The following additional video tutorials describe the Flash Professional work area and workflow.
Identifying the elements of the Flash workspace
Most things in Flash can be done either with or without ActionScript. The things that actually require ActionScript are non-linear playback, and any situation where the author prefers to avoid using the Timeline.
General Flash workflow
Arrange the media elements on the Stage and in the Timeline to define when and how they appear in your application.
Apply graphic filters (such as blurs, glows, and bevels), blends, and other special effects as you see fit.
Write ActionScript® code to control how the media elements behave, including how the elements respond to user interactions.
Test your FLA file (Control > Test Movie) to verify that your application is working as you intended and find and fix any bugs you encounter. You should test the application throughout the creation process. You can test your file in Flash Pro, the AIR Debug Launchers, and on-device via USB (Flash CS5.5 only).
Publish your FLA file (File > Publish) as a SWF file that can be displayed in a web page and played back with Flash® Player.
Depending on your project and your working style, you might use these steps in a different order.
For more help getting started with the Flash Professional workflow, see the following:
Article: Introducing Adobe Flash Professional:
Article: Creating a simple document in Flash Professional: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/flash_cs4_createfla.html
Video: Flash Workflow Basics: http://www.adobe.com/go/lrvid4053_fl
Flash overview: www.adobe.com/go/lrvid4053_fl
Flash workflow: www.adobe.com/go/vid0132
Creating your first interactive Flash file: www.adobe.com/go/vid0118
You create and manipulate your documents and files using various elements, such as panels, bars, and windows. Any arrangement of these elements is called a workspace. The workspaces of the different applications in Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 share the same appearance so that you can move between the applications easily. You can also adapt each application to the way you work by selecting from several preset workspaces or by creating one of your own.
Although the default workspace layout varies in different products, you manipulate the elements much the same way in all of them.
The Application bar across the top contains a workspace switcher, menus (Windows only), and other application controls. On the Mac for certain products, you can show or hide it using the Window menu.
The Tools panel contains tools for creating and editing images, artwork, page elements, and so on. Related tools are grouped.
The Control panel displays options for the currently selected tool. In Illustrator, the Control panel displays options for the currently selected object. (In Adobe Photoshop® this is known as the Options bar. In Adobe Flash®, Adobe Dreamweaver®, and Adobe Fireworks® this is known as the Property Inspector and includes properties of the currently selected element.)
The Document window displays the file you’re working on. Document windows can be tabbed and, in certain cases, grouped and docked.
Panels help you monitor and modify your work. Examples include the Timeline in Flash, the Brush panel in Illustrator, the Layers panel in Adobe Photoshop®, and the CSS Styles panel in Dreamweaver. Panels can be grouped, stacked, or docked.
The Application frame groups all the workspace elements in a single, integrated window that lets you treat the application as a single unit. When you move or resize the Application frame or any of its elements, all the elements within it respond to each other so none overlap. Panels don’t disappear when you switch applications or when you accidentally click out of the application. If you work with two or more applications, you can position each application side by side on the screen or on multiple monitors.
If you are using a Mac and prefer the traditional, free-form user interface, you can turn off the Application frame. In Adobe Illustrator®, for example, select Window > Application Frame to toggle it on or off. (In Flash, the Application frame is on permanently for Mac, and Dreamweaver for Mac does not use an Application frame.)
A. Tabbed Document windows B. Application bar C. Workspace switcher D. Panel title bar E. Control panel F. Tools panel G. Collapse To Icons button H. Four panel groups in vertical dock
(Illustrator, Adobe InCopy®, Adobe InDesign®, Photoshop, Fireworks)To hide or show all panels, including the Tools panel and Control panel, press Tab.
(Illustrator, InCopy, InDesign, Photoshop) To hide or show all panels except the Tools panel and Control panel, press Shift+Tab.
Tip: You can temporarily display hidden panels if Auto-Show Hidden Panels is selected in Interface preferences. It’s always on in Illustrator. Move the pointer to the edge of the application window (Windows®) or to the edge of the monitor (Mac OS®) and hover over the strip that appears.
(Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks) To hide or show all panels, press F4.
You can display the tools in the Tools panel in a single column, or side by side in two columns. (This feature is not available in the Tools panel in Fireworks and Flash.)
In InDesign and InCopy, you also can switch from single-column to double-column (or single-row) display by setting an option in Interface preferences.
Manage windows and panels
You can create a custom workspace by moving and manipulating Document windows and panels. You can also save workspaces and switch among them. For Fireworks, renaming custom workspaces can lead to unexpected behavior.
The following examples use Photoshop for demonstration purposes. The workspace behaves the same in all the products.
To rearrange the order of tabbed Document windows, drag a window’s tab to a new location in the group.
To undock (float or untab) a Document window from a group of windows, drag the window’s tab out of the group.
note: In Photoshop you can also choose Window > Arrange > Float in Window to float a single Document window, or Window > Arrange > Float All In Windows to float all of the Document windows at once. See tech note kb405298 for more information.
note: Dreamweaver does not support docking and undocking Document windows. Use the Document window’s Minimize button to create floating windows (Windows), or choose Window > Tile Vertically to create side-by-side Document windows. Search “Tile Vertically” in Dreamweaver Help for more information on this topic. The workflow is slightly different for Macintosh users.
To dock a Document window to a separate group of Document windows, drag the window into the group.
To create groups of stacked or tiled documents, drag the window to one of the drop zones along the top, bottom, or sides of another window. You can also select a layout for the group by using the Layout button on the Application bar.
note: Some products do not support this functionality. However, your product may have Cascade and Tile commands in the Window menu to help you lay out your documents.
To switch to another document in a tabbed group when dragging a selection, drag the selection over the document’s tab for a moment.
note: Some products do not support this functionality.
A dock is a collection of panels or panel groups displayed together, generally in a vertical orientation. You dock and undock panels by moving them into and out of a dock.
To dock a panel, drag it by its tab into the dock, at the top, bottom, or in between other panels.
To dock a panel group, drag it by its title bar (the solid empty bar above the tabs) into the dock.
To remove a panel or panel group, drag it out of the dock by its tab or title bar. You can drag it into another dock or make it free-floating.
You can prevent panels from filling all the space in a dock. Drag the bottom edge of the dock up so it no longer meets the edge of the workspace.
As you move panels, you see blue highlighted drop zones, areas where you can move the panel. For example, you can move a panel up or down in a dock by dragging it to the narrow blue drop zone above or below another panel. If you drag to an area that is not a drop zone, the panel floats freely in the workspace.
The position of the mouse (rather than the position of the panel), activates the drop zone, so if you can’t see the drop zone, try dragging the mouse to the place where the drop zone should be.
A. Title bar B. Tab C. Drop zone
Press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) while moving a panel to prevent it from docking. Press Esc while moving the panel to cancel the operation.
If you remove all panels from a dock, the dock disappears. You can create a dock by moving panels to the right edge of the workspace until a drop zone appears.
To remove a panel, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) its tab and then select Close, or deselect it from the Window menu.
To add a panel, select it from the Window menu and dock it wherever you want.
To rearrange panels in a group, drag a panel’s tab to a new location in the group.
To remove a panel from a group so that it floats freely, drag the panel by its tab outside the group.
To move a group, drag the title bar (the area above the tabs).
When you drag a panel out of its dock but not into a drop zone, the panel floats freely. The floating panel allows you to position it anywhere in the workspace. You can stack floating panels or panel groups so that they move as a unit when you drag the topmost title bar.
To stack floating panels, drag a panel by its tab to the drop zone at the bottom of another panel.
To change the stacking order, drag a panel up or down by its tab.
note: Be sure to release the tab over the narrow drop zone between panels, rather than the broad drop zone in a title bar.
To remove a panel or panel group from the stack, so that it floats by itself, drag it out by its tab or title bar.
To minimize or maximize a panel, panel group, or stack of panels, double-click a tab. You can also double-click the tab area (the empty space next to the tabs).
To resize a panel, drag any side of the panel. Some panels, such as the Color panel in Photoshop, cannot be resized by dragging.
You can collapse panels to icons to reduce clutter on the workspace. In some cases, panels are collapsed to icons in the default workspace.
To collapse or expand all panel icons in a column, click the double arrow at the top of the dock.
To expand a single panel icon, click it.
To resize panel icons so that you see only the icons (and not the labels), adjust the width of the dock until the text disappears. To display the icon text again, make the dock wider.
To collapse an expanded panel back to its icon, click its tab, its icon, or the double arrow in the panel’s title bar.
Tip: In some products, if you select Auto-Collapse Icon Panels from the Interface or User Interface Options preferences, an expanded panel icon collapses automatically when you click away from it.
To add a floating panel or panel group to an icon dock, drag it in by its tab or title bar. (Panels are automatically collapsed to icons when added to an icon dock.)
To move a panel icon (or panel icon group), drag the icon. You can drag panel icons up and down in the dock, into other docks (where they appear in the panel style of that dock), or outside the dock (where they appear as floating icons).
Save and switch workspaces
By saving the current size and position of panels as a named workspace, you can restore that workspace even if you move or close a panel. The names of saved workspaces appear in the workspace switcher in the Application bar.
(Illustrator) Choose Window > Workspace > Save Workspace.
(Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy) Choose Window > Workspace > New Workspace.
(Dreamweaver) Choose Window > Workspace Layout > New Workspace.
(Flash) Choose New Workspace from the workspace switcher in the Application bar.
(Fireworks) Choose Save Current from the workspace switcher in the Application bar.
In Photoshop, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to each workspace to navigate among them quickly.
Select Manage Workspaces from the workspace switcher in the Application bar, select the workspace, and then click Delete. (The option is not available in Fireworks.)
(Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy) Select Delete Workspace from the workspace switcher.
(Illustrator) Choose Window > Workspace > Manage Workspaces, select the workspace, and then click the Delete icon.
(Photoshop, InDesign) Choose Window > Workspace >Delete Workspace, select the workspace, and then click Delete.
Select the Default or Essentials workspace from the workspace switcher in the application bar. For Fireworks, see the article http://www.adobe.com/devnet/fireworks/articles/workspace_manager_panel.html.
In Dreamweaver, Designer is the default workspace.
In Photoshop, workspaces automatically appear as you last arranged them, but you can restore the original, saved arrangement of panels.
To restore an individual workspace, choose Window > Workspace > Reset Workspace Name.
To restore all the workspaces installed with Photoshop, click Restore Default Workspaces in the Interface preferences.
To rearrange the order of workspaces in the application bar, drag them.