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Cheat Sheet

Beginning Flash Game Programming For Dummies

If you're new to game programming, you'll find teaching yourself how to program games in Flash much less cumbersome and intimidating than using C++ or other graphics languages. You'll speed through building your Flash game if you master Flash's many and varied keyboard shortcuts.

Why Flash Is a Good Environment for New Game Programmers

Flash is an ideal environment for beginning game creation. Flash makes a lot of the implementation easier, so you can concentrate on the content of your games instead of all the details of memory management, image drawing, and reading the input devices. (Fancier environments make you put a lot of work into such details instead of mastering the craft of game development.)

Most commercial games are written in 2-D, using C++ and graphics engines like DirectX or OpenGL. Those are really great environments, but they aren't necessarily what you need while you're learning the process of game development.

If you want to be a racing champion, you don't just show up in Indianapolis with a helmet. Starting your driving career in a high-performance machine is foolhardy and dangerous. You begin your career by racing go-karts and then advancing through more challenging vehicles. That's why you should start programming with Flash and ActionScript:

  • C++ is like a Formula 1 car — fast and difficult to handle.

  • Flash and ActionScript are like a go-kart (albeit a souped-up, Internet-enabled go-kart that outperforms any computing environment NASA had during the moon program).

Common Keyboard Shortcuts for Flash Game Programmers

You'll have an easier time programming your games if you master Flash keyboard shortcuts. The following tables show you the Flash shortcuts you'll use most often as a game programmer.

File Menu Commands
Command Windows Mac
New Ctrl+N Command+N
Open Ctrl+O Command+O
Open as Library Ctrl+Shift+O Command+Shift+O
Close Ctrl+W Command+W
Save Ctrl+S Command+S
Import Ctrl+R Command+R
Publish Shift+F12 Shift+F12
Quit Ctrl+Q Command+Q
Edit Menu Commands
Command Windows Mac
Undo Ctrl+Z Command+Z
Redo Ctrl+Y Command+Y
Cut Ctrl+X Command+X
Copy Ctrl+C Command+C
Paste Ctrl+V Command+V
Paste in Place Ctrl+Shift+V Command+Shift+V
Clear Delete/Backspace Delete/Clear
Duplicate Ctrl+D Command+D
Select All Ctrl+A Command+A
Deselect All Ctrl+Shift+A Command+Shift+A
Copy Frames Ctrl+Alt+C Command+Option+C
Paste Frames Ctrl+Alt+V Command+Option+V
View Menu Commands
Command Windows Mac
Timeline Ctrl+Alt+T Command+Option+T
Snap to Objects Ctrl+Shift+/ Command+Shift+/
Work Area Ctrl+Shift+W Command+Shift+W
Hide Panels F4 F4
Insert Menu Commands
Command Windows Mac
Convert to Symbol F8 F8
New Symbol Ctrl+F8 Command+F8
Frame F5 F5
Remove Frames Shift+F5 Shift+F5
Keyframe F6 F6
Blank Keyframe F7 F7
Clear Keyframe Shift+F6 Shift+F6
Modify Menu Commands
Command Windows Mac
Document Properties Ctrl+J Command+J
Bring Forward Ctrl+up Command+up
Bring Back Ctrl+down Command+down
Bring to Top Ctrl+Shift+up Command+Shift+up
Bring to Bottom Ctrl+Shift+down Command+Shift+down
Control Menu Commands
Command Windows Mac
Play Enter Return
Test Movie Ctrl+Enter Command+Return
Window Menu Commands
Command Windows Mac
Align Ctrl+K Command+K
Color Mixer Shift+F9 Shift+F9
Color Swatches Ctrl+F9 Command+F9
Info Ctrl+ I Command+I
Transform Ctrl+T Command+T
Actions / Code window F9 F9
Library Ctrl+L/F11 Command+L/F11
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