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What Everyone Gets

One of the first things you will notice when you open up Flash MX 2004 is the new interface. Yes, Macromedia has done it to us once again: We get a new version of Flash and have to learn how to navigate through it.

Fortunately, I feel that the current version of Flash offers many new optimization features that weren't available in previous versions. The feature I like the most is the collapse panel set feature. Along the edge of each panel set, you will see a thick border, in the center of which is a thin arrow. Selecting the arrow collapses the panel. This is great for freeing up more real estate.

Another useful new feature is a spell checker. The Check Spelling feature is located under Text > Check Spelling. In the preferences, you can elect to have the Check Spelling feature check the spelling of text in a movie, the names of movie clips, and variables. If you are handicapped by your spelling skills (like me), this is a big bonus.

Also, another little tidbit is the inclusion of the Star/Polygon shape tool. You will find it included with the Rectangle tool. The Star tool lets you draw star shapes and other polygon shapes. Very nice.

OK, these are only little things and there are much bigger fish. The main big new features that you will see are

  • Components

  • Behaviors

  • History

  • ActionScript

  • Third-party tool support

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