18 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2011 6:33 AM by barpos

    How to improve the workspace in Flash

    barpos Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I'm new to Flash, yet I'd really like to make my workspace more efficient.

       

      Currently, in order to access the Actions window, I have to choose the Actions layer, then either press F9 or right-click on the first frame, then click on Actions.  That's why TOO MUCH work, especially when I'm leaning back in my chair and can't reach that F9 key. <g>

       

      So, my question is, is there a way to make it as efficient as when I switch to an .AS file for editing?  Is there a way to configure Flash so that when I choose the Actions layer in the timeline flash automatically brings up the Actions editor at the exact same location (where the stage is) as when editing in .AS file?

       

      Regards,

       

      Ron

        • 1. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
          *Q Level 3

          Hold down Alt key and double click the frame on the action layer. That should open up the Action panel. Once you're done with the Action panel, just close it. The next time you open it, it should be where you left it.

          • 2. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
            barpos Level 1

            Hmmm, I knew that. <g>

             

            Anyhow, I've decided to attach the actions window on the top left of the workspace permenantly although I can minimize it when needed.  I have a large monitor, so a lot of room to work with.

             

            I'm pinning all the needed layers so they are easy to access.  My only wish would be to be able to autosave those pinnings for when I close and reopen the document they are still intact.

             

            Regards,

             

            Ron

            • 3. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
              *Q Level 3

              What do you mean "pinning all the needed layers so they are easy to access"? That sounds interesting.

              • 4. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                ChrisH Level 1

                Hi qkhong,

                across the top of Flash in the application bar you may see the term "Essentials", or another word sitting by itself on the right.

                Click on this to choose your workspace (layout).  You can try the different pre-formatted ones, but you can also make a custom Workspaces by clicking on this and choosing  "New Workspace..."

                Hope this helps.

                 

                Best Regards

                Chris

                • 5. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                  *Q Level 3

                  Thanks Chris. Saving the current workspace as you described is a good idea.

                   

                  But pinning the panel and make it available when you close/reopen document made me think of these panel in icon mode. When the panel is resized to icon mode (minimized until only the icon is showing), you can set for the flyout panel to not close when you close document or when you click on stage. In the Preferences panel General category, you can uncheck "Auto-Collapse Icon Panels".

                  • 6. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                    barpos Level 1

                    Well, first you open an Actions window from a keyframe, then you click on the push pin icon at the bottom of the window.  You repeat the process for all layers with actions.  Once you have several pinned instances, they remain static and you can switch from one another by clicking on the desired instance (looks like a tab).

                     

                    But, don't close the document, otherwise the pinned Actions window instances will vanish.

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                    Ron

                    • 7. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                      ChrisH Level 1

                      Thanks qkhong

                       

                      Hi Ron,

                      Also in your Actions panel, if you haven't already done so...half way down the left grey border of your panel, there will be a small button with an arrow.

                      You can click on it to see the assets in your current movie.  You can simply click on the item in that tree and it will display the actionscript.

                       

                      If you can't see the arrow click on the "show / hide toolbox" button in the buttons across the top of your actionscript panel.  If all you see then is functions, etc then drag then the top border of that to see all your movie assest from timeline (including Actions)

                       

                      This is built in and would save you from pinning and tabbing as such each time you open a different movie - it will be visible everytime the actionscript panel is open.

                       

                      Best Regards

                      Chris

                      • 8. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                        barpos Level 1

                        >Also in your Actions panel, if you haven't already done so...half way down the left grey border of your panel, there will be a small button with an arrow.<

                         

                        Yes, I use it ... that is if it is what you are referring to.  When I click on it, it either close or expand the language reference tree list.

                         

                        I have the Actions panel attached to the left of the workspace (almost full height), then stage in mid-width of the workspace and finally properties/library/history panels and tools on the right.  Also, I put code snippets/components/presets below the properties/library/history panels.

                         

                        >the "show / hide toolbox" button<

                         

                        Can't find that button.  What version of Flash do you use?


                        >This is built in and would save you from pinning and tabbing as such each time you open a different movie - it will be visible everytime the actionscript panel is open.<

                         

                        I'm not following you.  Pinning allows me to have a static actions panel showing code at all times no matter how much I move from layer to layer.  Pinning gives you much more control, IMO.

                         

                        Ron

                        • 9. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                          Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          If it's too much work to lean to hit the F9 key, then get yourself a wireless keyboard and set it on your lap.  That'll allow you to lean back all the time and not only when you don't have need for the keyboard.  Works for me.

                           

                          Also, as far as the Actions panel goes if you doubleclick the head area of it it will minimize to just the top bar.  So what I do is have it always accessible on my layout in the area of the top toolbar where I have no other menu items, and I minimize/open it as needed via clicking it.  I have the Output, Compiler Errors, and Help (using CS3) panels sharing that same window with the Actions.

                          layout.jpg

                          • 10. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                            ChrisH Level 1

                            Hi Ron,

                            This workstation is Flash CS4 and CS5 Professional.

                            You can expand a pane a below the langauge / reference tree.  It's similar to the movie explorer but more compact and obviously actionscript related.  I've included an image (CS4) of what I was talking about.  It will update when you select other objects / frames, I just thought it might be easier for you than having to open and pin multiples, but whatever you find easiest is best.

                             

                            Regards

                            Chris

                             

                            ActionsPanel.gif

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                              barpos Level 1

                              >Also, as far as the Actions panel goes if you doubleclick the head area  of it it will minimize to just the top bar.  So what I do is have it  always accessible on my layout in the area of the top toolbar where I  have no other menu items, and I minimize/open it as needed via clicking  it. <

                               

                              Good to know, but still I prefer my actions panel attachment to the left border with the pinning in place because I have multiple actions layers to switch back and forth.  Unlike you I don't need to click on anything to see the stage.  The stage and the timeline are always visible at all time.  But, I have to admit sometimes I may want to enlarge the timeline, no problem I just temporarily minimize my actions panel.

                               

                              >I have the Output, Compiler Errors, and Help (using CS3) panels  sharing that same window with the Actions.<

                               

                              Don't know how you did that.  But then again you are using CS3.  I've never tried CS3.

                               

                              REGARDS,

                               


                              Ron

                              • 12. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                                barpos Level 1

                                Yes, I do see the Show/Hide Toolbox, but only if I first detach the actions panel from the left edge of the workspace.  That's why I couldn't find it.

                                 

                                The way you use the actions panel, it hides things behind.  That's what I don't like.

                                 

                                Regards,

                                 

                                Ron

                                • 13. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                                  Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Actually I rarely have to close that window at all--I was just showing where I put it, what it can collapse to, and what it contains.  My monitor is large enough where I can leave an ample size window open all the time and still have access to the timeline and most of the stage.

                                   

                                  But we all have our own preferences for what works best for us.  While your asking folks for ideas, you're also indicating you have your own preferences anyways, so if you're happy with what you have set up, what more do you need?  There is a bit too much stuff you could keep readily available, so there's always a compromise... having a large monitor helps reduce the need for compromise though.

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                                    ChrisH Level 1

                                    I agree, I'm in a similar position where I'm running duel large displays, so although I have actions undocked, it's not hiding anything.

                                    I have actions running on one display and the stage / timeline on the other.  As Ned said it's going to be situational, and personal preference.

                                    If the pinning and tabs work for you Ron that's cool, sorry I couldn't contribute anything more / alternate to how I'm doing it.  all the best.

                                     

                                    Regards

                                    Chris

                                    • 15. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                                      barpos Level 1

                                      Yes, I like the way you make it colapse, to the top of the screen (or with the motion editor and output tabs).  Perhaps I don't understand, but when I do double click at the header of the panel, it colapses to the top left corner, not where you showed me.

                                       

                                      Ron

                                      • 16. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                                        ChrisH Level 1

                                        Here's a thought Ron, everyone in this particular thread just received the email of your original post (before edit) regarding your comment on lurkers.

                                        If as you say in that unedited post you found a workaround just after your initial post, you probably could have put that up so people aren't wasting their time trying to help out others in the community that don't really need it.  Anyway, all the best.

                                        • 17. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                                          barpos Level 1

                                          Pinning to me is JUST a viable alternative, I would definitely prefer something better, either having the pinned panels saved (upon saving the document) or exactly as described in my original post.  So, that's why I didn't close the thread, I haven't reached full satisfaction despite my defending my workaround.

                                           

                                          Who knows, maybe I'd be satisfied with Ned's way, but I can't quite figure out how his process works.

                                           

                                          Ron

                                          • 18. Re: How to improve the workspace in Flash
                                            barpos Level 1

                                            Actually, I just tried using multiple actions layers and just clicking on one layer to the next and having my docked actions panel change its content to reflect the current layer's actions content.  So, it now works as initially intended.

                                             

                                            Regards,

                                             

                                            Ron