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Appendix D: ActionScript Quick Reference

Appendix D. ActionScript Quick Reference

This appendix is a condensed reference for some of the ActionScript you used in this book. It is organized in alphabetical order, starting with operators. For a complete ActionScript reference, choose Help > ActionScript Dictionary from Macromedia Flash.

Name Syntax and Description Examples
–– (decrement)
--expression
expression--

Subtracts 1 from the expression. The pre-decrement form (--expression) subtracts 1 from expression and returns the result. The post-decrement form subtracts 1 from the expression and returns the initial value of the expression.
--myVar;
– (subtraction and negation)
-expression1
expression1-expression2

Used for subtraction and negation. If used for negation, it reverses the sign of the expression. If used for subtraction, it finds the difference between the two numbers
x = 5;
y = 4:
trace(-x);
trace(x-y);

The Output window would display –5, then 1.
!= (inequality) expression1 != expression2 Tests for inequality. If expression1 is not equal to expression2, the result is true. 1 != 2 returns true.
#include #include "filename.as" Includes the contents of the file specified in the argument #include "style.as"
&& (logical AND) expression1 && expression2 Performs a Boolean (true or false) operation on both expressions. Both expression1 and expression2 must be true for the operator to return a final result of true.
x = 10;
y = 20;
if ((x == 10) && (y == 20)) {
  trace ("ZooMX is great!");
}

The Output window would display: ZooMX is great!
* (multiplication) expression1*expression2 Multiplies two numbers. trace (2*4); The Output window would display 8.
. (dot operator)
object.property
object.method
instancename.variable
instancename.child.variable

Used to navigate movie-clip hierarchies to access nested movie clips, variables, or properties. The dot operator is also used to retrieve or set the properties of an object, execute a method of an object, or create a data structure.
The following identifies the color property of the animal object: animal.color
/ (division) expression1/expression2 Divides expression1 by expression2. trace (21/3); The Output window would display 7.
///* … */ (comment delimiters)
// comment here
/* comment here */

Inserts a comment into your code that is ignored by the ActionScript interpreter.
/* set value of the variable
called common
*/
common = "Bactrian Camel";

_alpha
instancename._alpha
instancename._alpha = value;

Sets or gets the alpha transparency (0 is fully transparent, 100 fully opaque).
mPiece._alpha = 50; Sets the alpha property of the movie clip called mPiece to 50%.
_height
instancename._height
instancename._height = value;

Sets or retrieves the height of the space occupied by the movie clip.
this._height = 200;
_level _levelN A reference to the root movie timeline of levelN. N is an integer specifying depth level (default 0). You must load movies using the loadMovie action before targeting them using _level property. _level2.gotoAndStop("rf");
_name
instancename._name
instancename._name = value;

Specifies the movie-clip instance name.
trace(this._name);
_root
_root
_root.movieClip
_root.method

Specifies or returns a reference to the root movie timeline.
_root.mc1
_root.gotoAndStop(4);

_visible
instanceName._visible
instanceName._visible = Boolean

Determines whether or not the movie specified by the instanceName is visible.
mPiece._visible = false;
_width
instancename._width
instancename._width = value;

Sets or retrieves the width of the space occupied by the movie clip.
this._width = 300;
_x
instanceName._x
instanceName._x = integer;

Sets or retrieves the x-coordinate relative to the parent timeline.
mPiece._x = 10;
_y
instanceName._y
instanceName._y = integer

Sets or retrieves the y-coordinate relative to the parent timeline.
mPiece._y = 10;
|| (logical OR) expression1 && expression2 Performs a Boolean (true or false) operation on both expressions. The operator will return a final result of true if either expression1 or expression2 is true.
x = 10;
y = 20;
if ((x == 10) || (y == 10)) {
  trace ("ZooMX is great!");
}

The Output window would display: ZooMX is great!
" " (string delimiter) "text" When used before and after a string, quotes indicate that the string is a literal, not a variable, numerical value, or other ActionScript element. obj = "image" + i;
+ (addition) expression1 + expression2 Adds numeric expressions and concatenates strings. If one expression is a string, all other expressions are converted to strings and concatenated. If both expressions are integers, the sum is an integer; if either or both expressions are floating-point numbers, the sum is a floating-point number. Example 1 :

trace(1+2);

The Output window would display 3.

Example 2 :

When myVar = "lion", the following expression returns "Oh no! It's a lion!":

trace("Oh no! It's a " +myVar+"!");
++ (increment)
++expression
expression++

Adds 1 to the expression. The pre-increment form (++expression) adds 1 to the expression and returns the result. The post-increment form adds 1 to the expression and returns the initial value of the expression.
++myVar;
+= (addition and assignment) expression1 += expression2

Assigns expression1 the value of expression1 + expression2.

x += y is equivalent to x = x+y
Example 1 :
x = 5;
x += 10;
trace (x);

The Output window would display 15.

Example 2 :

x = "I am afraid of";
x+=" lions!";
trace(x);

The Output window would display:

I am afraid of lions!
< (less than) expression1 < expression2 Compares two expressions and determines whether expression1 is less than expression2. 1 < 2 returns true.
<= (less than or equal to) expression1 <= expression2 Compares two expressions to determine if expression1 is less than or equal to expression2 in value. 4 <= 4 returns true. 5 <= 3 returns false.
= (assignment) expression1 = expression2 Assigns the type of expression2 to the variable, array element, or property in expression1. latin1 = "Pongo pygmaeus";
== (equality) expression1 == expression2 Tests two expressions for equality. If expression1 is equal to expression2, the result is true. When myVar = "lion", the following expression returns true: myVar == "lion"
> (greater than) expression1 > expression2 Compares two expressions to determine if expression1 is greater in value than expression2. 300 > 900 returns false
>= (greater than or equal to) expression1 >= expression2 Compares two expressions to determine if expression1 is greater than or equal to expression2. 8 >= 5 returns true 30 >= 30 returns true
Array.length myArray.length; Property of the Array object. This returns the length of the array. animals.length
Array.push MyArray.push(value); Adds the specified value to the end of the array.
animals = new Array("lion", "bear");
animals.push("tiger");
trace(animals);

The Output window will display: lions,bears,tigers
break break; Tells the ActionScript to skip the rest of the loop it is in.
x = 0;
while (true) {
  if (x >= 100) {
    break;
  }
  ++x;
}

delete delete (reference); Deletes the object or variable specified in reference. Useful for removing no-longer-needed variables in your ActionScript.
x = 10;
delete x;
lion.teeth = "large";
delete lion.teeth;

else else{statement(s)} Specifies the actions, clauses, arguments, or other conditional to run if the initial if statement returns false.
if (x == 2) {
  startDrag("myClip");
else{
  stopDrag();
}

else if
else if (expression) {
  statements
}

Specifies the actions, clauses, arguments, or other conditional to run if the initial if statement returns false and expression returns true.
if (x == 1) {
  gotoAndStop("africa");
} else if (x == 3) {
  gotoAndStop("asia");
}

eval eval(expression) Accesses variables, properties, objects, or movie clip by name. this._x = eval(this._droptarget)._x;
for
for (int; condition; next) {
  statement;
}

int: The expression to evaluate before beginning the loop sequence.

condition: An expression that evaluates to true or false. The loop will execute the commands contained in it until the condition evaluates to false.

next: An expression to evaluate after each loop, usually an assignment using ++ or --.

statement: The code that will execute when the condition is evaluated to true.

The loop evaluates the int value once, then begins a looping sequence until the condition evaluates to false.
for (var x = 0; x < 5; ++x) {
  trace ("ZooMX");
}

The output window would show:
ZooMX
ZooMX
ZooMX
ZooMX
ZooMX

function
function functionName (argument1, argument2){
  statement(s)
}

A set of defined statements that perform a certain task. You can define a function in one location and call it from a different movie. The arguments are optional.
function calcTax(price,tax){
  cost = price*tax + price
  return cost;
}

getTimer getTimer(); Returns the number of milliseconds that have elapsed since the movie started playing. time = getTimer(); returns a numeric value.
getURL getUrl(url [,window[,variables]]); Loads a document from a specific URL into a window, or passes variables to another application at a defined URL. getURL("http://www.flashtfs.com", "_blank")
globalStyleFormat globalStyleFormat.styleProperty

Object that lets you specify the style for all components in a movie. The styleProperty property can be one of the following:

arrow, background, backgroundDisabled,
check, darkshadow, face, foregroundDisabled,
highlight, radioDot, scrollTrack, selection,
selectionDisabled, selectionUnfocused,
shadow, textAlign, textBold, textColor,
textDisabled, textFont, textIndent,
textItalic, textLeftMargin, textRightMargin,
textSelected, textSize, textUnderline.

The applyChanges method applies the changes you define for the globalStyleFormat object.
globalStyleFormat.selection = 0xFF9933;
globalStyleFormat.applyChanges();

gotoAndPlay gotoAndPlay (frame); Sends the playhead to the specified frame and plays from that frame. gotoAndPlay(1);
gotoAndStop gotoAndStop(frame); Sends the playhead to the specified frame and stops at that frame. gotoAndStop(1);
if
if (condition){
  statement;
}

Evaluates the condition given. If the condition is true, Flash runs the statements that follow.
if (done != true) {
  this.startDrag();
}

loadMovie loadMovie (url [location/target, variables]]); Plays additional movies without closing the Flash Player. Use target to specify a particular movie-clip timeline. loadMovie("movie.swf", _root.targetMC);
loadVariables loadVariables (url [.location/target, variables]]); Reads data from an external file and sets values for variables in a movie or movie clip. Also see LoadVars. loadVariables("myvariables.txt", _root.variableTargetMC);
LoadVars.getBytesLoaded varsObject.getBytesLoaded() Returns the number of bytes loaded by the load or sendAndLoad method. done = myVars.getBytesLoaded();
LoadVars.getBytesTotal varsObject.getByteTotal() Returns the total bytes for a load or sendAndLoad method. total = myVars.getBytesTotal();
LoadVars.load varsObject.load(url); Loads the variables from the specified URL into the varsObject object.
myVars = new LoadVars();
myVars.load("data.cfm");

LoadVars.send varsObject.load(url, [target, method]); Sends the variables to the specified URL. The target parameter specifies the frame in which any result is displayed.
myVars = new LoadVars();
myVars.var1 = "update";
myVars.send("data.cfm", _blank);

LoadVars.sendAndLoad varsObject.load(url, targetObj, [method]); Loads the variables from the specified URL into the targetObj object.
myVars = new LoadVars();
myVars.var1 = "update";
myVars.sendAndLoad("data.cfm", myVars);

Math.abs Math.abs(x); Computes the absolute value of the number specified by x. Math.abs(-15);
Math.random Math.random(); Creates a random number between 0.0 and 1.0. trace (Math.random()); Outputs a random number.
MovieClip.attachMovie anyMovieClip.attachMovie(idname, newname, depth);

idname: The name of the movie in the library to attach.

newname: A unique instance name that is going to be attached.

depth: An integer specifying the depth level where the movie is being placed.

Creates a new instance of a movie and attaches it to the movie specified by anyMovieClip.
this.attachMovie("lion", "lion"+x, x);
MovieClip.getBytesLoaded anyMovieClip.getBytesLoaded() Returns the number of bytes loaded for a movie-clip instance. done = myClip.getBytesLoaded();
MovieClip.getBytesTotal anyMovieClip.getByteTotal() Returns the total bytes for a movie-clip instance. total = myClip.getBytesTotal();
MovieClip.gotoAndPlay anyMovieClip.gotoAndPlay(frame);

frame: The frame number or label where the playhead will be sent.

Starts playing the movie at the specified frame.
zoo.gotoAndPlay(413);
_level2.gotoAndPlay("rf");

MovieClip.gotoAndStop anyMovieClip.gotoAndStop(frame);

frame: The frame number or label where the playhead will be sent.

Goes to the frame specified and stop.
lion.gotoAndStop(73);
lion.gotoAndStop("growl");

MovieClip.loadMovie anyMovieClip.loadMovie(URL, variables);

URL: The absolute or relative URL for the SWF file to load.

variables: Specifies the method for sending variables. GET appends the variables to the end of the URL, POST send the variables in a separate HTTP header.

this.loadMovie("games.swf");
MovieClip.on… The MovieClip object has the following event handlers:
onData, onDragOut, onDragOver, onEnterFrame,
onKeyDown, onKeyUp, onKillFocus, onLoad,
onMouseDown, onMouseMove, onMouseUp, onPress,
onRelease, onReleaseOutside, onRollOut,
onRollOver, onSetFocus, onUnload

Each event handler is invoked when the event occurs. You can specify a function that will occur when the event handler is invoked:
anyMovieClip.onLoad = function() {
  function;
};

anyMovieClip.onLoad = function() {
  this._x = 10;
};

MovieClip.play anyMovieClip.play(); Plays the movie clip. lion1.play();
MovieClip.removeMovieClip anyMovieClip.removeMovieClip(); Removes the movie-clip instance created with the duplicateMovie action. lion1.removeMoveClip();
MovieClip.startDrag anyMovieClip.startDrag(lock, left, right, top, bottom);

lock: Specifies whether the draggable movie clip is locked to the center of the mouse position.

left, top, right, bottom: Values relative to the coordinates of the movie clip that constrains the drag of the clip.

this.startDrag();
MovieClip.stop anyMovieClip.stop(); Stops the movie clip that is referred to. lion1.stop();
MovieClip.stopDrag anyMovieClip.stopDrag(); Ends a drag action started with the startDrag method. this.stopDrag();
MovieClip.swapDepths
anyMovieClip.swapDepths(depth):
anyMovieClip.swapDepths(target);

target: The movie-clip instance that is being swapped.

depth: The depth level that the movie clip is being swapped to.

Swaps the depth of two movie clips.
lion1.swapDepths(lion2);
lion1.swapDepths(100);

MovieClip.unloadMovie anyMovieClip.unloadMovie(); Removes the movie clip that was loaded with the loadMovie or attachMovie method. lion2.unloadMovie();
new new constructor(arguments); Creates a new object, calls the function identified by the constructor argument, and passes additional optional arguments in the parentheses.
tiger = new Cat ("large", "aggressive");
kitten = new Cat ("tiny", "playful");

null null A special keyword that can be assigned to variables. It will be returned by a function if no data was provided.
if (common == null) {
  gotoAndStop(10);
}

on
on (mouseEvent) {
  statement;
}

The mouseEvent argument can be press, release, releaseOutside, rollOver, rollOut, dragOver, dragOut, KeyPress("key"). Specifies a mouse action or key press that triggers an action.
on (rollOver, dragOver) {
  gotoAndStop(5);
}
on (rollOut, dragOut) {
  gotoAndStop(10);
}

onClipEvent
onClipEvent(movieEvent) {
  statements;
}

movieEvent: An event that executes actions that are assigned in the statements of the onClipEvent. Can have one of the following events—load, unload, enterFrame, mouseMove, mouseDown, mouseUp, keyDown, keyUp, data.

Triggers actions defined in the statements for a specific instance of a movie clip.
onClipEvent(load) {
  gotoAndPlay(14);
}

play play(); Move the playhead forward on the timeline.
if (x == 2) {
  play();
} else {
  gotoAndPlay (45);
}

stop stop(); Stops the current timeline from playing.
if (x > 0 ) {
  stop();
}else {
  gotoAndStop(50);
}

this this A keyword that is used to refer to the current movie clip, the clip that contains the script.
//sets the x position of the
//current movie clip to 300
this._x = 300;

trace trace (expression); Evaluates the expression and displays the result in the Output window. Similar to the alert function in JavaScript.
trace (x+=5);
trace ("Hi everyone!");

undefined undefined A keyword indicating that a variable has not yet been assigned a value.
if (common == undefined) {
  gotoAndStop(10);
}

updateAfterEvent updateAfterEvent(); Updates the display after a movie-clip event has completed. updateAfterEvent();
while
while (condition) {
  statements;
}

Runs a series of statements in the loop as long as the loop conditions continues to be true.
while (x > 5) {
  trace(hammerhead);
  x++;
}



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