Join Todd Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Movie Explorer, part of Flash Professional Power Shortcuts.
When you're working on large complex FLA files, it can be hard to quickly find the assets you want to edit. The Movie Explorer gives you a quick overview of your entire FLA, so you can quickly access and edit any object. You can find the Movie Explorer under Window > Movie Explorer. So I'll click that and your Movie Explorer window may look different than mine, depending on what you have showing in your Movie Explorer settings.
So let's click to show one thing at the time. The first button toggles showing text. So here I can see text fields that are on the main Timeline, and as I click through them, notice that they get selected on the stage. Now the great thing about this is that I can actually edit them directly from the Movie Explorer. So I'll click on the text field under Score that says 0, so you'll see it's right after Score. Let's say I waned to put 10,000 there. So I just simply double-click and then I write in 10,000 and there it goes.
And I'll just change it back to 0. So I have access to all of my text fields in this way. Now I'll move on to Select show movie clips, buttons, and graphics. So now we have two movie clips. Notice the little red dot on both Game and Boarder. That means that there are other objects inside of those movie clips. We'll take a look at how to see those in just a second. Then you could show ActionScript. We'll see that as we go forward.
We have Show video, sounds, and bitmaps and we have Show frames and layers. So we have the game layer. On the game layer, there is one frame called Frame 1, and you'll see right there. That's how I have the game layer organized. Now the real power comes when you click the button to customize which items to show. So I have all these things that I can check and then at the bottom under Context it says Symbol definitions. So I can check that box and click OK, and now under Symbol Definitions I can see how the Game movie clip is organized.
So I have a layer called actions and then one frame on that layer. I have a layer called updateSpeed, and on Frame 1 there, there is a movie clip called SpeedUp. Of course, I can expand and collapse these to get a little bit more organized. I have the Trash Can layer that has a movie clip called TrashCan, which has two layers, and there's the Sign layer, the background layer, the far back layer, the all the way back layer. Then I have the Boarder movie clip and it has content inside of that as well, and if you scroll down, you will eventually see places where there is ActionScript code.
So on Frame 1 of the actions layer inside of the SpeedUp movie clip, I have a stop action. So I could double-click that to go to that code and here I can edit it. So I can access that by either clicking the arrow icon or the ActionScript code. Either way, I have quick access to all of the code and content inside of my entire FLA just from one window. So as your FLA files become more and more complex, you may find it's more useful to use the Movie Explorer to navigate through all of the elements.
- Editing multiple frames
- Finding and replacing content
- Importing sequences of images
- Enabling buttons and ActionScript without testing the movie
- Creating custom shortcuts with the History panel
- Animating with easing presets
- Setting onion skinning and onion skinning outlines
- Embedding fonts
- Adding vars in a text field
- Using code snippets and behaviors
- Fixing coding errors
- Limiting SWF file sizes
- Optimizing Flash Player performance with a preloader
- Additional Flash CS5.5 shortcuts