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Exploring the Consistent MX Workspace


Exploring the Consistent MX Workspace
With the release of FreeHand MX, you now have the same highly customizable workspace that is shared across the entire family of Macromedia MX products. In addition to simplifying workflow and better organizing your workspace, this common interface allows both novice and experienced users to move smoothly between applications.

FreeHand MX workspace
Using the MX Panels  When you first launch FreeHand MX a series of panels (excluding the Tools panel) appear docked together at the right edge of the application window. This helps eliminate the clutter associated with having many panels and toolbars open at the same time. The dock panel area can be hidden completely by clicking the dock toggle button shown below:
Dock toggle button
Dragging a panel by the gripper (circled in red below) enables you to undock the panel and float it above the workspace. To redock a panel, simply drag it back over to the right edge of the application window.
Panel gripper is used to undock and dock panels
As well as being able to dock panels, you can hide them by clicking on either the panel group name or the expander arrow beside it.

Each of the panels has an Options menu, which lists a range of choices that are specific to the active panel. To open the Options menu click on the upper-right corner of the panel group, as shown below:

Panel with the options menu open
As with other products in the Macromedia Studio MX suite, FreeHand MX allows you to group your most commonly used panels together by doing the following:


Open or expand the panel that you want to add to a group.

Select Group Object With and then select the panel name from the pop-up menu.
The Tools Panel  In FreeHand MX the Tools panel has been completely reorganized to make selecting your tools easier. The panel is now divided into four sections: Tools, View, Colors, and Snap.

Some of the tools have a down arrow in the right corner of the button. This indicates the presence of a tool pop-up menu:

Tools panel

The Tools panel can also be customized by adding and removing buttons. To add a new tool to the Tools panel you can either:

  • Select Windows > Toolbars > Customize. Expand the desired category in the Commands list and drag a tool from the right side of the dialog box into the Tools panel.
  • Alt-drag (Windows) or Command-drag (Macintosh) a tool from the toolbar into the Tools panel.
Customize dialog box
To remove a tool from the Tools panel you can either:

  • Select Window Toolbars > Customize and drag the desired button from the Tools panel.
  • Alt-drag (Windows) Command-drag (Macintosh) and drag the desired tool from the Tools panel.

It’s important to realize that once you’ve removed a tool from the Tools panel you cannot put it back onto the panel without using the Customize dialog box.

The Answers Panel  New to FreeHand MX, the Answers panel helps you work more efficiently by providing access to such Macromedia website content as tutorials, TechNotes, and other useful information.

Answers panel