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Flipping, Rotating, and Skewing

Flash lets you flip, rotate, and skew selected elements. You can either manipulate elements freely with the free-transform tool's Rotate and Skew modifier or use a variety of commands to do the job with more precision.

To flip a graphic element

  1. Select the element you want to flip.
  2. Choose Modify > Transform.
  3. From the submenu (Figure 4.25), choose either of the following:
    • To reorient the element so that it spins 180 degrees around its horizontal central axis like a Rolodex file, choose Flip Vertical.
    • To reorient the element so that it spins 180 degrees around its vertical central axis like a weathervane, choose Flip Horizontal.
    Figure 4.25

    Figure 4.25 The Modify > Transform submenu offers commands for flipping graphic elements vertically and horizontally. It also provides commands for rotating an element in 90-degree increments, both clockwise and counterclockwise.

    Figure 4.26 shows the results of the two types of flipping.
    Figure 4.26

    Figure 4.26 The results of flipping an element by using the Flip commands in the Modify > Transform submenu.

To rotate an element in 90-degree increments

  1. Select the element you want to rotate.
  2. Choose Modify > Transform (Figure 4.28).
    Figure 4.28

    Figure 4.28 To rotate a selected element in 90-degree increments, use the Modify > Transform menu. Repeat the command to rotate the element 180, 270, or 360 degrees.

  3. From the submenu, choose either of the following:
    • To rotate the element clockwise 90 degrees, choose Rotate 90° CW.
    • To rotate the element counterclockwise 90 degrees, choose Rotate 90° CCW.

To rotate an element by a user-specified amount

  1. Access the Transform panel (Figure 4.29).

    If the panel isn't open, choose Window > Transform.

    Figure 4.29

    Figure 4.29 The Transform panel lets you rotate graphic elements in precise increments. Select the Rotate radio button and enter a value for the degrees of rotation. Positive values rotate the element clockwise; negative values rotate it counterclockwise.

  2. Click the Rotate radio button.
  3. To specify the direction and amount of rotation, do either of the following:
    • To rotate the element counterclockwise, enter a negative value (–1 to –360) in the Rotate field.
    • To rotate the element clockwise, enter a positive value (1 to 360).
  4. Press Enter.

To skew an element by a user-specified amount

  1. With the Transform panel open, select the element you want to skew.
  2. In the Transform panel, click the Skew radio button.
  3. Enter the desired skew values in the horizontal and vertical fields (Figure 4.31).
    Figure 4.31

    Figure 4.31 Use the Transform panel to skew selected elements. You can set separate values for horizontal and vertical skewing.

  4. To complete the transformation, press Enter.

To rotate or skew an element interactively

  1. Select an element to rotate or skew.
  2. In the Tools panel, select the free-transform tool; then click the Rotate and Skew modifier (Figure 4.32).
    Figure 4.32

    Figure 4.32 Select the free-transform tool's Rotate and Skew modifier to access handles for rotating or skewing a selected element interactively.

    Solid square handles appear on all four sides and at the corners of the element's bounding box.
  3. To modify the selected element, do either of the following:
    • To rotate the element, position the pointer over one of the corner handles.

      The pointer changes to a circular arrow. Click and drag to rotate the element. Flash spins the element around its transformation point (Figure 4.33).

      Figure 4.33

      Figure 4.33 With the free-transform tool's Rotate and Skew modifier selected, you can drag one of the corner handles of a selected element's bounding box to rotate that element (top). Drag one of the side handles to skew the element (bottom).

    • To skew the element, position the pointer over one of the side handles of the element's bounding box.

      The pointer changes to a two-way arrowhead. Click and drag the side handle to skew the element.

  4. Release the mouse button.

    Flash redraws the modified element.

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