• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Lesson 3. Using Symbols and the Library > Using the Movie Explorer

Using the Movie Explorer

In earlier versions of Flash, keeping track of the structure of your Flash movie was difficult, especially when you were using ActionScripts or nested symbols. The Movie Explorer puts an end to the confusion. The Movie Explorer provides a hierarchical tree view of every element in your Flash movie. You can search, replace text and fonts, and find every instance of any symbol. You can also copy the contents of the Movie Explorer as text to the Clipboard or print the display list in the Movie Explorer.

Open neptune12.fla from your MyWork folder. Choose Window > Movie Explorer.

You open the Movie Explorer by choosing Window > Movie Explorer. The Movie Explorer window consists of a display list (the contents of the movie), a row of filtering buttons, and a Find text box. Like many other windows or panels in Flash, the Movie Explorer window has an options button in the top-right corner.

Deselect all the filtering buttons.

There are five filtering buttons, plus a customize button that you can use to customize which items to show. Click a filtering button to toggle it off or on. Filtering is on when the button appears to be pressed in and the background is white. (Filtering is off on all of the above buttons.)

You can view the hierarchical tree in two contexts: by movie elements, which are organized by scenes; and by symbol definitions. Currently, you have one scene, so the only movie element is Scene 1.

Click the first filtering button: the Show Text filter.

Text is embedded in a symbol in two places: the Tagline symbol and the Neptune Resorts Text symbol. These two symbols appear in the Movie Explorer.


You may also need to show the symbol definitions, by clicking on the Options button and choosing Show Symbol Definitions from the pop-up menu. If there's already a check next to this menu item, it's selected and you don't have to do anything.

Click the plus sign (+) (Windows) or the expand triangle (Macintosh) next to the Neptune Resorts Text symbol.

When you click a plus sign or expand triangle in the Movie Explorer, the item next to the plus sign expands, and you can see the filtered contents of that item. In this case, you're filtering for text, so you'll see information about the text in the Neptune Resorts Text symbol. To collapse a symbol definition, click the minus sign (–) or triangle next to the expanded definition.

Double-click the UNDERSEA ADVENTURES text in the Movie Explorer. When the text becomes editable, change it to AQUATIC ADVENTURES, and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh).

You can change the text in the symbol from within the Movie Explorer. When you modify the text, the change takes place not only in the Movie Explorer, but also on the stage. You can modify the properties of just about anything in the Movie Explorer. If you decide that you'd like to use a different font, for example, you can select the text in the Movie Explorer and then change the font in the Character panel.


After you select an item in the Movie Explorer, you can open all panels relevant to the item quickly by choosing Panels from the Options pop-up menu in the Movie Explorer window.

Save the movie to your MyWork folder as neptune13.fla.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint