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Lesson 2. Animated Bullet Lists > A Deeper Look at the Property Inspector

A Deeper Look at the Property Inspector

As mentioned before, the Property Inspector is context sensitive. That means that when you select an element in the Director environment, the Property Inspector changes its display to reflect the selected element. To completely cover all the variations of the Property Inspector, we would need to cover all of Director itself. That's a little too much for one section of this book, so we will pick one Director element, focus on the Property Inspector in that context, and add to your understanding as the need arises throughout this book.

In the Score, click frame 40, channel 6, to select this frame in the sprite.

This sprite is derived from text cast member 5.

On the toolbar, click the Property Inspector button.

The Property Inspector window appears and displays information about the selected sprite and the cast member from which the sprite is derived, plus additional information.

If the Property Inspector view is not a list, use the List View Mode button to switch from the graphic mode to the list mode.

Figure .

In this particular context, the Property Inspector has six tabs. From left to right, these are Sprite (the sprite that was selected), Behavior (the Lingo scripts attached to the sprite), Member (information about the cast member from which the sprite was derived), Text (information pertaining to the type of cast member), Grids and Guides (alignment tools that are common to the Stage), and Movie (information about the entire movie).

Click the Sprite tab.

A careful look at the properties shown for the sprite should reveal several familiar elements. For example, you should recognize startFrame and endFrame (the start and end frames), spriteNum (that's the sprite channel number), and member (the cast member for this sprite). The ink is a numerical representation of the Background Transparent ink you set for this sprite. If you click the arrow for the Ink property, a list of inks will appear similar to the Ink pull-down menu you used from the sprite toolbar in the score. The Ink property, like most of the properties, can be changed right here in the Property Inspector. Those properties that can't be changed have a symbol at the far left that looks like a pencil with a line through it (spriteNum, for example). The reason that some of the property names are a little different than the English you might use if you were designing the display is that the properties are actually Lingo words—the same words that you would use if you were using Director's programming language. Even though the property names may look a little funny, they generally convey the meaning well enough for anyone to understand.

Click the second tab from the left: the Behavior tab.

This list shows information about behaviors, or Lingo scripts, attached to the sprite. The discussion of behaviors constitutes a large portion of the second half of this book.

Click the Member tab.

Here you see the properties relating to the cast member for the sprite. Again, many of these properties are familiar (the cast member number and type, for example). Many of these properties are marked as unchangeable, although they can be changed by modifying the original cast member.

Click the Text tab.

Because you are dealing with a text sprite, a Text tab appears. If you had selected a bitmap sprite, you would instead see a Bitmap tab, with similar changes for other types of cast members. The Text tab provides access to properties that are specific to this particular type of cast member. Here you can determine whether the end user can edit the text on the stage (Editable), specify whether the text is anti-aliased, and set the text color (as you did in Lesson 1).

Click the Grids and Guides tab.

Grids and guides are alignment tools that appear on the stage and assist you in aligning sprites. You can set a guide at a certain location, for example, and cause sprites to snap to the guide location.

Click the Movie tab.

The information on the Movie tab applies to the movie as a whole. The bgColor property, for example, sets the background color of the stage. This property doesn't affect the current project because a background graphic covers the entire stage, but in some projects you may place a number of smaller images on the stage, with the background color of the stage showing behind them.

Note the graphic view of the Property Inspector will generally show some different properties than the list view.

With the Movie tab still selected, click the List View Mode button to show the graphic mode for the Property Inspector.

Now you see the stage color (which was shown in the list view) identified by a paint bucket. The stage size (which was not shown in the list view) is shown as 640 x 480.



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