how to
How to create a starter skeleton project in
Adobe flash using ActionScript 3.0.
part I

A very basic tutorial for creating an Adobe flash file.

(page 1)
December 29, 2008
page 1, page 2  

After reading various other howto's on starting up a flash project, and then finally getting it to work, we proceeded to write up this tutorial to describe the creation of a very basic skeleton project. This small project can then be expanded to produce more complex applications.

This howto assumes you are using the following:

  Adobe Flash CS3

  Action Script 3.0  (no need to search for this, its already part of CS3)

  winXP (flash running on linux is still very flaky, crashing all the time)


A free 30 day trial version for Adobe Flash CS3 can be found at
this location:


You will need to create an account with adobe first, to get this free trial version.

Install and test the adobe flash cs3 to see that it works. But before using it, we must create the first script file.

Start by creating a directory for the project, call it "skeleton_version_1". Then within that directory create another directory for all of the action script files, call it "scripts", or whatever you wish.

So, the project files will be contained in:


and the script files will be held in:


Within the above scripts directory create a text file with extension ".as" (actionscript) call it Main_Class.as:


The name of the class to be defined and the name of its file should match. That is, if the new class is to be called Main_Class, then the file's name should be called Main_Class.as.

Open the file Main_Class.as in your favorite text editor, and add the following lines:


      import flash.display.MovieClip;

      public class Main_Class extends MovieClip
            public function Main_Class()
                        trace ('Hail and well met, traveling Selenite.');


The above class and corresponding function will merely send a hello world type of text message to a helpful output window of the flash project (not to the displayed flash movie itself). This can be handy while debugging.

Next, create the .fla file, this is the flash authoring file. Call it, skeleton_v1.fla, and place it in the main directory:


Open this file with the application we installed earlier: Adobe Flash CS3. When first opened it should look like the following:

fla sample window

(click to enlarge)

Here is a short list of some of the key features:

The scrollable box in the very center, labeled "Scene 1", is the so called stage.

Directly below the stage section is a box that contains the stage's properties.

Directly above the stage section is a box that lists layers, as in drawing layers like in photoshop, tabs for the working files (authoring files: *.fla, script files: *.as, etc.), and also the seperate frames for the flash movie.

( Since this is a short tutorial on starting up a basic application using flash, we only deal with the first frame: frame 1. )

The tall thin box to the left is a set of drawing tools.

The box along the right has the library, which will contain the list of objects that can be included/imported onto the stage, such as image files, symbols, sound files, etc.


continued on page 2


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