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Hour 1. Basics > Task: Use the Properties Panel to Inspect and Change Fill Colo...

Task: Use the Properties Panel to Inspect and Change Fill Colors

In this task, you'll use the Properties panel to inspect and change the fill colors. Here are the steps to follow:

Create a new file (File, New). Make sure that the Properties panel is open. Its default location is below the Stage. If you don't see it, just select Window, Properties. Finally, expand the Properties panel to its full size by clicking the tiny arrow at the bottom-right corner of the panel (as seen in Figure 1.10).

Figure 1.10. Click the Expand/Collapse arrow so that the Properties panel opens all the way (as shown).

Take a look at the Properties panel and notice the type of information listed (Size, Background, and so on). The point is, the Properties panel is about to change.

Select the Brush tool by clicking once in the Tools panel (if the Tools panel is not available, you'll need to first select it from the Window menu). Notice that by simply selecting the Brush tool, the Properties panel has changed. Go ahead and paint a squiggly line on the Stage.

Before you draw again, select a different color from the Fill Color swatchin the Properties panel. Click the swatch and select a different color (as in Figure 1.11). This specifies what color you're about to paint.

Figure 1.11. Before you paint again, you can select a new color.

Paint another squiggly line (in the new color) on a blank area of the stage. Now, select the Arrow Tool (by clicking the black arrow at the top left of the Tools panel—or, simply type a “v”).

Click once on the first squiggly line to select it. Notice that the Properties panel changes again. Additional information about the shape's coordinates and size appear. While the shape is still selected, change the fill color by clicking on the Fill Color swatch in the Properties panel and picking a new color. (By the way, the swatch with a red line through it—Stroke Color—is for shapes drawn with the Pencil tool.)

The coordinate system in all multimedia tools (including Flash) refers to locations by pixels in the X (horizontal) axis and the Y (vertical) axis. The top-left corner of the screen (or Stage) is considered 0x,0y. As you move to the right, the X coordinate increases—for example, 100 pixels to the right has the location 100x, 0y. As you move down, the Y coordinate increases—the bottom-left corner of an 800×600 screen has the location 0x, 600y. Just remember that Y coordinates increase as you move down (not up, like you might expect). Here's an interesting challenge: What happens if you set the location of an object to –1000x? It's moved offscreen 1,000 pixels to the left.

Finally, make both squiggly shapes the same color. Make sure that you still have one shape selected and then click and release on the Fill Color swatch. Then (while the cursor looks like an eye-dropper) click on the other squiggly shape to sample its color. This is just a quick example of how the cursor changes to tell you what will happen when you click.



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