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A Tour of the Flash Workspace and Tools

The FlashR program has been around for some time and the creators of the program have tweaked and improved the user workspace over these many years. Although it may look intimidating at first, you will soon be floating around the workspace without a second thought. Let's take a tour of the Flash Professional workspace but don't worry too much about memorizing this information. This is just to introduce you to the major parts of the workspace so that you will feel more familiar with them when we begin to use them. We will take a closer look in later tutorials and you will use them so often that you will quickly learn what they do. For now, let's start with the Flash tools.

Tools Panel
On the left side of the workspace, is the Tools Panel which is divided into several areas; Tools, View, Colors and Options.

Tools Area
Here you will find the tools that you will use for the many tasks when creating a Flash application such as drawing and painting objects on the Stage, adding text and selecting objects for editing or ActionScript.

View Area
There are two tools in this area. The Hand Tool is used to move the Stage within the workspace and the Zoom Tool controls the magnification of the Stage.

Colors Area
In this part of the Tools Panel, you have quick access to buttons for setting the stroke and fill color for an object. The smaller buttons at the bottom are for switching the current colors to the default black and white, changing a color to 'No Color' and reversing the current stroke and fill colors.

Options Area
The controls in this area tell Flash how to help you use the painting and editing tools. For example, using the Snap to Objects feature will allow you to easily align objects together on the Stage.

Color Panel
If you have used any graphics software, you probably are familiar with a color panel like the one in Flash. The Flash Color Panel has two tabs. The Color Mixer tab is where you can pick or mix the stroke and fill colors for an object. If you have a gradient, you can use the Color Mixer to fine tune the color span. The other tab in the Color Panel is the Color Swatches tab. You will use this section to choose and save your favorite colors, color schemes and more.

This is the blank area in the middle of the workspace. At least, it is blank when you start. Whatever you place on the Stage will become part of your Flash movie.

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