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Target Paths

A target path is essentially an object name, or a series of object names separated by dots, that tells Flash where to find a particular object. To control movie-clip Timelines, you specify both the target path for a particular movie clip and its method. The target path tells Flash which movie-clip instance to look at, and the method tells Flash what to do with that movie-clip instance. The methods that control the playhead are gotoAndStop(), gotoAndPlay(), play(), stop(), nextFrame(), and prevFrame(). If you name a movie-clip instance myClock, for example, you can write the ActionScript statement myClock.gotoAndStop(10), and the playhead within the movie-clip instance called myClock will move to frame 10 and stop there. myClock is the target path, and gotoAndStop() is the method.

In the Parameters pane of the Actions panel, the Insert Target Path button opens the Insert Target Path dialog box, which provides a visual way to insert a target path (Figure 5.5). All named movie-clip instances, button instances, and text fields are shown in a hierarchical fashion in the display window. You can select individual objects, and the correct target paths appear in the Target field.


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