Controlling Stacking Order
Complex Graphics on a Single Layer
Controlling Stacking Order
Within a single layer, text  elds, grouped
objects, drawing-objects, and primitives
stack as if they were sitting on sublay-
ers above any ungrouped merge-shapes.
Stacking order exists even if objects don’t
literally lie on top of one another. If you
have a group on one side of the Stage and a
drawing-object on the other, you can’t see
which one stacks higher than the other; but
if you drag the objects so they overlap, the
order becomes apparent. (Symbols, which
youll learn about in Chapter 7, are another
type of graphic-object that stacks on top of
ungrouped merge-shapes.)
Understanding Stacking Order
Merge-shapes on a single layer always stay on the same layer, segmenting one another
whenever they inhabit the same space on the Stage. All graphic-objects (drawing-objects,
primitives, text  elds, groups, and symbols) stack on top of one another. By default, Flash
stacks each new graphic-object that you create on top of the preceding one; the last graphic-
object created winds up on top of all the others (Figure 5.17). A higher-level graphic-object
obscures any graphic-object that lies directly beneath it.
Figure 5.17 This schematic shows Flash’s default stacking order for graphic-objects.
The most recently created graphic-object is on top. Merge-shapes are always on the bottom.
Primitive-shape created 7th
Drawing-object created 6th
Text fi eld created 5th
Group created 4th
Primitive-shape created 2nd
Merge-shape created 1st
Merge-shape created 3rd
Controlling Stacking Order
Chapter 5
Figure 5.18 Each dumbbell-like shape here is a
separate group (top). Choose Modify > Arrange >
Bring Forward (middle) to move a selected group up
one level in the stacking order (bottom).
You can change the stacking order of graphic-
objects via the Modify > Arrange menu. You can
move objects up or down in the stacking order
one level at a time, or you can send an object
to the top or bottom of the stack of sublayers.
To change position in a stack by
one level:
On the Stage, create at least three graphic-
Use any combination of grouped shapes,
drawing-objects, primitives, or text  elds.
Select one of the graphic-objects.
From the Modify > Arrange menu, choose
either of the following:
To move the selected item up one
level, choose Bring Forward, or press