Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The tools panel in Flash CS4

This is an update from the tools panel in detail post. The tools panel is Flash CS4 has been updated with six new tools since I’ve written the previous post. Most of the twenty three tools should be familiar if you have used Flash 8 or Flash CS3 before.

In Flash CS4 there are many more tools available, so some of the tools share the same space. If you see a black triangle at the lower right of a tool, you can click it to access the other tools which share the same space. The tools panel can be displayed as one long column or a combination of two. It can also be collapsed or hidden from view. Below is an example of the tools panel. Note the names which have asterisks contain multiple tools.



1. Selection – Selecting and moving objects.
2. Subselection – Picking points on a path.
3. Free transform – Resizing, rotating and skewing objects.
Gradient transform - Applying gradient fills to an object.
4. 3D Rotation – Rotating the X, Y and Z positions of an object. (New tool)
3D Translation – Moving an object in the X, Y, and Z direction. (New tool)
5. Lasso – Selecting objects like a lasso.
6. Pen – Adding and deleting paths.
7. Text – Adding text to a fla file.
8. Line – Drawing straight lines.
9. Rectangle/Oval/Polystar – Drawing various primitive shapes.
10. Pencil – Drawing freehand lines.
11. Brush – Similar to the pen tool, you can draw brush strokes.
SprayBrush – Create graffiti style sprays to a fla file. (New tool)
12. Deco – Create various flowering vine and leaf patterns. (New tool)
13. Bone – This is for adding bones to animate an object using inverse kinematic (IK) animations. (New tool)
Bind – This is to be used in conjunction with the bone tool where you bind points from the bone tool. (New tool)
14. Paint bucket – Filling objects with colours.
15. Eye dropper – Selecting a sample colour.
16. Eraser – Erasing parts of objects.
17. Hand – Moving to different part of the document.
18. Zoom – Zooming in and out of a document.
19. Stroke colour – This is for changing the outline of an object.
20. Fill colour – This is fill the inside of an object.
21. No colour – Removing the current colour.
22. Swap Colour – Switching the fill and stroke colours around.

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