Flash Tools
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  • Can draw, paint, select, and modify objects and change views; Window > Tools
  • Divided into 4 sections:
    • Tools: drawing, painting, selection tools.
    • View: to zoom and pan.
    • Colors: stroke and fill modifiers.
    • Options: additional features that work with the selected tool.

Drawing Tools:

  • Can reshape lines and shape outlines in a variety of ways after they’re created; Fill and Stroke are separate objects!! (Stroke=outline of shape - line surrounding, Fill=solid shape - inside)
  • How vectors function: Using the pencil, line, oval, rectangle, or brush divides the object into separate segments when they overlap; Pen does not divide others into segments.
  • If paint on top, the portion below is replaced by what’s on top; Paint of same color merges into one Fill, while different colors become distinct fills.

**Group shapes or use layers to keep separate and protect!

Flash Menu > Preferences > General > Undo Levels (increase # of undos) 100.
(on PC, preferences is under Edit menu)

Zoom In and Out: Use magnifier tool (Option w/tool to zoom out) or (Apple +) In / (Apple -) Out (like PSD).

(N) Line Tool: Properties- color, thickness (stroke height), style; hold SHIFT to limit to 45??q; Use STROKE Hinting to avoid it from being blurry (makes sure curves and points are on a full pixel not part of a pixel.

(O) Oval Tool: Properties: color, thickness, style, Fill color (use box with the red line through it for no fill or stroke); Hold shift for circles.

(R) Rectangle Tool: Properties: color, thickness, style, Fill color (use the box with the red line through it for no fill or stroke).

- To get Rectangle with Rounded corners: use Round Options to set the radius of the corners or while dragging, hit the Up Arrow or Down Arrow to adjust radius or corners before releasing mouse; Hold shift for squares.

(S) Ink Bottle: Dumps a new stroke (outline) on the object; choose line color, width, style, and shape; STROKE properties

(K) Paint Bucket: Dumps a new fill color on the object; choose fill color and style; option=set a gap closure setting.

(I) Eye Dropper: Picks up fill or stroke attributes from existing object and applies to another; automatically changes to ink bottle or paint bucket depending on what you select to apply to, and go directly to change

(Y) Pencil: creates freeform lines and shapes; Select color, weight, and style; Hold SHIFT to restrain to vertical or horizontal movement;


  • Straighten: converts to straight lines or shape recognition - eliminates imperfections.
  • Smooth: converts to curves - smoothes lines out.
  • Ink: can draw freehand ** More info, larger file, because more points to calculate.

(B) Brush: creates paint-like brush strokes; choose fill color, and brush smoothing.

  • Normal: Paints over (replaces) lines and fills below on same layer.
  • Fill: Only paints fill and empty areas, leaves strokes alone.
  • Behind: Paints behind graphics in blank areas only; leaves fill and stroke alone.
  • Selection: Only paints in selected area.
  • Inside: Only paints inside fill that you started drawing on (1st click determines that fill); can’t paint outside the lines.
  • Can choose brush size and shape

(E) Eraser: Removes strokes and fills;

  • Double-click to erase all on stage / layer.
  • Erase part of a fill or stroke.
  • Faucet removes entire fill OR stroke (options):
    • Fills: effects only fills.
    • Lines: effects only strokes.
    • Selected Fills: Only selected fills, no effects on strokes, even if selected.
    • Inside: only starting fill, no effect on stroke.
    • Normal: effects stroke and fill.

(T) Text tool: Creates blocks of editable text (Horiz or Vert), many attributes. Select text tool and either:

  • Place cursor and type for unlimited box size { o }.
  • Draw a box with cursor for fixed width { [] }.
  • ATTRIBUTES: - paragraph margins, indent, etc. Shift select multiple (arrow tool) and change attributes (font, color, size, etc.) Use Text menu or Properties to change Kerning, spacing, etc.

(P) Pen: Creates paths as straight or curved lines; Acts like pen in other programs:
Flash Menu > Preferences > Drawing > Pen Tool: -Show pen preview, Show Precise cursors.

  • For Straight lines: Click starting point, Click anchor point, etc. SHIFT for 45 degrees; continue to add points
  • For open path: Double click when you want to stop, Click Pen tool in Toolbox, or Command+click anywhere
  • For closed path: Click on first anchor point when done
  • To complete as is: Edit > Deselect All or just chose a new tool
  • For Curved lines: Click and drag (tangent appears); anchor points display tangent handles; slope & length of handles determine slope and height of curves; SHIFT+drag for 45 degrees; release; reposition mouse for next point, Click+drag in opposite direction to complete segment, etc.
  • To Move Anchor: Select Subselection tool; drag with mouse or use < > arrows on keyboard
  • To Convert Anchors from corners to curves and vice versa:
    • Corner > Curve: Subselection, Option+drag
    • Curve > Corner: Pen Tool, Click
  • To Add Anchors: Select Pen Tool, Click on line segment
  • To Delete Anchors: Corner- Pen Tool, click once / Curve-Click twice / or Subselection, press Delete
  • Tangent Handles: Curve-both sides of point adjust; Corner- only same side as tangent adjusts.