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Modify Simple Graphics in Flash MX 2004

Chapter Description

Flash back to Macromedia Flash MX 2004 for a retro tutorial on how to modify simple graphics in Flash! If you're still using Macromedia Flash MX 2004, you'll want to sneak a peek at this sample chapter, which shows you how to use the selection, lasso, and subselection tools to select and modify graphics. You'll also learn about using the Property Inspector and other panels to modify elements' attributes.

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 Toolbar, choose the subselection tool ( Figure 3.31 ).

    Figure 3.31 Use the subselection tool to modify the path of a line segment.

    The pointer changes to a hollow arrow.
  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 hollow 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 solid square) appears next to the hollow-arrow icon ( Figure 3.32 ).

    Figure 3.32 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 solid squares; selected curve points appear as solid circles with Bézier handles.

To reposition anchor points with the subselection tool:

  1. With the subselection tool active, click and drag the desired anchor point to a new location. Flash redraws the path ( Figure 3.33 ).

    Figure 3.33 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).

13. Reshaping Curves with the Selection Tool | Next Section Previous Section