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01 Copy the folder named Flash Menus from your CD to your hard drive. Open the folder called ‘deploy’ and run Tutorial.swf. You can see a panel that holds a menu system of three buttons. Clicking one of the buttons changes the style of the menu, including the text formatting, the menu buttons and the panel background.

02 Now look at the imageMaps folder, also in the deploy folder. Note that the graphics for each style are laid out in individual files, and the layout and sizes of the graphics are consistent. We will load the image map files and apply the graphics to our elements dynamically at runtime.

03 The css folder in deploy contains three CSS files, each defining the text formatting used for a single style. Note that the fonts referenced here need to be embedded in Tutorial.fla (see Step 5).

04 Open Tutorial.flp at the top level of the Flash Menus folder to see a list of the files you’ll be working with in the Projects panel. You can quickly access all the files discussed in the tutorial through this panel.

05 Tutorial.fla in the flash folder is almost empty because the graphics and formatting are specified externally. In the Flash Library you can see how the fonts used in the styles are embedded – you will need these fonts installed to correctly publish and view the file. There are also three MovieClips, one for each of the basic elements in the panel.

Computer Arts September 2008

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