Flash tutorial: Primitive Shape Tools

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Click by Click: Primitive Shape Tools

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The Primitive Shape Tools are new to Adobe Flash CS3. There are two of these new Primitive Tools, the Rectangle Primitive Tool and the Oval Primitive Tool . Adobe uses the word Primitive to mean shapes which characteristics can be edited via the Property Inspector. This means that you can draw a rectangle and then decide to change the roundness of the corners etc. The new Primitive Tools have a purple hue when selected.


With the standard Rectangle Tool your ability to edit is limited. For example if you wished to change the rounded corners you would need to delete your rectangle and re-draw it with the new rounded corners. The original Rectangle and Oval tools are still accessible in Flash CS3. These original shape tools have a blue hue when selected:


All of these tools are accessible from a drop down menu in the Tools Panel. Access it by holding down your mouse over the current shape tool: Such as:


Lets try the new features...

Step One: The Rectangle Primitive Tool

  1. Open a New Flash Document: File > New (Ctrl N)
  2. Select a Flash Document: Flash File Flash File (ActionScript 2.0) or (ActionScript 3.0)
  3. Click: OK
  4. Important Note: These tools are not available in any version of Flash prior to Flash CS3. So you will not find them in Flash 8, Flash MX etc. You can find out what version of Flash you are using by going to: Help > About Flash

  5. In the Tools Panel Select the: Rectangle Primitive Tool:
  6. Draw a: Rectangle
  7. If your Property Inspector is closed, open it: Window > Properties > Properties (Ctrl F3)
  8. To edit the rectangle play with the: Corner Controls

Step Two: The Oval Primitive Tool

  1. In the Tools Panel Select the: Oval Primitive Tool:
  2. Draw an: Oval
  3. If your Property Inspector is closed, open it: Window > Properties > Properties (Ctrl F3)
  4. To edit the oval have a play with the: Angle Controls
  5. To edit the centre of the oval have a play with the: Radius Control
  6. Try to change both the: Radius & Angle Controls

You can see the changes as you work and you have the reassurance that it can be re-edited at a later date. So have fun and play!

Warning: You cannot convert your shape back to a primitive shape!!

I hope you have found this useful. If so perhaps you could recommend this site to others and link to webwasp!

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