Automatically Enter at the Desired Frame with FrameAim

A number of Flash animators make great use of nested Timelines within graphic symbols. The frame from the graphic that is displayed can then be manipulated using the first frame property of the symbol instance. Unfortunately, when the animator double-clicks on the instance to edit the symbol, Flash displays frame 1 of the symbol’s Timeline instead of the frame assigned to the first frame property.

Dave Logan has a wonderful command called Enter Graphic At Current Frame that resolves this issue. Many Flash animators use graphics symbols  so much that they would prefer “entering at the current frame” to be Flash’s default behavior when they double-click to edit a symbol. A number of these users have sent me requests through the Extension Request Form. So I put together this panel to essentially make “entering at the current frame” the default behavior. The panel simply has to be open for the behavior to work (the Auto jump box is checked by default). There are some extra buttons for some added fanciness.

This is a total freebie, but donations are appreciated (donate button below, or the one located in the right-hand column).

(Compatibility: Flash 8 & up, including CC & CC 2014)

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  1. iftah gorfine says:

    they finally added this feature to the latest flash version(5.5) , double clicking on a graphic symbol takes you right to the correct selected frame.
    anyone using flash cs 5 or lower would enjoy your panel.

  2. Justin says:

    Thanks for the tip, Iftah! I didn’t realize this had changed in CS5.5.

  3. Tom Dyer says:

    This is awesome! I wanted to make it myself but I rely heavily on code-hinting etc. which makes writting custom commands tricky 🙁

    Thanks for this though, made my day!!

  4. Tom Dyer says:

    Oh wait, I can’t get it to work… and when the panel is open, the “Enter graphic at current frame” command doesn’t work either 🙁

    It was a nice thought though…

  5. Justin says:

    Hi Tom, Sorry to hear that. Are you getting any errors? If you can provide me with more details I can probably fix it.

  6. Tom Dyer says:

    No errors showing anywhere… 🙁

    I’m using Flash CS4 on Windows 7 if that helps?
    It appeared to work when I clicked one of the panel buttons at first but now I don’t think that even works, and it doesn’t allow the double-click command either. I’ll post on here if I find any extra info. about why it doesn’t work.


  7. Justin says:

    Hey Tom, it looks like Flash CS4 is missing a (huge) piece of JSFL functionality (though it works in CS3 and CS5). Specifically, I can’t access the active frame (or the selected frames) of a timeline that’s not being edited.

    So I came up with a hack for CS4 that stores the current frame for each timeline as you pass through it. Download version 1.01 (from the link above) and let me know if it works for you.

    I encountered another issue: the way that I’m storing the data seems to prevent updates to the first frame property while the Auto jump box is checked. This is a big bummer, but I will try to get around it in the next version.

  8. Tom Dyer says:

    Hi Justin,

    Still no joy 🙁 I’ll put some traces into your code to see if I can debug it.
    Any chance you could email me the .fla for the swf panel?

    I don’t want to be a nuisance and keep asking you for updates so I’ll try and work it out myself and let you know if I make any progress.

    Thanks for all your hard work thus far 🙂

  9. Justin says:

    Sorry to hear that, Tom! The FLA is pretty bare. Most of the code is in the JSFL file. You can find that in your WindowSWF folder. Happy hunting!

  10. Cadistra says:

    Hi Justin,

    Does the “command” to enter graphic at current frame still exist for CS4/5? I would usually keybind the command to the “`” key…it makes your workflow a helluva lot faster!
    Thanks for the great work regardless!

  11. Justin says:

    Hi Cadistra,
    Yes, it looks like Dave Logan still has his Enter Graphic at Current Frame command available.

  12. Cadistra says:

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks! 😀 Sadly, the link to the precious extension doesn’t work. >_< I'll keep sniffing around. 🙂
    Thanks again!

  13. Justin says:

    Well, it’s a pretty simple command, so I threw one together:
    Edit at Current Frame.mxp.

    Hope that helps!

  14. Cadistra says:

    Hmmm….I installed it and restarted the program, and while it shows up in the actual command menu, it doesn’t work. :s
    I’m sorry to be so much trouble! I use Flash for a living and that command (I had it on `) made life so much easier.
    If it’s too much trouble you don’t have to worry about it. XD

  15. Justin says:

    I’ve tested in CS3 and CS5 with no problems. While installing it adds the script to Commands menu, you will still need to manually add the keyboard shortcut in your Flash preferences (the name of the command is different than Dave Logan’s).

  16. Cadistra says:

    Hi Justin,
    I did all of that. Weirdly enough, it doesn’t work on a symbol right on the stage, but it works inside…. /shrug
    Hey, good enough for me! XD Thanks for all your hard work! 😀

  17. Justin says:

    Weird. If you notice anything else, Cadistra, let me know. Not sure why that would be the case on your machine (and not on mine).

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