.4. Basic Tips
Here is a small collection of tips that haven't already been mentioned in the main body of this text. They may help you with your progress in learning the Flash interface and make your scripting a little easier. This list is just the tip of the iceberg, and is merely meant to get you started in the right direction. Feel free to visit the companion web site for this book and submit your own tips!
In the meantime, here are some useful tidbits:
Pressing F4 will hide or show all open panels.
After copying an item to the clipboard, Edit Paste in Place (Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-V) will paste that item in its former location, rather than the geographical center of the screen.
.fla file sizes. In most cases, you can reduce the file size by using the File Save and Compact menu command. This is the equivalent of using the Save As command, without having to rename your file. It will purge your file of unneeded information.
Warning: Be careful when using the Save and Compact feature. It will purge your History list, and you will not be able to recover the list or backtrack through previously recorded edits.
Using File Save As, you can save a copy of your file in a version that will be compatible with Flash MX 2004. Bear in mind, however, that all Flash 8specific features will be lost.
Save as Template. In doing so, you can give the template a name and specify the category in which the template should be found. From then on, the template will be available to you as were the other templates used in this book.
Find and Replace menu command at any time, the more powerful application-wide Find and Replace dialog will appear, as seen in Figure A-6. Not only can you search and replace among all scripts in a document with this dialog, but you can also specify whole word, case sensitive, and regular expression searches, and search text fields, labels, and parameters. You can even find and replace non-text items, including fonts, colors, symbols, sounds, videos, and bitmaps.
Figure A.6. The application-wide Find and Replace dialog
If you have trouble finding something in your movie, try using the Movie Explorer panel (Window Movie Explorer), seen in Figure A-7. The Movie Explorer will show you an outline view of the structure of your document, and you can specify which types of element are included therein. You can quickly edit any item by double-clicking it, and Movie Explorer can even show you frame and symbol instance scripts to help you identify at a glance which item to edit. This is especially useful if you start out by adding scripts directly to buttons and movie clips, rather than defining event handlers in frame scripts.
Figure A.7. The Movie Explorer panel
You can quickly preview button states without testing or publishing your movie by using the Control Enable Simple Buttons menu command. With this feature enabled, you wont be able to select the buttons, so be sure to disable it once you are satisfied with the preview. Similarly, you can check basic frame scripts without testing or publishing your movie using Control Enable Simple Frame Actions.
Check Spelling menu command. It allows you to check many different areas of your document, using multiple dictionariesincluding foreign-language dictionariesfollowing many rules that govern what is checked and how. These options are configured in the companion Text Spelling Setup dialog, seen in Figure A-8.
Figure A.8. The Spelling Setup dialog box