a Listbox
         written by ilyas usal a.k.a. pom

Flash Components, as you know, are supposed to make our life easier. Well, that's true, but you have to know how to use them. This tutorial will try to teach you how to use the Listbox Component. It involves several important functions:

  • Component.addItem()
  • Component.getSelectedItem()
  • Component.setChangeHandler()

We will create here a list of events, and clicking on them will display their date in a dynamic textbox.

The following is an example of the List Box you will create by following this tutorial:

[ you will create the above animation ]

Creating a List Box
The following steps will explain how to setup the movie for creating the above animation:

  1. Open the source file provided with Flash MX. You'll see 4 layers : code, dynamic text, list box and background.
  2. Open the Component Panel and drag the List Box Component on the list box layer like shown on the screenshot below.

[ click the list box component and drag it on the scene text tool ]

  1. After the list box has been put there, we have to give it an instance name. In the Properties Panel, enter the instance name list.
    Now we need to populate it. One possibility would be to use the little menu of the Properties Panel. You can see 4 things : Labels, Data, Select Multiple and Change Handler. But we won't enter the data here, we will do it with Actionscript. We use the Component.addItem () function I was mentioning earlier.
    In the code layer, write this code:

[ add the above code to a frame on the code layer ]

  1. Let's explain this code a bit. The structure is quite complicated.

    list.addItem("Flash MX Release",new Date(2002,2,15));

    list. indicates that addItem is a method of the Object list, which is a listbox Component. Basically, it means that addItem applies to list. You may have encountered this notation if you've written this.move(); where move() was a movie clip prototype (check the elasticity tutorial for instance).

    "Flash MX Release" is the label that is going to appear in the list box.

    new Date(2002,2,15) : this field isn't compulsory. The Flash Help says that Data (that's it's name) is an array of Strings defined the values associated to the labels. Here we created a new Date Object. But we could have as well declared a new Array (I made another file to demonstrate that, and also how to get to display numbers, in the download files).
  2. The second step is the definition of the function that will be executed when we click on one of the entries of the list box. Here, what we want to display the date we entered as data. First you need to put a dynamic textbox in the dynamic textbox layer. Name it textbox. Next to the code you wrote, add this one:


  1. OK, I admit it doesn't doesn't look good. But it's not very complicated. The first thing we do is declare an array containing the months of the year. We'll use this in the getMonth method.

    function displayDetails(c){
    This is the function declaration. The parameter c is a component. It will be the component that calls the function (list).

    trace (c.getSelectedItem().label+":");
    traces the corresponding label. Note how we use the class method getSelectedItem on the component c, and that we get the property label, just like we did with addItem. This function allows us to access the label, and the data, as we'll see now.

    var j = c.getSelectedItem().data;
    This is a temporary variable we use to make it easier for us to write. Doing so, j.getDate will be equivalent to c.getSelectedItem().data.getDate. You see now how practical it is.

    trace (j.getDate()+" "+ mois[j.getMonth()]+" "+j.getFullYear());
    This displays the date with the usual methods of the Date Objects. If you don't know them, I suggest you look up the Help, Jubba's tutorial about the Analog Clock and the Best of Kirupa forum.
  2. The last thing we need to worry about is easy to forget. We created the list, we created the function, but now we have to make the list call the function we defined. There's the code to do that:

  1. It should be much more simple for you now that you have understood the concept of class methods. Note that the function is call between "" and that you don't need to put the (). Actually you must not put them or it will come out as an error.

You have just completed creating your List Box. I have provided the source code to the animation so that you can compare your fla to mine. Click the Download FLA link below to download the source file:

download fla

I hope the information helped. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to post them on the Message Board. I should be there, along with others flashers to help you.

pom 0]


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