Category Archives: Flash

Posts about my experiences with Adobe Flash.

Flash: Disappearing text

I spent the weekend working in Flash. I love Flash when I get to work with it consistently, but when it’s been awhile, it makes me a little crazy, and in this case it was Actionscript 2 that someone else had originally coded, so the crazy went to 11.

This time I was having trouble with a scrolling text box that contains a LOT of information. For some reason the bottom half of the content wasn’t showing up, even though the box continued to scroll that far. I think I spent half an hour trying to figure out why it was doing that until I stumbled on an accidental fix–toggling the “Selectable” box in the textbox properties. Voila! Problem fixed, if not necessarily solved.

It bothers me that I don’t know exactly why it was only hiding the bottom half of the box. I know it was about the size of the box, not the lines of content–when I reduced the line-height, more text showed up, but not all. I suspect it has to do with the function that created the scrollbar, but having to unravel all those mathy variables–especially when AS3 is my native Actionscript language, not 2–is a task I just can’t motivate myself to tackle, so I’m going with the mystery fix.

Not all mistakes are in the code

I’m working on a small Flash application for an upcoming exhibition. Unfortunately I don’t get to work in Flash as often as I’d like, which means that every new project leads to relearning everything I’ve forgotten since the last project (this time, it’s been almost a year, so that’s a lot to relearn!).

I had everything working smoothly except, my dynamic text boxes refused to display the text from the linked xml document. I traced the relevant fields, and they were definitely being accessed, but they just wouldn’t show up in the swf.


I scoured the code for missing semicolons and misspelled functions, but it was a fruitless search. I finally gave up and asked my colleague Tina to have a look. Continue reading Not all mistakes are in the code

Never expected to actually love Actionscript

Flash has been my life lately, specifically learning Actionscript 3.0 from a class at Otis. Tomorrow is the last one, and I must say, I wasn’t sure at first that it was a good idea, but now, nine classes later, I’m glad I did it. I’ve learned a lot, not least of which is that a) I’m not stupid, and b) there is usually no magic recipe for my task and I just have to do it on my own.

Two important things I’ve learned that either took much googling, or wasn’t on google at all:

1) .text and .htmlText are two different things. The second one will insure that your text field renders in html. (Learned this from a colleague, as google gave me no joy.)

2) MouseEvent.ROLL_OUT and MouseEvent.MOUSE_OUT are also two different things, and this is very important: The former works on the parent movieclip, while the latter is more likely to work on whatever child object is contained within the movieclip (so!frustrating!).

I have put them here so I will always remember them, and hopefully to make them easier for others to find, should they need them.

Now it’s time to conquer the checkboxes nested in a drop-down menu. Yay?