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Extending Flash MX 2004, Part 3: Using History and Flash Panels for Faster Development : Page 2

The History Panel is one of the best learning tools for Flash—if you know how to take advantage of the information it stores. Learn the History panel as well as how to make your own Flash panels.




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Flash Panels
As I mentioned earlier, it is possible to add new panels to the Flash MX 2004 IDE. You can create your own panel by simply creating a Flash movie and then saving it into the correct directory:

Windows XP or Windows 2000: C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\ <language>\Configuration\WindowSWF\ Windows 98: C:\Windows\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\ <language>\Configuration\WindowSWF\ Macintosh 0SX: Hard Drive/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/ <language>/Configuration/WindowSWF/

Open the panel by selecting it from the Window —> Other Panels menu. The name associated with the panel you have created and thus displayed in the Other Panels menu is simply the name of the .swf file you placed in the WindowSWF directory. When you select your panel from the menu, your Flash movie is automatically displayed inside a panel, and the size of the panel is automatically determined by the size of your Flash movie.

So for example, I have created a Flash Movie and named it Auto Save.swf. I then save that Flash Movie into the WindowSWF directory. The next time I re-start Flash MX 2004, a new option, Auto Save, has appeared in the Other Panels menu:

When I select the new Auto Save option. A new panel opens, which contains my Flash Movie.
Figure 5. Auto Save: A new panel containing a Flash Movie that can be opened from the Window > Other Panels menu.

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