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Understanding the workspace, or interface, of Flash can help you work more efficiently in the program. Flash's interface is similar to other Adobe design programs, however there are panels and tools specific to Flash.

Flash Interface

Flash has a few basic areas that you will see when you open up a new document.


The Stage: This is where you will draw and place your symbols and images for your animations, kind of like your blank canvas right now.

The timeline: Here you can organize your layers and frames of your animation.

The toolbar: Gives you all your Flash tools at your fingertips. Notice when you hover over a tool with your mouse, a fly-out box will appear giving you the keyboard shortcut for that tool - if you will be using flash in any capacity, learn these shortcuts!


Panels: Panels by default are typically located on the right side of your screen in flash, but can be easily re-arranged just by clicking at the top of the panel and dragging it to a different side of your screen.

Customize Your Workspace

Flash allows you to customize your workspace specific to the type of project you are creating. At the top of your screen you should see the workspace setting that you are currently working in. It is set to ESSENTIALS by default.


When you click on the workspace button a fly-out menu will show you other workspace presets. You can also create your own work space. It is suggested to only save a new workspace after you have worked in your document for a little while. For instance, if you are making web banners, start working on the web banner and move things around while you are working, then when you are going to save and close the file for the day also save your workspace.

You can save a new workspace by clicking on the Workspace button and selecting New Workspace. Name your workspace, click OK. You should now see the new workspace name in the top menu.

Manage Workspaces will allow you to delete or rename a workspace.

Keyboard Shortcuts

There are many keyboard shortcuts that you can use in flash that can enhance your workflow and efficiency. To view the list of keyboard shortcuts go to Flash > Keyboard Shortcuts on a Mac or Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts on a PC.