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Exploring the Flash Workspace and Panels

In the last tutorial, we took a look at the FlashR tools you will find in the workspace. Most of them are along the left side of the workspace. Now we will take a look at some of the panels that will help you build your Flash movie.

Menu Bar
This is a basic menu bar that you will find in most software and graphics programs. Besides being conveniently placed at the top to the workspace, the Flash Menu Bar is where you will find drop-down menus for the user commands such as File, Save and Edit, Copy.

Properties (Property) Inspector
This panel is where you can view and edit the attributes for an object in your Flash document or the document itself. It is a common location to control the properties of any selected element in your movie.

Actions Panel
The Actions Panel is where you will add ActionScript code to a selected object or frame. You have the option to use the built-in ActionScript from the list on the left of the Actions Panel or type the code in by hand in the Script pane. If you choose the second option, Flash will offer automatic popup code-assistance.

The Timeline is the control center for your Flash movie. Here is where you will set the layer order of the objects on your Stage. For example, if you want a bird to fly across a background image that looks like a sky with fluffy clouds, then you will put the sky image on one layer and the bird on a layer above the sky layer. You also use the Timeline to control the appearance of objects in your movie. The Timeline is made up of frames. If you wanted the sky to be visible ten frames before the bird appears, then you will place the bird on the eleventh frame. There is a lot more that the Timeline can do and we will talk about that in future tutorials.

Components Panel
This panel contains built-in components which are movie clips with ActionScript. For example, you can add a loader and progress bar component to your Flash project which will show the progress while your Flash movie downloads onto the viewer's computer. You can change the parameters of these components to match your needs.

Library Panel
The Library Panel holds all the multimedia assets for your Flash movie such as objects that have been converted to symbols and images or sound files that you have imported into your Flash movie.

Behaviors Panel
This panel contains built-in ActionScript behaviors which you can add to symbols in your Flash movie. For example, you can attach a 'Go to and Stop' behavior to a button in your navigation menu.

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