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Mousing Around - Flash

This week, find out why movie clip symbols are a Good Thing, andlearn to add interactivity to your Flash movies with the built-in Actions.And when you're done, use the new Flash Projector to distribute your moviesto all and sundry. Who needs Hollywood when you can just roll your own?!

  1. Flash 101 (part 5): Spiralling Out Of Control
  2. Recycle Bin
  3. Rebirth
  4. Dynamic Buttons
  5. Mousing Around
  6. Remote Control
  7. Projecting Your Image
By: Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 5
January 25, 2001

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Next up, actions.

Actions allow you to add interactivity to a Flash movie, by executing specific commands in response to user actions. Flash comes with a full-featured scripting language, ActionScript, which is very similar to Javascript; you can either manually create scripts, or use Flash's built-in Actions panel to insert actions through a point-and-click mode of operation.

A number of pre-defined actions are available in Flash, which are more than sufficient for basic requirements; you've already seen one of them, the Get URL action, in last time's article. Typically, these actions are triggered in response to either a mouse or keyboard event, or when a specific frame is reached in the animation sequence.

When you specify an action for a button, Flash automatically inserts an onMouseEvent handler to it - this specifies whether the action is to be triggered when the mouse button is pressed or released, when the mouse pointer rolls over the button or when it rolls outside it, or when the user drags the pointer over the button. Additionally, you can specify an action to be triggered when the user taps a specific key on the keyboard.

For example, this code snippet specifies that the Flash player stop playing the animation sequence when the user releases the mouse button, or taps the X key on the keyboard.

on (release, keyPress "X") { stop (); }
In a similar manner, you can assign actions to a movie clip - Flash automatically inserts an onClipEvent handler, which can trigger actions based on mouse movement, keyboard entry, or at specific positions in the clip.

Finally, you can also assign actions to a specific keyframe in the clip by right-clicking the frame and selecting the Actions command on the shortcut menu.

Note that you should use the Control -> Test Movie command to test whether or not your actions are working correctly.

This article copyright Melonfire 2001. All rights reserved.

>>> More Flash Articles          >>> More By Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire

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- An Overview of Flash and ActionScript
- Building Web Forms In Flash
- Building Data-Driven Flash Movies
- Flash 101 (part 6): The Final Countdown
- Flash 101 (part 5): Spiralling Out Of Control
- Flash 101 (Part 4): Don't Touch Me!
- Flash 101 (part 3): Bouncing Around

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