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Basic Features of Flash

by Ron Kurtus (revised 7 March 2012)

Adobe Flash has a wide range of sophisticated features. However, they still revolve around the basic features of the earlier versions of the application. The most recent version is Flash Professional CS6

Basic features of Flash include simple vector-based drawing tools, media effects, and simple and complex interactions.

Questions you may include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Drawing tools

You can create simple graphics and illustrations using Flash's drawing tools. Then Flash saves those graphics as vector images, as opposed to the typical bitmap type of image.

The advantage of vector-based images is that they are much smaller than bitmaps. This is important in keeping animation files to a reasonable size.

Flash can be used to make quick drawings to be saved as GIF files. This can be easier than using more sophisticated drawing applications.

Media effects

Media effects include animations, slide shows, sound or audio, and video.


Animation is taking an image you have created with the Flash drawing tools or that you imported into Flash and then:

Also, several objects can have their own animation properties at once.

Complex animations can be programmed through the use of the ActionScript programming language.


Animated slideshows that include audio and video can be made with Flash.

Sound and Video

You can also add sound and video to your Flash animations or movies.


User interactions can be added to control the animations in Flash movies.


Buttons can be clicked to perform some task like starting or stopping a movie. Buttons can also be animated on the interaction.


Menus are forms of buttons used for Web navigation.

Programmed effects

Complex interaction can be programmed through the use of the ActionScript programming language. One special effect is the ability to interact with a database.


Adobe Flash has a wide range of sophisticated features. The basic features of Flash include simple vector-based drawing tools, animations that can include audio and video, and simple and complex interactions.

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Resources and references

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