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Many of you have seen sites that react with interesting animations, etc. when you click on an element in Flash. While it may look like it was a very clever use of Go To And Play, it is more than likely an advanced function called the "Tell Target". 

When many of you hear of the phrase Tell Target, you may remember the examples that macromedia had that displayed a number or a set of words that pop up when you click on a button. Unlike other tutorial sites that make it seem complicated, the Tell Target function really isn't so. Check out my example below, you will be able to make something similar to this below at the end of this lesson!! Click on the Animate link below:


Let's begin. First, to make this process easier, please download my partial source code. Don't worry, it doesn't contain any of the main code...I'll give you the opportunity to do that by following my instructions below. Click Here to Download the Partial Source Code. Once you have opened that file in Flash, let's start get started on conquering the mystical "Tell Target".

Here's How:

  1. Once you have opened the partial code in Flash, notice that my entire animation is composed entirely in a group of layers using ONE frame. So, I used another Movie Clip to contain all my main data. That's the best part of the Tell Target command; it doesn't require an "ugly" set of keyframes and layers on the main timeline. If you are wondering how my animation fits into one movie, go to Window > Library (Ctrl + L) and right click on the movie titled "movieclip". Choose Edit. Now, as you can see, the entire sequence of frames is placed on there. Now, your goal is to call the Movie "movieclip" from the main scene. Press the Scene 1 tab on the top left to go back to the main timeline.
  2. Let's add the code! Right click on the word "Animate" in the movie and choose Actions. See image below:

  1. Once you are at the Object Actions window, click on the Tell Target command under Basic Functions or drag and drop the word from the left hand pane. Once you have done that, you should see something like the image below:

What you should see when you add the Tell Target function to the Animate button.

  1. Click in the code line that says "tellTarget ("") {" You should see an input box that asks for the "Target". Type in: /cheese (That's the name I have given the movie "movieclip" from Step 1 using the Movie Instance Editor. For more information on that, go to the Naming Movies tutorial") Sorry for sidetracking; I wanted to make sure that you understood why you were typing in what you were typing. Once you have typed that, your action box should look similar to the image below:

  1. Now that you have "Targeted" the movie you'd like to add your functions to, it's time to simply add the Good Old "Go To" Action. Click or Drag the "Go To" action to the main code editor. The the default values that you should see are accurate, so you don't have to make any modifications. Once you have done that, the entering of code is complete. The final code should look like that of the image below:

The final code.


Now, if you preview the animation and click on the "Animate" button, the cheese should start rolling around in the background. That wasn't that complicated now was it? The Tell Target command is a more efficient way of controlling how an animation behaves. You may have read one of my previous tutorials on adding a movie action inside a button state. While that would work similarly for a single movie, you cannot edit where in the movie to start OR how to play the animation when the mouse rolls of the button. That's why the Tell Target command, while complicated to comprehend at first, will help save a lot of time and take you one step closer to creating your Perfect Animation. For more information on the Tell Target command and why it functions the way it does, please visit my More Tell Target Page.

Before I forget, here's the final source code so you can double check to make sure your animation looks just like the one I created!

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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