There are four ways I can think of, three of which provide functional buttons.
One way is to set the _alpha property of the button to zero (0). This allows the button to be fully functional but invisible.
In a similar fashion, rather than setting the _alpha property of the button to zero, you draw the different parts of the button using graphics with their _alpha turned down to zero.
Another way is to create the button as a button symbol but only define its shape in the "Hit" frame. This allows the button to be fully functional and provides a semi-transparent image of it that you can see while working in the editing mode.
The third way is to set the button's _visible property to false. This makes the button both invisible and unable to interact with.
like this upButton._alpha=0;?
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That would be one way, applying a zero alpha to the button by code. You could also do this by setting the alpha in the properties panel, though doing it by code allows the button to remain visible while in the authoring mode.