Drawing ToolsExploring the Toolbox

The drawing tools in Flash are not as versatile as those found in some other graphics programs; even so, they can do a lot and you should use them for as many of your movie's graphic needs as possible. 

The Drawing Tools are located on one toolbar, called the Toolbox

The Toolbox is broken into 4 areas:

Open Flash MX and explore...


When you click and drag with the hand tool selected it will move your document around without making any changes, much like putting you hand on a piece of paper on your desk and pushing it around.
The magnifier tool will enlarge each time you click unless you go down to the options at the bottom of the toolbox and select the (-) to zoom out.


Colors We'll start with the Colors Area of the Toolbox before we move to the individual tools, because the color options for any drawing tool are best set before we actually draw with it.

The pencil icon in the Colors Area denotes Stroke Color Control. (Stroke is a fancy way of saying line or outline.) Click on the pencil - notice how the area around this section turns white? That's a quick visual check that let's you know the next modifications you make will affect that aspect of the tool you will be using.

The paint bucket icon denotes Fill Color Control. To activate the Fill Color Control click on the paint bucket. The area surrounding the pencil is now gray and the area around the bucket is white - we've now left the Stroke Color Control and moved on to the Fill Color Control.

At the bottom of the Colors Area are 3 small buttons: Color Options
  • Black/White
  • No Color
  • Swap Colors

These are pretty straightforward -- Black/White sets the colors for the Stroke and Fill to black and white. The control that is selected (has the white area around it) is the one that will be set to black. The No Color button shuts off the color for the Stroke or Fill, whichever is selected. When a specific drawing tool is not selected, the No Color button is grayed out because it cannot be used. Swap Colors is a quick way to reverse your selected Stroke and Fill colors.

Color ChipThe Color Chip next to the pencil and paint bucket icons opens a mini version of the Color Swatches panel for easy access to defined colors as well as the full color spectrum.

Flash is a vector-based graphics program. It does not store a straight line as a series of dots, but rather as an equation that expresses the size and location of the line.
While it is possible to import bitmap graphics in Flash, it's not wise to do too much of that because it bloats your file size.