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Flash Tools and Panels


We will continue to take our tour of the FlashR Workspace. It's not necessary to memorize the workspace. This tutorial is to familiarize you with the names and purposes of the parts of the workspace.

Flash CS6 Workspace

  • Stage

    The Stage is the area of the workspace where you will build your Flash project. It is represented by the white rectangle. Everything that is placed on the Stage will be visible in your project.

  • Pasteboard

    The Pasteboard is the gray area around the Stage and is the area for objects you wish to not be seen. It can be used as a holding area for symbols and other assets that will be placed on the Stage. For example, to animate an object onto the stage, you will place it on the Pasteboard. Then you will move the object onto the stage using one of several types of animation options.

  • Timeline

    The Timeline contains Layers and Frames and is the "control area" for your project. The layers in the Timeline are listed vertically on the left of the Timeline. Layers are like horizontal panes of glass and you may have several layers in your project. The order of the layers determines the hierarchy of objects on the stage. You can rearrange the order by dragging the layers.

    Many Flash projects will require several layers. You will want to give each layer a name that will help identify what's on the layer or its purpose. To save space and help manage numerous layers in larger projects, you can group layers into folders. At the bottom of the Layers list are the icons for adding a new layer, adding a new folder or deleting a layer or folder.

    There are three icons at the top of the Layers list. The first looks like an eye and will toggle the visibility of all layers. The Lock icon will lock all layers and prevent changes to the contents on the layers and the Outline icon will display the contents on the layers as outlines. These icons control the entire list of layers. To toggle the visibility, lock or outline only one layer, click on the corresponding dot under the icon for that layer.

    The small red rectangle with a vertical line is the Playhead. You can drag the Playhead to any frame on the Timeline to display the contents of the Stage for that frame. You can manually preview your animation by dragging the Playhead over the Timeline or use the Preview controls under the bottom layer. Also at the bottom of the Timeline panel are other icons such as the Current Frame, Frame Rate and Union Skin controls.

  • Motion Editor

    The Motion Editor is a visual tool for making fine adjustments to tweens. You will learn much more about tweens, animation and the Motion Editor in later tutorials.

  • Tools Panel

    The tools panel is along the right edge of the workspace. The tools are grouped together in task-related groups including the selection and transform tools, drawing and text tools, view and color tools and Options area.

  • Properties Panel

    The Properties Panel is the place where you control the settings for the tools, symbols, text, shapes, objects, bitmaps, video, groups, frame and document properties. You will become very familiar with the Properties panel as we work on the tutorials.

  • Library Panel

    The Library Panel is the asset storage area for the individual parts of your Flash project, such as symbols, images, sounds and video. As with the Layers in the Timeline, you can group assets into folders to help manage projects with many assets.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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