When drawing in Flash, the drawing panels Info, Transform, and Align can be your best friends. Use the Info Panel to modify the coordinates and dimensions of an item. Or use the Transform Panel to scale, rotate, and skew an item. Use the Align Panel to align, regularize (match the sizes of), or distribute several items on Stage either relative to each other or to the Stage.
The Info Panel
Use the Info Panel, shown below, to give precise coordinates and dimensions to your items. Type the numbers in the spaces provided, and your item will be transformed relative to its top-left corner. Or, when working with groups and symbol instances, use the Alignment Grid to apply changes from the center. To open the Info Panel, use Window➪Panels➪Info.
Use the Info Panel options to change the location and dimensions of an item.
The Info Panel has these controls:
The Transform Panel
This panel gives precise control over scaling, rotation, and skewing of an item. With this panel, instead of using manual techniques which may be imprecise numeric values are entered in the appropriate fields and applied directly to the item. However, once transformations are applied to an item, these numbers disappear when it is deselected. With an item selected, open the Transform Panel with Window➪Panels➪ Transform, as shown below.
Use the Transform Panel to scale, rotate, and skew items.
The Transform Panel has several options that relating to scaling, rotating, and skewing:
The Transform submenu
If you’ve already mastered Part I, “Mastering the Flash Environment,” you know that the Arrow Tool options enable you to interactively scale, rotate, or skew an item relative to its center point. In conjunction with a watchful eye over either the Transform Panel, or the Info Panel, the Arrow Tool options can be used for a measure of numeric control over these processes. But there’s another area of Flash (only briefly mentioned in Part I) that can be indispensable. It’s the Transform submenu, Modify➪ Transform, shown below.
The Transform submenu of the Modify menu
The Transform submenu has these items:
The item on the left is the original. The item in the middle has been flipped vertically, while the item on the right was flipped horizontally.
Below shows the same item as in the previous one, except that the center, as shown on the left, is being edited, so that the new center will be at the lower right. As shown in the middle, this affects the way that it responds to a rotation as well as how it sits when scaled, as at the right.
Changing an item’s center for rotation and scaling.
The Align Panel
The Align Panel, shown below, is one of many features for which you’ll be grateful every time you use it. It enables you, with pixel-perfect precision, to align items to each other and the Stage and to distribute items evenly on the Stage. To open the Panel, choose Window➪Panels➪Align (Ctrl+K/Command+K).
Use the Align Panel to both size and line up items without fuss.
The Align Panel has five controls. The icons on the buttons are relatively selfexplanatory:
To align an item to the exact center of the Stage, do the following:
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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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