5C - Selection Tool
Selecting is one of the most used and important operation for manipulating, editing and organizing content in a Flash document. By selecting elements in Flash (lines, shapes, objects, etc) enable you to copy, move, delete them, or to edit their properties.
There are two main options to create objects in Flash: "Merge Drawing" and "Object Drawing".
- You can only select an entire Drawing Object, not just some or portions of the shapes contained.
- When the object is created with "Merge Drawing", you can select portions of it.
In Adobe Flash there are four types of selection tools (on the Tools panel, see the image below): Selection Tool (V), Subselection Tool (A), Free Transform Tool (Q) and Lasoo Tool (L).
The letter in parentheses represents the keyboard key that can be pressed to select more rapidly that tool.
There are several ways to select objects in Flash. You can select an object's stroke or fill or both. You can use the Selection tool to select parts of the object or drag over a portion of it to create a selection rectangle.
For example, a simple rectangle has four line segments and one fill in the center. Each of these five parts can be selected in tandem or individually with the Selection tool.
Any stroke that intersects another stroke or fill splits them into distinct elements that can be selected separately.
After you have chosen the Selection tool in Tools panel, when you click on an element in the Flash document (line, shape, image, etc.), that element is selected and the Properties panel will display the options of what is selected.
- To select multiple elements, hold down the Shift key and click on the objects you want to select.
- Dragging a selection rectangle on the Stage with the Selection tool creates a bounding box that selects anything you drag it over.
- To select conected line segments, double-click any part of the segment or stroke to select all connected strokes.
- If you double-click on a shape with the Selection tool, it selects all fills and strokes that are connected.
The Selection tool can also be used to move and reshapes objects in the Stage.
After you click the "Selection tool" and then position your cursor over an unselected fill or stroke, Flash displays, next to your cursor, one of three icons: a cross with arrowheads, a curve, or an angle.
- cross with arrowheads - it tells you that you can drag the selected object to move it.
- curve - Dragging the curve icon lets you reshape or modify a curve.
- angle - Dragging the angle icon lets you reshape one of the corners of your object.
Subselection Tool and Free Transform Tool
Subselection Tool and Free Transform Tool are a little similar because both make selections that can be used to modify the shape of a selected object.
The main difference between these two selection tools is that the "Subselection Tool" allows you to reshape an object by dragging an anchor point, while with the "Free Transform Tool" you can reshape a selected element by dragging an edge or the corners. The "Free Transform Tool" can also be used to rotate the selected object.
To select an object with Subselection tool, you must click a stroke or an edge of a fill, then you see the anchor points that define the stroke or shape. To change the form of the stroke or shape, drag one of the anchor points.
Selecting with the Free Transform Tool is similar with "Selection Tool", by clicking anywhere of an object. Black squares will appear at the corners and sides of your selection. By dragging a square, you can scale an object's height, width, or both.
Selecting with Subselection Tool and Free Transform Tool
"Subselection Tool" has no additional options, but "Free Transform Tool" has four options which are displayed in the option area of the Tools panel: "Rotate and Skew", "Scale", "Distort" and "Envelope".
- To convert Corner points to Curve points, click the Subselection tool on the Tools panel, click on the edge of the shape to select it and then click on one of the corner points to select it. Press Alt, and drag the point.
The Lasso tool is useful when you want to select shapes that are too close to objects you don't want to select, or when you want to select irregular forms.
This tool allows you to draw around the shape, selecting everything contained in the shape you draw.
The Lasso tool has two modes (in the option area of the Tools panel): defaul mode, called "Magic Wand", and "Polygon Mode".
- Magic Wand - draws a freeform lasso around the object you want to select.
- Polygon Mode - defines the selected area with a series of straight-line segments.
- Flash automatically connects the point where Lasso Tool starts to select with the end point.
Make two out of the five diagrams shown below: