Glimpsing History and then Commanding It
After you get Flash and the History panel open, walk through the following steps to see how it works. For this example, I'll start with something you'll assuredly have to do at least a thousand times in the next week: draw a square and turn it into a symbol.
Choose the Rectangle tool in the Toolbar.
Hold down the Shift key, click on the Stage and drag your mouse down and to the right a bit to make a square, similar to Figure 1.
Choose the Selection tool in the Toolbar.
Double-click in the fill area of the square.
Choose Insert > New Symbol (F8) to open up the Create New Symbol dialog box.
Type the word Box into the Name field of the dialog box, choose Graphic from the Behavior options, and then click OK.
In the History panel, you should see a list of everything you just did.
Press Shift and select the top and bottom items in the list in the History panel.
Click on the little disk icon in the bottom-right corner of the panel to save the selected steps as a Command.
In the Command name field, type Make a Box and click OK, as shown in Figure 3.
The Shift key constrains the shape as you draw it, so you should end up with a perfect square.
Figure 1 The perfect square.
This procedure selects the fill and all the lines of the stroke (border) around the square.
This process results in the box being converted into a Graphic symbol. It should look like Figure 2.
Figure 2 The square is now a symbol.
f you don't, you're doing something seriously wrong. You should just give up. (Joking, of course.)
This procedure highlights the whole list in blue, indicating that you have selected each item.
This process opens the Save As Command dialog box.
Figure 3 Go ahead, make a box.
All this may seem a little rudimentary because I'm sure you could have made a box without reading the above steps, but this is leading somewhere. At this point, I've been having you complete a specific set of steps, and if you've done them exactly in that order, there won't be any extra steps or clicks or anything in the History panel, and it will match this list:
Convert to Symbol
If your panel matches this list, you're on the right track. When Flash saves steps as a Command, it saves all the steps you specify, so it's important that you not clog up the system with unnecessary actions. It can be hard to tell which steps are necessary and which are not when you're saving them, so it's easier to perform a sequence of tasks exactly as you want them saved.
Close your open Flash document.
Don't bother saving ityou won't need it anymore.
Open a new Flash document.
Choose Commands from the menus along the top.
Your command, Make a Box, should be there, ready for you to use any time you need it, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4 Your command is Flash's command.
Select Make a Box from the menu.
Open your Library (Ctrl/Cmd + L) and notice that there is now a symbol in it called Symbol 1.
Flash names your new symbol using its default naming method. If you ran another command to create another symbol, it would be called Symbol 2, and so on.
Congratulations! You've just automated the creation of a box. Any time you need one from now on, just choose Make a Box from the Commands menu and call it a day.
I'm sorrywhat? You have no idea what I'm talking about? Well, have no fear. Here's the scoop:
Figure 5 All that code...and you didn't write a lick of it. Lucky you!