It's time to get interactive! Flash can be a rewarding design and animation tool, but you won't be using the application to its fullest potential unless you include elements of interactivity. In Chapter 3, you wrote your first script, to prevent your animation from looping by default. In this chapter, you'll give your audience some control through the use of buttons and ActionScript.
The easiest way to add interactivity to Flash is to use a button to run ActionScript. The projects featured in this chapter will all focus on button use. One project, for example, will be to modify the animation you created in Chapter 3, adding one button to replay the animation and another to open a web page.
You may be thinking, "Big deal, I can do those things with HTML." True, but Flash buttons can be more powerful, and sometimes even easier to create, than their HTML counterparts. With Flash, it's easier for buttons to contain animations and sound, to be activated or dimmed dynamically, and to be repositioned automatically when, say, the browser window is resized.
Of course, buttons are just the beginning. ActionScript is a powerful scripting language, and it can be implemented in a variety of ways. Fortunately, the Flash development community is one of the most generous collectives on the Web, and there are many resources available to help you learn more about ActionScript when you are ready. Appendix A contains a very brief list of such resources to get you started, but half the fun is exploring.