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Lesson 6. Adding Basic Interactivity > Exploring the Actions Panel

Exploring the Actions Panel

You can attach actions to buttons, movie clips, or frames by using the Actions panel. In this exercise, you discover what's available in the panel.

Choose File > New. Select Frame 1, and choose Window > Actions.

You've just created a new movie and opened the Actions panel.

On the left side of the Actions panel is the toolbox list. The toolbox list contains all the pieces of ActionScript that you can add to your movie. On the right side of the Actions panel is the actions list. The actions list is where your script is created. When you double-click an item in the toolbox list, it appears in the actions list. (You can also drag items from the toolbox list to the actions list.) Below the two list windows is the parameters pane. When you're editing in normal mode, the parameters pane prompts you for the parameters (arguments) needed for each action.

You are not restricted to using the toolbox list or even scripting only in the actions list. In expert mode, you can import an external file into the actions list or write your own script directly in the actions list. You can also export the ActionScript in the actions list to an external file.


The name of the Actions panel varies depending on whether you're working with a frame or an object. You'll see that it is sometimes called the Frame Actions panel and sometimes called the Objects Actions panel. However, both of these panels are opened by choosing Window > Panels > Action or by clicking the actions icon in the launcher toolbar, so we use the generic name Actions panel when referring to either panel.

If necessary, click Basic Actions in the toolbox list to expand the category.

The toolbox list is divided into categories: Basic Actions, Actions, Operators, Functions, Properties, and Objects. For now, you're going to work with the items in the Basic Actions category.

In the Basic Actions category, select Go To and drag it to the actions list, or double-click it.

When you drag an item from the toolbox list to the actions list, that item is added to your ActionScript. In this case, you added the Go To action, which controls the movement of the timeline. The actual ActionScript reads gotoAndPlay (1);

Look at the parameters pane. Some actions in the toolbox list have parameters associated with them. The Go To action is one of those actions. You can see in the parameters pane that this action has Scene, Type, and Frame parameters. There's also an option called Go To and Play. The parameters can tell you what the line of ActionScript will do; this line tells the movie to go to Frame 1 of the current scene and play.

In the toolbox list, double-click the Stop action.

The Stop action is added to the actions list. It looks like this: stop ();

Choose File > Close.

You don't need to save the file; this exercise was just for practice. Now it's time to add some actions for real.



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