Sliding Menu
       by kirupa  |  19 February 2006

The sliding menu is a nice, compact way of displaying information. Instead of displaying content over multiple pages, all of your content is located one large movie clip. The content the user wishes to access simply slides into place.

In this tutorial, I will explain how to create an easily extensible, horizontal sliding menu. You can see an example of the sliding menu below:

[ click on the colored squares on the left to see the menu in action ]

Let's get started:

  1. First, download the partial source file for this tutorial. It only contains the sidebar with the buttons. That way, you can focus your energies on creating the sliding menu as opposed to worrying about other, unnecessary details:

  2. Once you have downloaded and extracted the contents of the file, open the easing_tutorial source file in Flash. After you open it, you should see a large gray rectangle with sidebar on the left with five buttons. Each button has an instance name: b1, b2, b3, b4, b5.

[ background and buttons ]

  1. Let's create the sliding content rectangles. Insert a new layer and call it content. On your new layer, draw a colored rectangle using the Rectangle Tool.

  2. Select your newly drawn rectangle and, by using the Properties Panel, ensure it has a width of 250, height of 200,  X offset of 50, and a y offset of 0:

[ the width and height properties ]

  1. As you can see, the rectangle now covers up the large gray space not occupied by the sidebar. This will be our first content movie clip. Select the rectangle again and press Ctrl + F8 (Modify | Convert to Symbol). Select Movie Clip and press OK.

  2. Your rectangle is now a movie clip. Give your rectangle movie clip the instance name content1.

  3. Let's create another rectangle. On your content layer, using your rectangle tool, draw another rectangle with width of 250 and a height of 200. This time, set its X offset to 300, and the Y offset will again be 0.

    Your new rectangle should neatly appear directly to the right of your earlier rectangle:

[ the new rectangle you drew ]

  1. Just like you did before, convert this Rectangle into a movie clip. Give it the instance name content2.

  2. Repeat steps vii and viii to create three more rectangle movie clips. Ensure that each rectangle movie clip's x position is 250 pixels more than the x position of the rectangle it is following.

    The following list should help you with the x positions:

    1. Rectangle 3's x position: 550

    2. Rectangle 4's x position: 800

    3. Rectangle 5's x position: 1050

    The other properties for the rectangle will stay the same. The width for all of the rectangles will be 250 pixels, the height will be 200 pixels, and the Y offset will still be 0.


Do not copy and paste a previous rectangle movie clip and place it in your new location. When you want to add content to your movie clip, you will find that the same content will be displayed in all three of your other duplicated movie clips. You usually do not want that!

  1. Ensure that you now have five rectangle movie clips on the stage. Each movie clip should have the instance name content1, content2, content3, content4, or content5.
    The following is an image of my stage at 25% zoom level:

[ a zoomed out view of all of the rectangles ]

So far, in this page you saw an example of what you will create, and you made some good progress in recreating the example animation. You now have five movie clips that will represent the content (menus) in our animation.

In the next page, we will pick up from here and get a few steps closer towards finishing up this sliding menu.

Onwards to the next page!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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