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Creating the Navigation for the Presentation Using the Action Tool

Creating the Navigation for the Presentation Using the Action Tool
The following simple exercise shows the versatility and ease of use of the Action tool when creating page-to-page navigation for a presentation:

  1. Open Macromedia FreeHand MX.
  2. In a new document, set the document unit of measure to Pixels and the document size to Web.
  3. Click the Add Page button located at the bottom of the FreeHand MX application window (as shown) to quickly add a new blank page. Click the button two more times for a total of four pages.
  4. Choose Fit All from the magnification pop-up menu at the bottom of the window to show all four pages on the screen:

    Add Pages button and Fit All:

  1. Using the Page tool in the Tools panel click Page 2 and press Alt-Shift-drag (Windows) or Option-Shift-drag (Macintosh) to create a page just below Page 2.
  2. Using the Text tool click in the middle of Page 1. In the Object tab of the Property inspector, change the text size to 96 and type 1. Type 2 on the second page, 3 on the third page, and 4 on the fourth page.
  3. On Page 2 add additional text 2A in the lower-right corner.
  4. On the page just below Page 2 type 2B.
  5. Select each number and align to the center of the page using the Align and Transform panel (click the Align to Page option):

    Align to center of page : :

  1. Using the Action tool, click the number “1” and drag it to a blank area on Page 2:

    Action tool   Page-to-page navigation

  1. Click the number “2” on page 2 and draw a line to a blank area on page 3. Click the number “3” on page 3 and draw a line to the blank area on page 4.
  2. On page 4 draw a line from the number “4” back to page 1.
  3. Continue using the Action tool and draw a line from the number “2A” to a blank area on page 2B and a line from the number “2B” back to page 2:

    Diagram of the page-to-page navigations

Note: Use the Pointer tool and double-click the arrow symbol at the top of the number. This activates the Navigation panel.

  1. Test the movie by selecting Window > Movie > Test or pressing Control-Enter (Command-Return).

Note: This is the same keyboard command used in Macromedia Flash.

  1. Export as a SWF by selecting File > Export. Select Macromedia Flash (SWF) from the Save As Type menu (Windows) or Format menu (Macintosh).
  2. View the final navigation lesson file.

Thanks to Marsha’s training and templates, John and his coworkers can create simple presentations with graphic appeal. You too can use Marsha’s solution and create more robust meeting presentations that have the power of FreeHand MX and the universal delivery benefit of Macromedia Flash Player. Just think of what else you can do.

Special thanks to David Gangwisch, FreeHand software design engineer, for his technical assistance; Reggie Johnson, FreeHand senior technical support engineer, for the paint can illustration; and the DevNet editorial team for their help with this article.