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Flash at Work: How Big Is My Shape?

Despite all the precise drawing capabilities Flash has to offer, you have no way of knowing how large a shape is as you draw it. You'd think there would be a way to specify that you want to draw a square that is 15 pixels by 15 pixels, but there isn't. Here are your options:

  • Draw a shape, approximating the desired size as best you can; then select and resize it by entering the correct width and height in the Property Inspector or the Info panel. This approach is tiresome but workable with squares, rectangles, and circles. However, if you try it with ovals or rectangles with rounded edges, your curves will become distorted.

  • Create guides at the desired dimensions of your drawn objects. Then draw with guide snapping turned on. As you draw, your shape should snap to the guides, allowing you to draw to your desired size. This approach works passably with squares and rectangles, but it can be difficult to draw circles, ovals, and rectangles with rounded edges so that they align with a rectangular grid.

  • For rectangles with rounded corners, start by perfecting your rounded corners while approximating your desired size. Then select the anchor points around two adjacent corners, as shown in Figure 3.29, and nudge them with the arrow keys until the rectangle is the correct size. This approach can be tedious, but it will preserve the corner radius of your rounded corners as you resize.

Figure 3.29 You can use the Subselection tool to resize rectangles with rounded corners without distorting the corner radius.

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