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Locking Sprites

You used the arrow keys to move the paper sprite from within the two sprites making up the folder. You did this because selecting a sprite covered by another, or so close to another, is often difficult; you may end up selecting or moving the wrong sprite. There is another trick, new in Director 8, that helps in such situations: sprite locking.

Select the folder sprites in channels 2 and 4. Choose Modify > Lock Sprite.

In the score, you will see that the two sprites now have a closed lock icon at their first frames. When the sprites are no longer selected, you will see that they are also colored a slightly lighter color than the other, unlocked sprites.

Rewind the movie.

This puts the playback head back in frame 1 and the paper back inside the folder.

Click the folder and drag upward.

The folder sprites don't move, but the paper has been selected and moved out from between the other two sprites.

Choose Edit > Undo Score (Windows Ctrl+Z, Macintosh Command+Z) to restore the score and set the paper back where it came from.

This undo ability is handy to remember, and it works in many situations, not just in the score. If you accidentally delete a cast member, for example, the Edit menu will contain an Undo Cast option.

You can also use sprite locking to make sure that changes aren't accidentally made to a sprite after you are sure that the sprite is as you want it. A background image, for example, will generally never be moved once it is positioned. When trying to drag a small sprite on the stage, though, you can easily drag the background instead. By locking the background sprite, you can prevent this from happening.

On the stage, right-click (Windows) or Option+click (Macintosh) the background sprite. In the pop-up menu that appears, choose Lock Sprite.

Now try to select the background. Since the sprite is locked, you can't even select it. You can, however, still right-click or option+click a locked sprite and, in the menu that appears, choose Unlock Sprite.

Select the three locked sprites in the score and choose Modify > Unlock Sprite to unlock them.

Since we will be making changes to the sprites, we want them unlocked for this lesson.



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