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Modifying Strokes

Flash provides two methods for modifying the stroke of an existing element: You can select the element and change its stroke attributes in the Property Inspector, or you can use the ink-bottle tool to apply the current stroke settings to unselected elements. Certain modifications, however, you can make only with the ink bottle. To add a stroke to an element that currently lacks one, for example, you must use the ink bottle.

For the following exercises, keep the Property Inspector open (choose Window > Properties if it's not open).

To add a stroke to a shape:

  1. In the Toolbar, select the ink-bottle tool or press S (Figure 3.66).
    Figure 3.66

    Figure 3.66 The ink-bottle tool applies all the stroke attributes currently set in the Ink Bottle Property Inspector.

  2. In the Property Inspector, set any of the following attributes:

    • From the Stroke Style pop-up menu, choose a new style.
    • In the stroke-height field, enter a value for the thickness of the stroke.
    • Click the stroke-color box, and choose a new color from the swatch set.

    The stroke-color boxes in the Toolbar and Property Inspector display the selected color, and the ink-bottle tool is ready to apply the other stroke attributes you set in the Property Inspector. (For more details about setting stroke attributes, see Chapter 2.)

  3. Move the pointer over the Stage.

    The pointer appears as a little ink bottle spilling ink.

  4. With the ink bottle's hot spot, click the shape in one of the following ways:

    • To add a stroke around the outside of your shape, click near the outside edge of the shape (Figure 3.67).
      Figure 3.67

      Figure 3.67 As you move the ink bottle over a filled shape, the hot spot appears as a white dot at the end of the ink drip that's spilling out of the bottle. To add a stroke around the outside edge of your fill shape, position the hot spot along that edge (top) and then click. Flash adds a stroke with the current attributes set in the Ink Bottle Property Inspector (bottom).

    • To add a stroke around the inside of a shape that has a hole cut out of it, click near the inside edge of the shape.
    • To outline both the outside of a shape and the hole inside the shape, click in the middle of the shape (Figure 3.68).
      Figure 3.68

      Figure 3.68 Position the ink bottle's hot spot in the middle of your fill shape (top) and then click. Flash uses the current stroke attributes to add a stroke around the outside and inside of your shape (bottom).

    Flash adds strokes to the outside edge, inside edge, or both, using the Property Inspector's current settings for color, thickness, and style.

To modify existing strokes with the ink bottle:

  1. In the Toolbar, select the ink-bottle tool.
  2. In the Property Inspector, set the attributes for color, stroke height, and stroke style.
  3. Click the ink bottle's hot spot on the stroke you want to modify.

    When you click a stroke directly to modify it, the stroke can be selected or deselected.

To modify selected strokes by using the Property Inspector:

  1. Use the selection tool to select one or more strokes on the Stage.
  2. Set the attributes for color, stroke height, and stroke style in the Property Inspector.

    Flash changes all selected strokes as you enter each new attribute in the Property Inspector (Figure 3.70).

    Figure 3.70

    Figure 3.70 Select one or more strokes for modification (top). Set new attributes in the Property Inspector (middle). Flash applies the attributes to all the strokes in your selection (bottom).

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