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Home : Tutorials : Flash 5 : Part 3

Flash 5 Tutorial
Part 3 - More Tools


In the last part of the tutorial I showed you some of the basic drawing tools in Flash. Before I show you how to create animations in Flash, I will first explain some more of the tools available to you. These tools are not as important as the ones I showed you last week but, to create good animations, it is useful to know how to use all the tools.

Ink Bottle

The ink bottle tool is quite useful. If you have a block of colour (for example one created with the paintbrush - which will be covered later in this tutorial) you can click on it to add a line round the edge. The colour of the line placed round the edge will be the same as the colour selected as line colour on the tools bar.

Dropper Tool

The dropper tool, like the ones in graphics software, is used to pick a colour off one part of the screen and use it as the fill or line colour. If you click on a fill, the fill colour will be set and the pointer will change to the fill tool. If you click on a line, the line colour will be set and the pointer will change to the ink bottle tool.

Eraser Tool

The eraser tool is used to rub things out on the stage. It is used by just clicking and holding down the mouse. It does have a few options though:

The large section at the bottom is used to select the size and shape of the eraser brush. On the right at the top is the faucet tool. This makes the eraser work like the fill tool - you just have to click once to remove the fill from an area. The part on the left is the special option. This allows you to choose the type of eraser you use. The default is Erase Normal, which works like a normal eraser tool. Some of the other options are:
  • Erase Fills which will leave all lines intact as you use the eraser but will rub out fills
  • Erase Lines which leaves fills but rubs out lines
  • Erase Inside which allows you to erase inside a shape without harming the edges

Paintbrush Tool

The paintbrush tool will paint lines all the time you have the mouse button held down. It has some options, though, which are like the eraser tool options:
  • Paint fills, will only paint inside a shape
  • Paint Behind, which will paint behind all shapes and fills

Pencil Tool

The pencil tool allows you to draw lines on the screen. It is different to a normal freehand tool, though, as it has three options which can be set:

This option will allow you to choose what flash does to your line once you have drawn it. The default option is Straighten. Flash will straighten out your line so that any part of it that is almost straight will be made into a straight line. The two other options are smooth and ink. Smooth will change your line so that it is smoothed out to make curves. The ink option will not make so many changes to your line but will still smooth it a bit and straighten some lines.

The Text Tool

The text tool is used for adding text to your flash movies. Just click on the stage where you want the text to appear and a cursor will appear, where you can type in your text. To make chan
ges you need to use the character palette:

The options here are quite self explanitary. The font section lets you choose the font for the text. With flash all fonts are embeded in the file so the user does not need to have the font on their computer. Below that is the size box which lets you choose the text size. Next to that are the normal bold, italic and colour options. Below that is the Tracking option. This allows you to choose how spaced out the characters are. At 0 the spacing is normal. If you increase this, spaces will be left between your characters. If you decrese it, your characters will start to overlap. The option below this is the superscript/subscript option and below this you can specify a URL for a link.

Part 4

In this part you have learnt most of the standard tools in Flash. In the next part of the tutorial I will show you how to create Symbols and how to create your first animation.

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