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Reshaping Lines

Flash makes drawing easy by allowing you to reshape every line or element you create. The arrow tool lets you simply grab a point and give it a tug. The subselection tool gives you precise control of reshaping by allowing you to manipulate anchor points and Bézier control handles directly.

To change the direction of a line segment (arrow or subselection tool):

  1. Using the arrow or subselection tool, position the pointer over the line segment's end point.

    The corner-point modifier appears with the arrow tool.

    The anchor-point modifier appears with the subselection tool.

  2. Click and drag the end point to a new location that changes the line's direction (Figure 3.41).

    Figure 3.41Figure 3.41 Using the arrow tool (left) or subselection tool (right), click the line's end point and drag it to a new position. You can pivot the line and change its angle as you would when creating a line with the straight-line tool. Flash redraws the line. With the subselection tool, when you release the mouse button, the path is selected, and its anchor points are highlighted.

  3. Release the mouse button.

    Flash redraws the line.

    About Curve and Corner Points

    Flash's arrow and pen/subselection tools let you modify an element's curves and lines. The subselection tool lets you do so by moving the curve and corner points that define the elements and by rearranging the curves' Bézier handles. When you highlight a path with the subselection tool, Flash reveals any curve points' Bézier handles. (Corner points have no handles.)

    When you use the arrow tool, Flash hides all the technical stuff. You simply pull on a line to reshape it. Still, the arrow tool does have its own hidden version of curve and corner points, which are evident only in the changing icons that accompany the tool as it interacts with a line or curve.

    For the arrow tool, corner points appear at the end of a segment or at the point where two segments join to form a sharp angle. All those other in-between points—even if they fall in the middle of a line segment that happens to be completely flat—are curve points. When you tug on a curve point with the arrow tool, you pull out a range of points in a tiny arc. When you tug on a corner point with the arrow tool, you pull out a single point.

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