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Modifying Simple Graphics in Flash MX, Part 1

Moving Points with the Subselection Tool

The subselection tool allows you to reveal and manipulate the anchor points that define a line segment or curve. Then you can grab and reposition these points to modify lines and curves.

To view a path and anchor points:

  1. In the Toolbox, choose the subselection tool (Figure 3.38).

    The pointer changes to a hollow arrow.

    Figure 3.38Figure 3.38 Use the subselection tool to modify the path of a line segment.

  2. On the Stage, click the line or curve you want to modify.

    Flash selects and highlights the entire path. In Flash's default editing mode, anchor points appear as solid squares in a contrasting highlight color.

    To manipulate a particular point, you must select it directly.

To select an anchor point:

  1. With the subselection tool active, position the pointer over the point you want to move.

    The anchor-point modifier (a small hollow square) appears next to the hollow-arrow icon (Figure 3.39).

    Figure 3.39Figure 3.39 When a solid square appears next to the subselection tool, the tool is ready to select the entire path (left). When a hollow square appears (right), the tool is ready to select and manipulate a single anchor point.

  2. Click the anchor point.

    Flash highlights the selected point. At Flash's default setting, selected corner points appear as hollow squares; selected curve points appear as hollow circles with Bézier handles.

    Tips

    • If you know where a point is in your element, you can skip the step of clicking the path to highlight all the anchor points. To select the point directly, double-click it.

    • You can select multiple points on a path directly with the subselection tool. Draw a selection rectangle that includes the points you want to select. Flash highlights the entire path and selects any points that fall within the rectangle.

    • To view anchor points as hollow squares and selected points as solid, you need to change Flash's editing preferences. From the Edit menu (Mac OS 9 and Windows) or the Flash menu (Mac OS X), choose Preferences to open the Preferences dialog box. Click the Editing tab, and uncheck the Show Solid Points checkbox.

To reposition anchor points with the subselection tool:

  • With the subselection tool active, click and drag the desired anchor point to a new location.

    Flash redraws the path (Figure 3.40).

    Figure 3.40Figure 3.40 When you've selected an anchor point (A), Flash highlights the entire path (B). You can drag the anchor point to lengthen or shorten the path (C). The path and anchor points remain highlighted when you're done (D).

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