Before discussing the Flash menu items, panels, and miscellaneous dialogs, we take a look at the interface and its default array of toolbars and panels. We look at the way the program looks when first opened after installation, and some of the basic possibilities for arranging these and other fundamental panels and toolbars.
Cross platform consistency
There’s much to celebrate in this new version of Flash, and one improvement that really shows is the consistency between the Mac and PC versions of Flash 5. Although there are a few inconsistencies, many of them are attributable to the nature of the divergent operating systems, and none of them are even remotely as bothersome as with prior versions.
How Flash looks on the Mac shows below. Note the Launcher Bar at the bottom right, which can be used to invoke the default groupings of Flash panels. These are, from left to right: Instance, Mixer, Character, Info, Explorer, Frame Actions, and the Library.
Flash on the Mac with most of the panels closed
Flash on the PC with the panels closed shows below . There are three optional features that are absent from the Mac version. These include the Main Toolbar, the dockable Controller, and the Status Bar. However, note the consistency especially as regards the Toolbox (Tools), timeline, Launcher Bar, and the overall feel of the interface.
Flash on the PC with the panels closed
One of the minor ways in which the PC version differs from the Mac version is that the Toolbox and the Controller can be docked (or undocked) to the program window. The Toolbox and Controller were dragged to the edge of the program window, where they’re docked seamlessly to the interface. Note that the Toolbox docks only to the sides, while the Controller can also dock to the top and bottom, as well as mesh with other toolbars. To move either the Toolbox or Controller, yet prevent docking, press the Control key while dragging.
With Flash 5, Macromedia significantly altered the look and feel of Flash by replacing the inspectors and palettes of Flash 4 with a comprehensive system of panels. As was mentioned previously with regard to the Toolbox, some tool options have also migrated to the panels system. The implementation of panels is consistent across both the Mac and the PC. Throughout the book, we discuss each panel in context with the tools and operations where it is used. As shown in the following figures, there are many ways to arrange these panels for a customized workflow.
For examples of panels viewed simultaneously, For the Mac version and 2-5 for the PC version see below.
Here's Flash on the Mac with the panels viewed simultaneously.
Here's Flash on the PC with all of the panels viewed simultaneously. Four additional panels that are not included in the default groupings are also displayed.
On both the Mac and the PC, you can drag the panel tabs off the panels or onto another panel. Below shows an alternative mega-panel grouping in which all of the Flash panels have been joined using this method. This grouping is most suited for a dual-monitor system, and has the advantage of displaying all of the information within a single panel without scrolling.
Flash contextual menus pop-up in response to a right-click (Control+click for the Mac) on a selected item in the timeline, Library window, or on the Stage. Contextual menus duplicate most functions and commands that are accessible either through the drop-down menus of the Menu Bar, or through the many panels and dialogs, .
Here's an alternative mega panel grouping in which all of the Flash panels have been dragged together.
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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