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Flash User Interface and Video Components

FlashR has many features that make authoring Flash projects an easy process. One of the most useful features is the Flash component. A Flash component is a pre-built movie clip that has controls, called parameters, that can be used to customize the generic component for your project's needs. The values for these parameters can be set from within the Flash authoring environment as the project is built or controlled with ActionScript at runtime. Besides the components that shipped with the software, you can find more components on the Adobe and other websites. Some can be downloaded for free and some are for sale. If you search the Internet, you will soon find that there is a component for just about every need.

Flash ships with some of the most frequently needed user interface (UI) and video components. These components can be accessed from the Components Panel (Window Components). As you can see, the user interface components include several components for building interactive forms for web and desktop applications. These range from simple generic buttons, checkboxes, text input and text area boxes to a numeric stepper and slider. There are also components that can be used for other purposes such as a color picker and progress bar. The video components include the basic FLV Playback component and several buttons and other controls for video playback. As the examples show, these pre-built components are quite simple and generic to start.

Each component's parameters can be set using either the Parameters and Component Inspector panel. For example, the button component has several parameters including the Label parameter which controls the text that will appear on top of the button and the Visible parameter which controls the visibility of the button on the stage. Control over the look, or skin, of these generic components has been greatly improved with Flash CS3. Now, you can control many aspects of the look of your component as you build your Flash application or at runtime.

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