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Flash 8: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

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Preparing to Draw

Even if you're familiar with animation software (but especially if you aren't), you need to know a few quick things before you roll up your sleeves and dive into Flash—sort of like the quick where's-the-turn-signal once-over you do when you jump into a rental car for the first time.

In this section, you see how to get around the Stage and how to customize your Flash document's properties. You'll also learn a couple of basic Flash terms you need to understand before you use the drawing tools (which you see how to do on Section 2.3.1).

But first you need to open a new Flash document page so that you can follow along at home. To do so, launch Flash and choose Create New Flash Document on the start screen. You can also create a new file using the Flash main menu. Here's how:

  1. From the main menu, choose File → New.

    The New Document window opens. If the window doesn't show the General tab shown in Figure 2-2, click that tab to make it active.

  2. In the Type list, select the type of new file you want to create and then click OK.

    The New Document window disappears and Flash displays a brand-new blank document. You can tell it's a new document by the name Flash gives it: for example, Untitled-1.

Customizing Your Stage

The Stage, as you may recall from Chapter 1, is your electronic canvas: it's where you'll be drawing your lines and shapes and adding your text. Figure 1-1 shows you the way the Stage appears the first time you create a new document in Flash. There's certainly nothing ...

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