Text Masking
: Drag Mask

While you can create a text mask that can follow your mouse, it is time to allow the mask to be "drug" around by you dragging! This isn't a cumulative tutorial, and the partial source code is provided below. There will be a section explaining what I have done, so you can understand and implement this in your own movies.

The example and the tutorial below will help you to create a mask that can be dragged by using the mouse:

Click on the colored area and drag. Click again to release.

Creating A Drag Mask:

Before we start, please download the partial source below. Don't worry, the partial source will not have the key elements to make it work...you'll do that with the information found below. Click here to download the source.

Here's How:

  1. Once you have opened the file "drag.fla" that you downloaded from my site, you should see the text and a circle. I'll explain how to create the draggable movie, then I'll explain how it works. Click on the "button" in layer button. Right click on that and choose "Actions". See image below:

  1. Once you have done that, it is time to add the actual code in. Click on the "+" then go to Actions > startDrag. In the target area, type in "drag" (that is the name of the movie clip). And make sure you check the box for "Lock mouse to center". Now, highlight the section of code that says "on (release)". In the event subsection, uncheck "Release" and check "Press". Your code should look like that of the following:

  1. Now that you have setup the drag clip, we need to set up a way in which the movie won't drag. Conveniently, Flash 5 has an action called stopDrag. So, highlight the last line of code " the }  " and go to "+" then Actions > stopDrag. Your code should know look like the image below:

  1. Now, all you have to do is preview the movie. I usually preview the movie in HTML. Go to File > Publish Preview > HTML. Below you'll find how the movie works.

Below you'll learn as to why the movie works the way it does. It is really important that you have the "Instance" panel visible. If you don't have it, go to Window > Panels > Instance. Now, when you click on the movie, you should see a button. That is what the Instance window shows. See image below:

So, as you can tell by now....the button is transparent. To see that, simply right click on the button and choose "Edit In Place". Here is why the button is a button and it is transparent.

  • Because the button is transparent, you are able to see the movie below. Had I not done a full "Alpha", the button's color would have blocked you and me from seeing the cool mask drag.
  • The button takes up the whole screen because I want the drag to work throughout the movie. I don't want have to move the mask back to the small area to un-drag it. 
  • Unlike the previous page, mouse actions only occur on Buttons. For the drag to work, you need to add the mouseEvent actions. They will only work in buttons.

That's that about buttons. Now, if you lock the layer for buttons, and unlock the other layers that are masked, you should see the whole movie now. Click on the blue gradient "circle". In the instance window, you'll see that the object is a movie clip, and that it has a name "drag". That is why in the code above, we referred to the "Target" as drag. You can change that name to something like "clip", and change it manually in the button code to reflect that. The movie will still work. That is a direct result of Tell Target. See below for some links related to these topics.

Just a final word before we wrap up. If you have a question and/or want to be part of a friendly, collaborative community of over 220k other developers like yourself, post on the forums for a quick response!

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