tip: MX ScrollBar for MX 2004

Many designers use the Flash MX UI Component called the ScrollBar to create scrolling text fields in their Flash movies. Originally, Macromedia did not include the ScrollBar in Flash MX 2004, but later they offered a free download from the Flash Exchange; search the Exchange for "scrollbar" to find the Flash MX Components for Flash MX 2004, V1.5.0. You can also try this direct link.

> See the scrollbar in action

In July 2004, Macromedia put out a free upgrade for MX 2004, version 7.2, which included a rather different, new UIScrollBar. You can compare the MX for MX04 version (7 KB) with the UIScrollBar version (35 KB) here. If they do not open for you, then you do not have version 7 of the Flash player.

Flash 8 users: You are in luck. Flash 8 includes a fully functional UI ScrollBar. Here is how to find it: In the Components panel (use the Window menu to open the panel if it is not visible), open the set named User Interface. Then look for UI ScrollBar.

If you want to change the colors or appearance of the UIScrollBar, you will need to do a lot of work. Look at this page from Colin Moock where he explains how to re-skin the preloader component. That's what you are facing with the UIScrollBar.

Maybe you would like to avoid the scrollbar altogether.

You can make buttons that scroll a Dynamic text field by (1) giving the text field an instance name, such as myText_txt, and (2) writing script on one button to scroll down, and script on the other button to scroll up:

myText_txt.scroll++; // scroll down

myText_txt.scroll--; // scroll up

You do not need to muck around with the ScrollPane or the TextArea component or any other garbage.

Handle at corner of a Dynamic text field

If you want to paste a bunch of text into a Dynamic text field, make sure you Shift-double-click the white handle of the field to make it turn black. When it's black, the field stays the same size no matter how much text you paste into it. This is essential if you want a short scrolling text field.

> More tips