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Flash CS6 Tools

The FlashR Tools panel is a vertical strip of tools on the right side of the Flash workspace. Of course, as with all panels in the workspace, the Tools panel can be dragged from the top bar and repositioned anywhere on the workspace as a stationary or floating panel. The tools in the panel are divided into several sections, making the panel more intuitive.

In the beginning Flash was a vector drawing program, as well as an animation program, and many Flash designers still use the drawing and painting tools to create the assets for their Flash projects. However, the Flash engine has improved greatly in the later versions of Flash, resulting in the ability to create beautiful animations with raster images as well.

Let's take a tour of the Tools panel, working from top to bottom. You will notice that as you select a tool, the controls in the Properties panel change to reflect that tool.

Selection Tools

Selection Tool - This is the most used tool in the Flash toolset. You will use it to select or drag objects on the stage for many purposes.

Subselection Tool - You will use this tool to access control points associated with certain objects on the stage such as paths.

Free Transform Tool - By dragging the control handles for this tool, you will be able to resize or rotate objects on the stage, as well as change the point of reference. By holding down the Shift key, you can make uniform changes in the object.

Gradient Transform Tool - You will use this tool to draw and adjust bitmap fills or vector gradients on the stage.

3D Rotation and Translation Tools - When working in 3D space, these tools will rotate the selected object on the X (red), Y (green) and Z (blue) axes.

Lasso Tool - The Lasso tool is a freehand selection tool which makes selecting odd shaped areas easier.

Drawing and Painting Tools

Pen Tool - You will use this tool frequently to draw vector graphics, including lines, curves and Bezier curves.

Add Anchor Points Tool - This tool allows you to add additional anchor points to your vector objects such as paths.

Delete Anchor Points Tool - You will use this tool to delete anchor points from your vector objects.

Convert Anchor Points Tool - This tool will change the curve orientation for anchor points.

Text Tool - This tool allows you to add text by line or text fields. The formatting controls for the text can be found in the Properties panel when this tool is selected.

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