Flash-Tutorials - Using the Libraries - Flash Movie Explorer
Flash Movie Explorer
Our images become more and more complex as now they contain vector and bitmap graphics, text blocks and symbols and their instances. How can we distinguish one from another and use properly?
Flash offers you powerful tool to browse all of the elements called Movie Explorer. Similar to Windows Explorer it lets you check the structure of your Flash document, search for needed graphic elements and perform all needed actions.
If your image/movie got so complex that you start experience difficulties navigating its needed elements you should use Movie Explorer that will help you greatly.
You can bring up the Explorer in several ways. The quickest one is to press Alt+F3. You can also select Movie Explorer in Window menu. The largest part of Movie Explorer is a hierarchical list of all elements in the flash image/movie. (Actually, almost all but we will discuss this later). Once you add or delete any element the contents of the list change.
You can expand or collapse the branches of the elements by clicking Expand Branch and Collapse Branch respectively. Collapse Others option will collapse all the branches but the selected one.
You can select any of the items in this list just by clicking them with the mouse as it is done in Windows Explorer. You can also select several items from the list by keeping Ctrl button pressed when you click. However, this feature is not really useful in Movie Explorer.
Graphic elements that make up the image are displayed in the Scene 1 (the number may vary) branch. If you will select any of the elements, Flash will make it selected in the scene. If selected element is still not visible, select Goto Location in the menu of the window. If you will select Goto Symbol Definition, Flash will select the symbol that the instance is based on in Movie Explorer.
Symbols imported to the Library are displayed in Symbol Definitions branch. If you will select Find in Library from the menu, Flash will open the Library window and select the symbol that was selected in Movie Explorer.
Select Symbol Instances will make Flash select all instances of the symbol in the Movie Explorer and on the scene. Other entries of the menu of Movie Explorer are described below.
Rename option will let you rename the selected element from the list. This is important for the work with the symbols, as we will work with instances later on. If the text block is selected, this option allows you to edit its content as well. After selecting Rename for the text block the small text field will appear where the old name will show.
Edit, Edit in Place, Edit in New Window options allow you to edit the selected symbol in regular mode, in its place and in separate window respectively. You can double-click the symbol in the list to start editing in place.
If instance or text block is selected the Cut, Copy, Paste and Clear options become available. First three are for working with Windows clipboard, while the last option removes selected element.
Copy Text to Clipboard option copies the text version of the Movie Explorer list to the clipboard. The Print option allows you to print out the Movie Explorer list.
If your image is so complex that the list in the Movie Explorer looks too complicated and too big you can use powerful search options if you know the name of the instance you want to find, enter its name in the Find field above the list. Flash will show the files that contain what you have entered in their names. This will not display the symbols any way. If you want to display symbols only check Show Symbols Definition and uncheck Show Movie Elements. Do the opposite if you want to see anything but symbols. Check both options to see symbols and instances.
In the top part of the window there are buttons that allow you to select elements of the needed type to be displayed or hidden:
1. Text blocks
2. Symbols created in Flash and their instances
3. Scripts created using ActionScript programming
4. Instances of imported symbols (bitmap images, movies and sounds)
5. Layers and frames
6. Open Movie Explorer Settings to select the displaying properties more precise.