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SEPY: The Best ActionScript Editor Around

When you spend all day writing articles, you want a powerful word-processing program like Microsoft Word. Likewise, when you spend all day writing ActionScript, you want a great editor. And Sephiroth has delivered.

I told you I was saving the best for last, and here it is.

My favorite Flash tool of all time is SEPY, an ActionScript editing tool offered by Sephiroth.it. Many developers have scoffed at the lack of editing prowess offered by the Actions panel built into Flash, and, unfortunately, the integrated scripting window included with Flash MX Professional 2004 isn't any better. Sure, we get code hints and syntax coloring, but this is far from enough.

SEPY, on the other hand, offers a whole arsenal of features that make ActionScript development a much more productive experience. SEPY comes with the following:

  • Autocompletion

  • Collapsible code blocks, so you can expand and collapse code blocks like functions

  • Tabs for multiple open documents

  • Flush support, enabling you to run a test movie from within SEPY

  • Browser for class files

  • Snippets panel

  • XML reader

  • Flash API panel, so you still have access to all the Help documentation from Flash

  • Automatic JavaDoc creation from methods

There is much more to this application than I can even list here, but hopefully, this list gives you some compelling reasons to check it out. After testing SEPY for one day, I told everyone in my Flash users group about it, thereby converting several people to devout SEPY fans, and I immediately made it a permanent part of my workflow.

I'm tempted to say my favorite thing about SEPY is the Snippets panel because it's very easy to save and reuse scripts that I need fairly often. Instead of rewriting them, I just click on the Snippets tab and double-click the script I need. But saying this is my favorite feature would discount so many other brilliant features, and I don't want to do that. The list of reasons to use this application just goes on and on.

Finished writing a function? Collapse the code block so it's out of the way. Tired of having to type a closing curly brace right after typing an opening curly brace? Let SEPY do it for you by enabling the autocompletion options in the Preferences. Worried that you won't be able to access your Flash Project files? SEPY can handle that, too, with its own Projects panel that emulates the one in Flash Pro. The same is true for document tabs—they were a good idea for Flash, and you get to keep using them in SEPY.

I can't say enough good things about this app. Yes, it's a little rough around the edges—but, hey, it was made by a one person. No company put a team of people on this. It was handled by one person, who, instead of charging hundreds of dollars for each download, offered the solution free of charge to anyone who wants it.

SEPY is currently supported only on Windows, but there are instructions on the web site for compiling SEPY to run on Macintosh. The process is pretty complicated for Mac users, but, believe me, it's worth it.

You can download SEPY right now at http://www.sephiroth.it/python/sepy.php.

Until next time, happy Flashing!

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