How to Assign Interactions to Flash CS5 Components - dummies

How to Assign Interactions to Flash CS5 Components

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You can make pretty buttons by defining states, but they won’t do anything useful. To get your buttons to do something, you need to add interactions. Interactions define a response to a user action. The most typical interaction occurs when you click a button and find yourself on a different web page.

To add an interaction to a button, follow these steps:

  1. Select the button.

  2. In the Interactions panel, click the Add Interaction button to open the panel.


  3. From the top drop-down list, choose which action initiates the response.

    The most common choice is On Click, which means that the user has to click the button.

  4. From the second drop-down list, choose the response.

    To add a link to another page inside your Catalyst project, choose Play Transition to State. To add a link to an outside web page, choose Go to URL, which requires an absolute URL (one with http:// in it). Other options are to play, pause, or stop a video; or play simple animation that you create in the Catalyst Timelines panel.

    Typically, when you pass the cursor over a link on a web site, the cursor changes to a hand. If you want your button to display the hand icon, with the button selected, expand the Appearance item in the Properties panel, scroll down, and select the Hand Cursor check box. You need to do this for every button on every page.

  5. Enter the necessary information for the response.

    If you choose Go to URL, a text box opens, where you need to enter an absolute URL. If you choose Play Transition to State, skip to Step 7.

  6. If you choose Go to URL, in the new drop-down list that appears, choose how you want the link to open.

    The most common options are Open in Current Window or Open in New Window.

  7. From the Choose State drop-down list, choose the state.

    If you choose Go to URL in Step 4, choose Any State. If you choose Play Transition to State, choose the page you want to link to.

  8. Click OK.

  9. Test your button by choosing File→Run Project (or by pressing Ctrl+Enter on Windows/Command+Return on a Mac).

    When your temporary browser page opens, click the button and see what happens!

The figure shows an image turned into a button. With a Go to URL interaction, the button links to an Adobe PDF file. Clicking the button opens the PDF file, which users can then save or print.


Thanks to Ellen Finkelstein for permission to use her website as an example.

To edit an interaction, select the button and double-click the interaction listed in the Interactions panel. To delete an interaction, select it in the Interactions panel and click the Trash button.

Continue adding interactions to buttons until all your internal and external links work. Congratulations! You have a website!