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Flash Terminology

  • Flash Authoring Tool – Creates / edits content for the web. Files stored in .FLA format.
  • Flash Plug-in – Installed automatically with most common browsers, but must be installed in the Web browser for the end user to see the content in the .SWF file.
  • Flash Projector – Does not require a Web browser to play. Can be distributed on CD-ROMs or disks. Stored in .EXE (Windows) or .HQX (Mac).

The Flash Interface

  • Timeline – allows you to control the static and moving elements in the project file using Layers, Playhead, Frames, and Status Bar.
  • Stage – where your animation and images appear. White area is visible to the end user.
  • Work Area – Light grey area around the Stage – invisible to the end user. You can place objects here until you want them to appear on the stage.
  • Zoom (box) – drop down menu that allows you to quickly zoom in and out of the contents of the Stage.
  • The Toolbox – contains tools that are necessary for creating and editing artwork.
  • The Panels – Color and Library commonly displayed. Others appear if selected (sometimes as tabs).
  • Property Inspector –Displays any relevant properties for objects, such as text, symbol instances, frames and component s.
  • Actions –A popup window where you can add interactivity to the objects (Press [F9] to open the window)
  • Workspace layout - (introduced CS4) allows you to select from layout templates


Classic Workspace default‎


  1. UT Martin (n.d.) Beginning Flash, Instructional Technology Center . Retrieved December 6, 2006 from http://www.utm.edu/departments/itc/handouts/Beginning_Flash.pdf


Verhaart, M. (2018). Flash10:Basics. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from http://www.virtualmv.com/wiki/index.php?title=Flash10%3ABasics