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# 7.12. Getting a Movie Clip’s Boundaries

## Problem

You want to know the minimum and maximum x and y coordinates that determine the edges of a movie clip (its bounding box).

## Solution

Use the `getBounds( )` method.

## Discussion

You can determine the left, right, top, and bottom coordinates of a movie clip within its parent movie clip using a combination of the `_x`, `_y`, `_width`, and `_height` properties:

```left   = myMovieClip._x;
right  = left + myMovieClip._width;
top    = myMovieClip._y;
bottom = top + myMovieClip._height;```

While this technique works, it is rather intensive and inefficient when compared to the `getBounds( )` method. The `getBounds( )` method returns an object with four properties:

`xMin`

The leftmost x coordinate of the movie clip

`xMax`

The rightmost x coordinate of the movie clip

`yMin`

The topmost y coordinate of the movie clip

`yMax`

The bottommost y coordinate of the movie clip

The four properties define the bounding box of the visible content within the movie clip. (Note that y coordinates increase as you move down the screen, which is the opposite of the Cartesian coordinate system.) When you call `getBounds( )` without parameters, it returns an object with values relative to the movie clip’s coordinate system. You can also pass the method a reference to a target coordinate system (another movie clip) for which you want the returned object’s values to be given:

`// Include `DrawingMethods.as` from Chapter 4 for its `drawCircle(  )` method. #include "DrawingMethods.as" // Create a new movie clip and draw ...`

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