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Learn How to Access and Organize Panels in Macromedia Flash 8
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With the little control in the stage, now we can take a look at some of the other controls around the program. I am specifically going to talk about these panels. Now, we got a lot of panels in this program, a couple on the top and the bottom, even over here on the right hand side.
Probably one of the more important panels is that properties panel down at the bottom. That is going to give us setting for what we have currently selected in the program.
Now right now, I do not have anything selected and it is default is showing me basic movie settings. This is where we can control things like stage size and background color. You might even notice that I have change the background color on this particular movie that we have got working on. But if I pick any of the settings in here, I could go and then change it.
Now normally, a movie will come up with a white background. So, if you first start up a project, you will see something a little bit more like that. I have just chosen a nice blue color to be able to compliment some of the other element in here. And that is going to set up a base background for the way my movies going to go in here.
We can also change size settings. We can even change some settings about how we are publishing the movie, and we will come back to all of this stuff when we start going into some of the bigger details on movies themselves.
Another very important panel is going to be that timeline panel that we see at the top. You might notice all these layers at the side; these are all containers for my elements on the screen. I have got all kinds of different elements in here. And very quickly, we will be taken a look at that layers pallet. In fact, we will be spending a lot of time in there, settings things up for our projects to come.
Now, we have got our other pallets over here. I got a couple of them over here on the right hand side, and one other good thing about this is once you get a hand on how the pallets work, pretty much all of them work the same way.
For instance, the pallets that I can see, I can open and close the pallets by just clicking on the title and/or on that little twirly triangle there on the side. So, we can quickly get the contents of that out of the way and we can look at some other contents of our other panels to be able to change some settings in our movies.
Now, these are not the only panels that we have got. We have got a whole Windows menu full of panels, and this is going to allow us to get lots and lots of controls up here.
During the course of our lessons, we are going to see a lot of these panels and bring them up. But just to see how the panels themselves works, if you pick up a panel that you want to use like for instance the align panel here, when you pull that up, you can see that it kind of comes and docks itself in between these other two panels, so we can kind of build up a tool set out of these panels and comes in handy whenever we need them. Again, closes and opens the same as the other panels.
You will also notice at some of these panels cannot group with other panels. The info and the transform panel also appear down here in the pull down menu. So, let me pull up a panel that is not going to be automatically docked. I think I will pick up behaviors here.
This is the panel that came up in its on little floating window. Now, that is okay. You can actually undock any of these ones in here, or change the position of this one as far as putting it into a docking system like the aligned and info was.
I probably should mention at this point that your Mac uses or probably wondering what is going on here because this is one big different between the Mac and the Window operating environments, and that is the Macintosh side of things does not have these docking and kind of clicking thing that we have on the Window side. So, you will probably see much more of your Windows like this behavior window.
Now, as a free floating window, it is going to operate the same way. I can collapse it and bring it up. But if I want to add it to the docking system on the PC side, I am going to use this little set of grip or dots here on the front. That is icon setup to look like your grouping. That is what it does. It lets me grab the panel.
Now, what is special about grabbing it from this position is that using that this way, I can dock it into other panel systems. You know, it is like you put it up here in between color and the line, or I can put it down at the bottom setting. I can even add it to this docking system over here on the side, or possibly add another whole set of panels on the side.
Now, this allows you to pretty much reconfigure tool set exactly how you have like it. And, that brings up another important point. We have got gangs of panels, so you can obviously see we are going to have a lot of panels coming in here.
So, to manage my panels in general under Windows pull down menu, I also have a little work space layout setting in there. This allows me to take my current set of panels and save it with a name. I will set this one up as Test, just so we can try it out.
Now, what I would be able to do with this one is I can play around with the panel sets. I want to dock a few things. I will close a couple of windows and get rid of them.
To get back to that original set of tools that I had, all I have to do is go to windows and bring up my panel set that I have saved from before. This will restore my layout to exactly the way I had it.
These panel sets are going to come in really handy as you start working on your projects. If it performing different roles, let us say, you are doing layout, you might use one completely different set of panels that you might use if you are doing let us say navigation or your animation projects.
So, as you put on different hats and tried different things in making your projects, you can save different sets of tools and be able to bring them up very quickly so that they are all sitting there at your fingertips.
Now, one other thing about panels, almost all of them have this is that each panel when we open it up, they will have a little set of options. That is going to be viewed right here on the right hand side of each one of the panels. You can see behavior has some options, align and info have options.
As we pull those down, somebody have some pretty simple options that have to do just with moving or grouping this panel with another panel tab. But, some of them like for instance, let us say color here. Color has some specific options that will allow me to change how the color panels going to work.
If I take a look at the library panel over here -- oh, it is got a lot of things that I can do. So, my biggest point here is when you looking for different features in the program, do not forget the options knows panels be able to move you up and get you set on using something else.
One more thing I should mention, just because it will probably happen to you with these panels is also notice that some of the panels have an additional controls at the bottom. Now, I am mostly mentioning this because you glance around the screen, you will loose things. My library panel is on that is particularly tall, has a lot of stuff in it, and if I happened to close up the rest of my panels here instead, you can see that the library panel of course extends the full length of the screen. And you can see what I mean. Those tools might get a little bit lost on you.
So, do not forget that some of these panels, especially when we start looking at that array of other panels that we have not look at yet, that some of them also have those tools at the bottom.
One last feature about panels and this is especially useful if you are working on system with a pretty small screen, and that is you will notice this icon here on the side. When we create these panel sets, even if you created a second one over here, or even this panel setup at the bottom, I kind of think of these as drawers. This allows me to take the entire pile of panels. Click on that, and it will collapse it off to the side. You can see that the icon switches to be able to bring the drawer back out.