One way to modify Macromedia Flash MX 2004 graphics is to select one or more shapes and edit them by changing their attributes (such as color, size, and location) in the Property Inspector or in the appropriate panels.
You can also modify the shape of an element. Some operations—such as straightening lines, adjusting Bézier curves, and assigning new attributes—require that the element be selected. Other operations, such as reshaping a line segment or curve with the selection tool, require the element to be deselected. Afew operations allow you to edit the element whether it is selected or not—using the paint-bucket tool to change a fill color, for example.
This chapter covers using the selection, lasso, and subselection tools to select and modify the elements you learned to make in Chapter 2. You also learn about using the Property Inspector and other panels to modify elements' attributes.
Setting Selection Preferences
Flash allows you to select elements in several ways. You can click an element with the selection tool or draw a selection outline. When you click to select an element using the selection tool, selecting an entire line can take several clicks because each segment and curve of a line is a separate element that you must select. Adding to a selection is a common operation, and Flash gives you two ways to do it: Shift selection and additive selection.
Flash's default setting has Shift Select turned on. (You set the selection method in the General tab of the Preferences dialog.) In Shift Select mode, you use the Shift key as a modifier while selecting an item to add it to any selection that is already active on the Stage. When you turn off Shift Select mode, selections become additive, which means that any new selections get added to current selections.
You always remove individual items from a selection by Shift-clicking.
To set a selection method for the selection tool:
From the Edit menu (Windows) or from the Flash application menu (Mac), choose Preferences.
The Preferences dialog appears.
- Choose the General tab (Figure 3.1).
Figure 3.1 Select the General tab of the Preferences dialog to choose a selection method.
- In the Selection Options section, check or uncheck the Shift Select check box.
- Click OK.
In Shift Select mode (Flash's default setting), you must Shift-click to add items to the current selection. With Shift Select turned off, each new item you click with the selection tool gets added to the current selection.