Introduction to the Flash Editor

The main Editor screen
Flash Editor with Default Panel Set Open

Show or hide toolbars
Show or Hide Toolbars
Toolbars: Toolbars can be floated by grabbing them with your cursor and dragging them around your desktop. To re-dock a toolbar, just drag it to either side or the top and let go of it. You can choose which toolbars to view by clicking on "Window" in the menu bar at the top of the Editor screen.
Hold your cursor over a tool
Tool Label with Shortcut
The Drawing Tools Toolbar: Hold your cursor over a tool and a label will pop up indicating the tool name. There may also be a letter in brackets - this is the shortcut key for that tool. After you select a drawing tool like the circle, square, pencil or brush, click and drag on stage to draw.

The Work Area (Offstage): Items in this gray area will not show up in your published movie. This area can be used as a backstaging area to hide an object for a few frames while it waits it's turn to come on stage. 

The Stage: Items in this white area are "on stage" and will appear in your published movie. The stage has several properties which can be changed, including size and color. This is discussed in more detail later in this lesson.

The Timeline Panel: The Timeline displays and controls the organization of your movie's frames and layers.

The Properties Inspector displays the settings for the currently selected item on stage and allows you to make changes to the properties.

The Panel Set displays more detailed options, tools and resources such as the color mixer, library, form components, and help screens. You can choose which panels to display and expand or collapse them as needed.

The Status Bar: The gray bar at the bottom of the Flash editor displays a brief message (Tool Tip) explaining the use of a tool when your mouse moves over the tool . The Status Bar can be displayed or hidden by going to Window > Toolbars and checking or unchecking "Status".

Examples of Tool Labels & Tool tips in the status bar
Status Bar with Tool Tip

To set up your display to look like the one at the top of this page:

  1. Click on Window > Toolbars and make sure Main and Status are checked.
  2. Click on Window > Panel Set > Default.
  3. If your [Drawing] Tools Toolbar is floating, drag it over to the left side and dock it.