Here is a list of handy flash commands I absolutely cannot work without. I made it for myself in case I have to do a clean install of Flash and suffered from install amnesia. Perhaps it might prove useful for the reader that has found this page on the internets.

If you’re not deeply familiar with Flash, one of the greatest features is the ability to create and run custom commands, referred to as JSFL scripts. They can be set up to do many things that you eventually won’t want to do by hand, like automate repetitive tasks such as renaming 100+ library items, manipulating all keyframes on a timeline in one shot, and much more. There are many scripts that have been shared on Adobe Exchange and can be found elsewhere on the internets, and if you’re versed in javascript you can write one yourself.

Since I use Flash for art, you’ll find that my list contains commands that are largely art/animation oriented. All credits and much thanks goes out to the people who scripted and shared these.

Add Stop Frames

Credit: Guy Watson
Description: Adds “stop();” actionscript to selected timeline frames. Very handy for adding a bunch of stop frames at once.

Get it from Adobe Exchange

Library Find And Replace

Credit: freeLanders
Description: Searches your library for any keyword you want, and replaces it all with a new keyword. A great timesaver for renaming a bunch of assets.
Example 1: if you had started off a project prefixing symbols with “alpha_”, and then the project changed names so you want to prefix those symbols with “beta_” instead, you can do it in one go.
Example 2: If midway through working in your Flash file you decide that instead of “upper_arm” you want the naming structure to be “arm_upper” you can search “upper_arm” and replace with “arm_upper”.
Caveat: You must be sure of what you want to change the name to, or save before committing to a change, as it may be messy to try to undo any changes.

Get it from Adobe Exchange

Swap All

Credit: flextnet
Description: You can select one or many movieclips and swap them all out at once with a different movieclip that you select in the library. Not only does it work with multiple objects in a frame, you can select objects across multiple keyframes and swap them all at once.
Caveat: You must be sure of what you want to swap before triggering this command. There is no canceling out of the command, so even if you accidentally start the SWAP ALL dialogue and escape out of it, whatever symbols you selected will change to whatever item was highlighted in the library. You can undo it, but it can get messy and is better to avoid.

Get it from Adobe Exchange

Naming Instances

Credit: linakutak
Description: This command allows you to set instance names on multiple movieclips in a single frame or across many keyframes. Very handy when setting up instance names for programmer access, or when you need to change an existing instance name.
Caveat: The command dialogue allows you to create increments in the name. This allows you to automatically name movieclips in number order “box_1, box_2, box_3…” but I don’t recommend using this feature. The results are unpredictable, it’s better to select distinct movieclips manually and set the instance name for each one in separate passes.

Get it from Adobe Exchange

Name Instances By Layer Name

Credit: wchou
Description: This one’s custom by a co-worker friend, and does one better than the NAMING INSTANCES script above. It uses the layer name to give all symbols on every keyframe an instance name. You can select multiple layers, or even every single layer in a timeline, and run the command. Suuuuper handy, on several occasions I named 300+ instances in one go.
Caveat: Layers must be named properly, but this is best practice. Only one symbol can exist in any frame on the target layer. Does not work with guides and mask layers.

Download the .zip file

Batch Publish Command

Credit: tusharwadekar
Description: If you have a lot of files you need to publish at once, this command will do the trick. Run the command, set the path that contains the source files you want to publish, set the target folder that you want to publish to, and start the process. Flash will open file, publish, close file, repeat.
Caveat: In Flash, you must have a document open to run the command. Source and target paths must be set manually and must be absolute paths, unfortunately there is no browse feature.

Get it from Adobe Exchange

Multi Transform Panel

Credit: Peter Celuch
Description: Choose as many symbols as you want and use this panel to set the target scale and rotation to all of them. The transform will be applied to each symbol respective to their own registration point, instead of scaling as a group. Works across multiple frames as well.
Caveat: Changes made will not be recovered by undo, so take caution when using this panel. Scale and rotation transform happens in tandem, there is no way to apply one and not the other.

Get it from Flashlabs

Better Use Count

Credit: Fuel Industries
Description: Select a library item, run command, and get a full report on how many times that item is used and a detailed account of every instance where it is used. Very useful for hunting down that seemingly useless library item that shows a Use Count of 1, but you have no clue where it is. Use the command, find it, and confirm that you can safely delete it.
Caveat: This one’s not packaged into a file or installer, so you’ll have to add it to your Commands folder manually. It’s not too difficult. Here are instructions for a Mac (sorry, I don’t have a PC version walkthrough). First, look for this path “/Users/YourUserName/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flash CSxx/en/Configuration/Commands”. If you’re on a newer OS, the user library folder may be hidden. You’ll have to make it visible, but I won’t go into that process here. The Commands folder contains all the JSFL that’s already been installed. Duplicate one of the JSFL files, rename it to “Better Use Count”, open it in a text editor, delete the existing code, copy/paste the code from the link below, save. Whew, that’s it. The command will appear in Flash the next time you open the Commands menu.

Get it from Fuel JSFL