Disabling a background's interactions while an alpha layer is open on top...?

Hey, thanks for reading my problem.

i’ve been off Flash for a while and I’m having difficulties with such a simple thing and it’s annoying me a lot now that I cant remember how to do it.

What I am trying to do is have a overlapping layer that comes up over all the flash content. This is easy but I’ve noticed that all the buttons/interactions below the layer come through, so in effect the user get’s a link mouse pointer for no link. I need to make it so when the new layer comes over everything behind it is inactive, I hope someone can share the knowledge with me to get this as it’s really baffled me.

to give an example I wanted it like this:

the buttons are all active, then when the help button is pressed, all go inactive and only the help is clickable:

Thanks so much in advance & I am sorry for the lame question, I have lost my ways with AS temporarily! :frowning: