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Modifying Simple Graphics in Flash MX, Part 1

Using the Lasso Tool

If the lines or shapes you want to select are located close to other lines, you may have difficulty selecting just the items you want with a rectangle. The lasso tool lets you create an irregular selection outline.

To select elements with the lasso tool:

  1. In the Toolbox, select the lasso tool, or press L (Figure 3.9).

    Figure 3.9Figure 3.9 Use the lasso tool to select an irregular area.

  2. Click and draw a freeform line around the elements you want to select (Figure 3.10).

    Figure 3.10Figure 3.10 The lasso tool lets you select elements that are oddly shaped or too near other elements to allow use of the selection rectangle (top). Whatever falls within the area you outline with the lasso becomes highlighted and selected when you release the mouse button.

  3. Close the selection outline by bringing the lasso pointer back over the point where you began the selection line.

  4. Release the mouse button.

    Flash highlights whatever falls inside the shape you drew with the lasso.

    TIP

    Flash draws a straight line between the starting point of your lasso line and the point at which you release the mouse button. You can skip the step of closing the shape if you're sure that Flash's closing will include the elements you want.

For complex shapes, you may find it difficult to hold down the mouse button and draw the correct shape with the lasso. For these cases, Flash provides Polygon mode. In Polygon mode, the lasso allows you to define the selection area with a series of connected straight-line segments.

To select elements with the lasso tool in polygon mode:

  1. With the lasso tool selected, in the Toolbox, select Polygon mode.

  2. Click your way around the shape or elements you want to select.

    Each time you click, the polygon lasso finishes one line segment and adds a new point from which to start another connected line segment (Figure 3.11).

    Figure 3.11Figure 3.11 In Polygon mode, the lasso tool creates a series of connected line segments to outline whatever element you want to select. Double-clicking finishes the shape by drawing a line from the point where you double-clicked to the starting point.

  3. Close the shape by double-clicking.

    Flash draws a straight line from wherever you double-clicked to the point where you started creating the selection outline. To be sure you get all the elements you want, double-click directly over your beginning point.

    TIP

    You can combine the regular lasso tool with the polygon lasso in creating a single selection outline. To access Polygon mode temporarily, hold down Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) as you click.

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