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Resizing Graphic Elements

Flash gives you several ways to resize, or scale, graphic elements. You can scale selected elements interactively on the Stage. You can also set specific scale percentages or dimensions for your element in the Transform panel, the Position and Size section of the Property inspector, and the Info panel.

To resize a graphic element interactively:

  1. In the Tools panel, from the transform-tools submenu, select the free-transform tool (Figure 4.17).
    Figure 4.17

    Figure 4.17 The free-transform tool lets you select and scale elements interactively.

  2. On the Stage, click the element you want to resize.

    Flash selects and highlights the element and places transformation handles on all four sides and at the corners of the element's bounding box.

  3. In the Tools panel, select the Scale modifier.
  4. Position the pointer over a handle.

    The pointer changes to a double-headed arrow, indicating the direction in which the element will grow or shrink as you drag the handles inward or outward.

  5. To resize the graphic element, do one of the following:
    • To change the graphic element's width, click and drag one of the side handles.
    • To change the element's height, click and drag the top or bottom handle.
    • To change the size of the element proportionally, click and drag one of the corner handles.
    Dragging toward the center of the element reduces it; dragging away enlarges it (Figure 4.18).
    Figure 4.18

    Figure 4.18 Activating the free-transform tool's Scale modifier places a set of handles around a selected element. Click and drag the handles to change the size of the element.

To resize an element via the Transform panel:

  1. With the Transform panel open, on the Stage select the element you want to resize.

    Percentages appear in the Width and Height hot text in the top section of the Transform panel. When you select an element that's never been resized, width and height are set to 100%.

  2. To resize the element and maintain its aspect ratio (the ratio of width to height), do the following:

    • In the top section of the Transform panel, set the chain-link icon to Constrain mode (the closed-link icon). Clicking the icon toggles between modes.
    • Use the Width (or Height) hot text to enter a new percentage (Figure 4.19).
      Figure 4.19

      Figure 4.19 To resize a selected element, use the Transform panel's Width and Height hot text to enter new percentages. In Constrain mode (the closed-link icon), as you change the percentage of one dimension, Flash automatically updates the other. The Transform panel also lets you enter values for rotating and skewing selected elements.

    To use a precise value, click the hot text, enter a number in the field that activates, then press Enter. To choose a value interactively, position the pointer over the hot text; when the pointing finger with a double arrow appears, drag left (or down) to lower the value or drag right (or up) to increase the value. Flash previews the changes on the Stage as you drag the hot text's invisible slider.

    In Constrain mode, changing the Width percentage also changes the Height percentage (and vice versa).

    or

    To resize the element and allow the aspect ratio to change, do the following:

    • Set the chain-link icon to Unconstrain mode (the broken-link icon).
    • Use the Width and Height hot text to enter new percentages.

    In Unconstrain mode, entering new values for Width and Height changes those dimensions of the selected element independently.

To resize an element via the Property inspector:

  1. With the Property inspector open, in the workspace, select the element you want to resize.

    The Position and Size section of the Property inspector contains Width and Height hot text displaying the dimensions of the selected shape's bounding box.

  2. To resize the element, do either of the following:
    • To preserve the aspect ratio, set the chain-link icon to Constrain mode (the closed-link icon). Use the Width or Height hot text to enter a new percentage (Figure 4.20). Click the hot text to enter a precise value; drag the hot text's invisible slider to choose a value interactively. Changing the value for one dimension automatically changes the other.
      Figure 4.20

      Figure 4.20 The Width and Height hot text in the Position and Size section of the Property inspector displays the dimensions of the bounding box of a selected element. Enter new values to resize the element. In Constrain mode (the closed-link icon), Flash preserves the ratio of width to height. In Unconstrain mode (the broken-link icon), you can enter independent width and height values.

    • To allow the aspect ratio to change, set the chain-link icon to Unconstrain mode (the broken-link icon); use the Width and/or Height hot text to enter new percentages.
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