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Flash CS5.5: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover

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Chapter 16. Components for Interactivity

Creating common Flash elements like playback controls (Play and Pause buttons), text fields, checkboxes, and buttons can add up to a lot of grunt work. Since they pretty much look the same in every animation, some kind Flash developers did the grunt work for you and put ready-made versions of these Flash bits and pieces—called components—right into the program.

A component is a compiled, prebuilt movie clip that you can drag onto the stage and customize. Flash comes with dozens of components (Figure 16-1). If you do a lot of work in Flash, you’ll appreciate the time that components can save you. But another great thing about components is the consistency they give. For example, the user interface components discussed in this chapter all look like they belong together. If you don’t like their style, Flash gives you some convenient ways to change their appearance. So, if you’re working in a design shop, you can add time-tested components to your projects and still give each client a look that matches her image and brand.

There’s a consistency in the way you work with components, which also makes them easy to use. This chapter starts off showing you how to add, modify, and write code for the Button and ColorPicker components. By the time you’re done, you’ll not only know how to work with Button components, but you’ll also be 90 percent of the way to knowing how to use the other Flash components.

After you learn how to add, modify, and program a ...

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