introduction to flash
Flash has numerous ways to group objects on the stage. Grouping objects can serve a number of benefits, depending on the type of grouping you use. This page will cover some of the basic ways you can group objects, and end with the most important group type: symbols.
Drawing Object Mode
When drawing basic shapes using the ovals or rectangle shape tools, you have an option to draw them in drawing object mode. Drawing objects are containers that allow shapes to work independently from each other.
With a shape tool selected, click the icon near the bottom of your tool palette that looks like a circle inside a rectangle shape. When you draw shapes with this option turned on, every shape will automatically be placed in a separate grouping box. This will allow you to place shapes over other shapes without the effects of having them affect each other.
A rectangular box will appear around any object you draw. This is the container that holds the object. If you wish to edit your shape, you must double-click the container with the selection arrow to go inside the drawing object container. A bread-crumb style navigation will show you that you are inside a drawing object container.
To go back to your stage, click on Scene 1 in the navigation bar.
Grouping Objects on the Stage
Another option to put objects into containers is using the Grouping option. Grouping allows you to place multiple objects on the stage into a generic container. Virtually any type of object can be grouped, including images, shapes or symbols.
To group objects, use your selection tool to highlight all parts of the object you want grouped. Use the shift key to select multiple objects, or click and drag a selection box around the objects you want to select. Next, select Group from the Modify menu at the top of the screen and this will group all currently selected objects.
With multiple objects grouped, you can treat the grouped container as one object. It can be rotated, resized or adjusted as if it were a single object. To ungroup object, simply use the ungroup option also found in the modify menu.
Grouping objects seems simple at first, but can quickly get complicated when you have groups inside of groups. Flash has a mechanism called break apart which will reduce an object to a simpler form. In the case of grouping, it will gradually ungroup the objects until they return to shapes.
Some care should be taken with breaking apart groups. The break apart option will convert objects like text and images into shapes. In the case of text, breaking apart will first separate all of the letters of a text box into their own text box. Doing another break apart will convert the letters into shape fills.