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Tell Target

This section basically deals with advantages and various uses of the Tell Target function. If you need to know how to use this function, please visit the Tell Target Tutorial. As with many computer functions, there are no strict guidelines besides the basics to be followed. The same goes for the Tell Target command. Below, I've briefly listed some common instances where the Tell Target command is more than what it should be.

Various Mouse States:

One of the major advantages the Tell Target function has over adding a movie to a button's various actions states is the freedom to customize when and how the animation should be played. By changing around the code for the Tell Target from the more common "On Release" command you can create very effective rollover functions. See the example below by simply rolling the mouse over the caption that says "Rollover".

Download Source


As you were able to see by the example above, the advantages Tell Target has over the Button states can be summarized by the increased interactivity. Try to make the animation play backwards in a Button.......it just can't be done!

Calling Nested Movie Clips

We've basically dealt with the Tell Target function targeting one movie clip on the main timeline. Hence, the syntax: /movieclipname. But, what if the movie clip is inside another movie clip? How would you call that movie from the main timeline? Simple, the target syntax would be: /movieclipname/nestedmovie In the same example as above, move your mouse over the animation and either press the letter "d" or Drag Over or Drag Out. 

[make sure you click anywhere on the animation first if the arrows don't move; you may drag or drag out over the word rollover also] 

You should an arrow moving down. That is an example of how a movie was nested inside another movie clip. The arrow is the first movieclip, and inside that movie I have placed another movie. If you examine my code, you'll see how it was done. I've pasted the code sequence for the RollOver button below for you to examine:

A picture of the code for the entire Movie Sequence.

The /moviename and just moviename

When calling a movie in Flash using Tell Target, you may have noticed that I add a " / " before I enter the movie name. The reason being, I'm calling a movie in another movie clip I created. If it were like the Go To And Play command just by itself (the animation that I wish to call is in the same timeline as the tell target button) the / would be removed. That's the reason the slash is added to files. 

A great example would be trying to open a file from your Windows PC's My Documents folder (Sorry Mac users!). If you know the file you are looking for is in the main folder, you would simply type in after the My Documents command in the Address box, the file name. See image below:

But, if the file was in another folder, you'd type \foldername\file.doc. See the image below:

That is basically the same way it works with Flash. Of course, you'd use the " / " instead of " \ " . Just to clarify that :)

I hope this helped you to understand the Tell Target function and any questions you may have had relating to this. This little article was written in response to the numerous emails I have received with questions similar to this. Make sure that if you haven't so, to download and look at the source code for the examples if you are having problems.


I hope the information helped. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to post them on the kirupa.com Forums. Just post your question and I, or our friendly forum helpers, will help answer it.

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