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Chapter 16. Debugging a Movie > Debugging with the ActionScript Editor

Debugging with the ActionScript Editor

The ActionScript editor has been updated in a number of ways to make it easier to use edit and debug scripts. When you’re debugging a Flash movie, the traditional wisdom is to try to push it until it breaks, and then figure out why it broke. However, once you find out what’s broke, it’s very possible that you’re going to have to work on the ActionScript’s that drive the movie. That’s where the Actions panel comes into play. The designers of Flash include high-end editing and debugging features to make debugging easier. You can quickly set and remove breakpoints using the Debug Options button () to check different parts of your code to determine if it’s working correctly. You can also work in the Actions panel in Script Assist mode (formally known as Normal mode) (), in which you filled in options and parameters to create code. It was a great way for novice ActionScript coders to learn programming.

Use the ActionScript Editor

Script Assist. You can view, write, and edit scripts using a visual interface that includes automatic syntax completion and parameter descriptions ().

Word wrapping. Click the Options pop-up menu in the Script pane to enable or disable word wrapping.

Viewing context-sensitive Help. When your pointer is positioned over an ActionScript element in the Actions toolbox or in the Script pane, you can click the Reference button in the context menu to display a help page about that element.

Importing scripts. When you select Import Script from the pop-up menu in the Actions panel, the imported script is copied into the script at the insertion point in the active code file.

Single-click breakpoints. To add a debugging breakpoint before a line of code in the Debugger panel or the Script pane of the Actions panel, click in the left margin.

Pinning multiple scripts. You can pin multiple scripts within a FLA file along the bottom of the Script pane in the Actions panel.

Script navigator. The Script navigator is a visual representation of the structure of your Flash (.fla) file; you can navigate through the file to locate the ActionScript code.

Integrated Script window for editing external files. (Flash Professional only). You can use the ActionScript editor in a Script window (separate from the Actions panel) to write and edit external script files.

Syntax coloring. Syntax coloring utilizes a user-defined set of colors to display the code entered into the Script pane. Click the Flash menu, and then click Preferences (Mac), or click the Edit menu, and then click Preferences. Click the ActionScript Preferences tab to modify the syntax coloring, font and size, or the scripting text.

Instant Syntax Checking. Click the Check Syntax button to get an instant evaluation of the current script.

Code Hint. Click the Show Code Hint button, and then Flash will give you a hint of what to do next.

Debug Options. Click the Debug Options button to set and remove breakpoints ().



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