Basic tools

The basic tools you will need to start with in Flash are the line , shapes , pencil and brush

The line will draw with the current stroke color when you click and drag on the stage. Line properties (color, thickness and pattern) can be changed with the properties inspector after the line is drawn.

The shapes work much the same way, with the stroke color making a separate shape around the outside and the fill color making a shape on the inside.

As soon as you draw a shape it becomes separate pieces in Flash. When you click on a shape with the arrow tool to select it, you can see that the part you have selected is patterned. The filling of the yellow circle below has been selected. When you click and drag, the filling will move but not the lines.

fill selected fill moved stroke selected and moved

An odd thing about Flash is that whatever you select is on "top", and when you move one thing on top of another it erases what was below it. Later on, we'll learn to make layers and group things so they don't suffer this problem!

The pencil is for drawing thin lines of any color and the brush allows you to paint with either solid colors or patterns created with the color mixer..

Another handy tool is the resize tool. Just click this tool, then click any object on the screen and you can resize, rotate and skew. Level 2 will introduce these features, and more.

Selection tools

At the top of the toolbox are the selection tools. The dark arrow is the ordinary selection arrow, I strongly suggest you use this to start with! Just click and drag AROUND the shapes you want to select to select them and move them together.

The white arrow is a sub-select tool that allows you to move parts of an object and has a style all its own. The lasso is handy for grabbing an oddly shaped section you want to move, change or delete.