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Modifying Simple Graphics in Flash CS3 Professional

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One way to modify graphics in Adobe Flash CS3 Professional is to select one or more shapes and edit them by changing their attributes (such as color, size, and location) in the Properties tab of the Property inspector or in other appropriate panels.

You can also modify the path that creates the shape of an element. Some operations—such as straightening lines, adjusting Bézier curves, and assigning new attributes—require that the element be selected. Others, such as reshaping a line segment or curve with the selection tool, require the element to be deselected. A few operations let you edit the element whether it's selected or not—using the paint-bucket tool to change a fill color, for example.

This chapter covers using the selection tools, lasso tools, and subselection tools to select and modify the elements you learned to make in Chapter 2. You also learn about using the Properties tab of the Property inspector and other panels to modify elements' attributes.

Setting Selection Preferences

There are two basic ways to make selections in Flash: one is to click an element directly, and the other is to enclose all or part of an element with a selection outline. You can set preferences to gain more control over these two methods. For the click method, you choose whether you must Shift-click to select multiple items or whether you can merely click additional items to add to a selection. For the selection-outline method, you decide if the outline must fully enclose a graphic-object to select it or if enclosing any part of a graphic-object selects the whole thing.

To set selection methods for the selection tools

  1. From the Flash menu (Mac) or the Edit menu (Windows), choose Preferences.

    The Preferences dialog appears.

  2. From the Category list, choose General (Figure 4.1).
    Figure 4.1

    Figure 4.1 Select General in the Category list of the Preferences dialog to choose a selection method.

  3. In the Selection section, choose either of the following check boxes:

    Shift Select. 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 is added to the current selection.

    Contact-Sensitive Selection and Lasso Tools. With Contact-Sensitive Selection on (the default), when a selection outline touches a graphic-object or text field (see Chapter 3), a grouped shape (see Chapter 5), or a symbol instance (see Chapter 7), Flash selects the whole thing. When Contact-Sensitive Selection is off, the selection outline must fully enclose the item to select it. This setting has no effect on merge-shapes; a selection outline always defines the precise area of the merge-shape that is selected (see the next section, "Making Selections").

  4. Click OK.
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