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Introduction to the Flash Workspace

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Before you can begin to use any application, you need to understand its workspace area. The Flash 5 workspace has a new look and feel; its interface is now very similar to that of other Macromedia products, such as Dreamweaver and Fireworks. In this chapter from Macromedia Flash 5 From Scratch, Cheryl Brumbaugh-Duncan explores the new Flash 5 workspace area.

In This Chapter

  • Features and Functionality of the Timeline

  • Features and Functionality of the Stage

  • Features and Functionality of the Toolbox

  • Changing Your View

  • Viewing the Default Layout Panels

  • Using the Launcher Bar

Before you can begin to use any application, you need to understand the application's workspace area. Flash is no different. If you are familiar with the Flash 4 or any earlier version of Flash, the Flash 5 version has a new look and feel to the workspace. It now is very similar in its interface to other Macromedia products, such as Dreamweaver and Fireworks. If you haven't yet, launch Flash 5 so you can begin to explore this new workspace.

Components of the Flash Workspace

Before you can begin to use Flash to create graphics and animation, you need to understand your workspace in Flash. When you first launch Flash, it opens into a new blank document. The Flash workspace is divided into various features with their own functionality. The workspace is comprised of these six major areas: Timeline, Stage, work area, layers, panels, and the toolbox (see Figure 3.1).

Figure 3.1
The Flash workspace might look familiar to you in some aspects and dauntingly different in others. As you progress through this chapter, you will become comfortable with this workspace.

The Stage is the area on which you position all the content of your movie. The work area allows you extra space for organizing graphics and images that you want to include in a movie but might not be ready for yet on the Stage. The panels are a new feature of Flash 5 and allow you easy access to the customization and editing features of the Flash tools and menu commands. The Timeline controls your animation and helps organize your Stage content. All the tools you need to create graphics are located on the toolbox. These features comprise the Flash workspace.

 

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