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Part I: Getting Started with Flash 5 > Finding Your Way with the Movie Explorer

Chapter 3. Finding Your Way with the Movie Explorer

Back in the days of Flash 3 and 4, inheriting a complex Flash project from another designer or programmer could be nothing short of a nightmare. Teasing apart a large file, particularly one with lots of nested symbols, named instances, and ActionScript, could take hours. In some cases, it could take days. Flash 5 came to the rescue with the introduction of the Movie Explorer.

The Movie Explorer gives you a quick snapshot of your entire Flash movie in the form of a hierarchical tree (see Figure 3.1). It displays the complete contents of your movie scene-by-scene, layer-by-layer, and frame-by-frame. You can now find every symbol, every instance name, and every single line of ActionScript in your movie, something you could never do before. Better yet, you can even print a copy of your movie’s structure so that you can keep a record of its evolution over time.

Figure 3.1. The Movie Explorer is a great addition to Flash 5. It enables you to quickly find all the elements in your movie.

In this chapter, you’ll take a look at the following:

  • Learning the new Movie Explorer interface. Get familiar with the new Movie Explorer.

  • Using the filters in the Movie Explorer. By using the Filter buttons, you can set up the Movie Explorer to show specific types of elements. You also can set up a custom filter.

  • Searching your movie using the Find Text input field. You can search for specific elements in a Flash Movie by using the Find Text input field. This is great for finding all the instances of a symbol in a movie—something that used to be very difficult.

  • Using the Options menu. The Options menu in the Movie Explorer gives you an alternate method for working with your hierarchical movie tree.

  • Finding and replacing fonts using the Movie Explorer. If you’ve ever had one of those miserable days when the boss decided that she wanted to change every single font in your Flash project, you’ll appreciate this feature. You can change not only your fonts, but also the actual text without ever leaving the Movie Explorer. (See Figure 3.1.)



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