Showcase and discover digital art at yex

Follow Design Stacks

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get all our latest tutorials and articles delivered directly to your inbox!

Flash ActionScript 2.0 Learning Guide

ActionScript is the scripting language used by Macromedia Flash. It makes your Flash content interactive. ActionScript provides a more efficient way to do things in Flash, from creating simple animations through designing complex, data-rich, interactive application interfaces. As the scripting language for Macromedia Flash, ActionScript has evolved incrementally over many releases. There are two versions of ActionScript: ActionScript 1.0 and ActionScript 2.0.

ActionScript 1.0, the less formal version of ActionScript, is fine for most general purposes and when you want to target an old version of Flash Player. Want to generate some simple interactivity when a user clicks a button? Want to create an application for a mobile device? Go with ActionScript 1.0. But for creating more complex code, ActionScript 2.0 is more appropriate.

ActionScript 2.0 is an object-oriented programming language that supports full class inheritance and all the features that developers demand from a mature language. It gives you a more flexible programming environment and superior debugging abilities. At the heart of ActionScript 2.0 is a formal and familiar approach to object-oriented programming (OOP), including full support for classes, inheritance, interfaces, and other common OOP concepts. ActionScript 2.0 also includes features that enhance ActionScript programming, such as variable data typing, function parameters and return types, and comprehensive debugging information. ActionScript 2.0 benefits developers by encouraging better programming structures and reducing coding and maintenance time. Want to write code using a formal programming language with more robust capabilities? Go with ActionScript 2.0.

To find out whether ActionScript 2.0 is right for your project or whether ActionScript 1.0 is the simpler, faster solution, check out the following resources, so you can make the call and be as efficient as possible for every project.

This guide introduces you to some of the fundamental concepts of ActionScript 2.0 and object-oriented programming. The following sections define common terminology, show you how to structure Flash applications, show you how to approach learning the ActionScript language and scripting in Flash, and where to go to find more information and examples.

Note: ActionScript coding conventions are very important for Flash designers and developers to ensure that code and applications are structured in a way that is intuitive and beneficial to themselves as well as other people working on the same project. For more information, see ActionScript 2.0 Best Practices.

Note: This learning guide if for Flash 8 users. Please see the previous version of the Flash ActionScript Learning Guide if you are using Flash MX 2004.


To follow along with this learning guide, you will need to install the following software and files:

Macromedia Flash Basic 8

or Macromedia Flash Professional 8

Prerequisite Knowledge

A basic familiarity of Flash and a basic knowledge of the Flash workspace are required.