the code we just wrote was confusing or challenging to you at all, I definitely recommend watching the ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS3 Professional Essential Training title. And that's how you'll learn a lot more detail about what variables are and how to create them.

So there's a look at creating variables.

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This video is part of

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Flash CS3 Professional Beyond the Basics

79 video lessons · 25619 viewers

Todd Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 3m 30s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Getting the most from this training
      1m 20s
    3. Using the exercise files
      50s
  2. 15m 28s
    1. Managing digital assets
      4m 9s
    2. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      5m 1s
    3. Creating custom color swatches
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a custom template
      2m 37s
  3. 14m 38s
    1. Working with variables
      3m 41s
    2. Using functions
      3m 30s
    3. Working with events
      2m 11s
    4. Using event listeners
      2m 42s
    5. Working with arrays
      2m 34s
  4. 29m 41s
    1. Understanding dynamic text fields
      2m 37s
    2. Loading text from an external file
      6m 42s
    3. Reading HTML from a text field
      5m 29s
    4. Applying CSS with ActionScript
      7m 0s
    5. Applying external CSS to a text field
      7m 53s
  5. 45m 27s
    1. Masking dynamic text
      4m 59s
    2. Dragging the Scroll Bar
      7m 3s
    3. Calculating a scroll percent
      5m 20s
    4. Setting scroll boundaries
      4m 9s
    5. Connecting the ScrollBar to the text field
      2m 55s
    6. Easing the text with the ScrollBar
      4m 12s
    7. Scrolling the text with buttons
      2m 38s
    8. Animating the scrolling text with the buttons
      4m 26s
    9. Setting boundaries for the scrolling text
      4m 26s
    10. Easing the text using the buttons
      1m 37s
    11. Connecting the ScrollBar to the Scroll buttons
      3m 42s
  6. 20m 46s
    1. Organizing a complex object into layers
      1m 51s
    2. Duplicating MovieClips
      1m 29s
    3. Undocking the timeline
      1m 20s
    4. Animating a complex MovieClip
      4m 36s
    5. Creating an animated Hinge effect
      5m 13s
    6. Creating complex animations
      6m 17s
  7. 28m 1s
    1. Controlling objects with buttons
      4m 6s
    2. Understanding frame labels
      3m 25s
    3. Using buttons to navigate labeled frames
      2m 30s
    4. Nesting code within MovieClips
      5m 8s
    5. Adding sound to the application
      2m 34s
    6. Adding drag interactivity to the robot
      6m 1s
    7. Animating the dragged robot
      4m 17s
  8. 20m 3s
    1. Understanding components
      2m 30s
    2. Using components to setup a form
      3m 45s
    3. Setting up the form to send an email
      3m 38s
    4. Working with form variables
      6m 11s
    5. Skinning components
      3m 59s
  9. 27m 40s
    1. Using transparency in a video
      4m 16s
    2. Working with embedded video
      3m 38s
    3. Animating a VideoClip
      2m 53s
    4. Creating an advanced animation with video
      2m 40s
    5. Working with the bitmap data class
      3m 37s
    6. Working with the bitmap class
      1m 40s
    7. Copying the video to create a reflection
      1m 35s
    8. Reflecting the video
      2m 42s
    9. Enhancing a video reflection with a mask
      4m 39s
  10. 1h 38m
    1. Viewing the finished MP3 player
      1m 45s
    2. Understanding the project flow
      2m 52s
    3. Preparing to build the MP3 player
      5m 11s
    4. Understanding classes and packages
      5m 32s
    5. Creating the MP3 player class
      9m 59s
    6. Loading sounds from external files
      9m 20s
    7. Accessing ID3 tag information
      6m 11s
    8. Controlling sound playback with Play and Pause buttons
      11m 3s
    9. Changing tracks
      12m 1s
    10. Displaying the current volume
      9m 33s
    11. Changing the volume
      6m 40s
    12. Wiring the progress bar
      8m 4s
    13. Building the progress bar slider
      10m 4s
  11. 5m 36s
    1. Making Flash movies accessible
      1m 49s
    2. Adding a name and description to your Flash movie
      52s
    3. Accessibility and text fields
      2m 55s
  12. 12m 2s
    1. Understanding Flash Mobile
      35s
    2. Exploring Device Central
      1m 45s
    3. Updating Device Profiles
      1m 7s
    4. Creating a Flash file from Device Central
      2m 7s
    5. Creating and testing Flash Lite applications
      2m 48s
    6. Downloading the Flash Lite player for Windows Mobile
      1m 44s
    7. Getting a Flash Lite application onto your phone
      1m 56s
  13. 27s
    1. Goodbye
      27s

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