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i have searched but am still at a loss because i dont know what its called. i have a main movie and a blank movie that swfs for each section are loaded into, im trying to figure out how to set it up so that if a section is already loaded when you click on that link the as on the button checks to see if that has already been loaded, so it doesnt load twice. any help would be appreciated. thanks.

Set up some function to disable the current button after it gets clicked and enable every other one.

well another way is like this:

let’s say the button for the portfolio is clicked. So you put an action on it:
_root.currentmovie = "portfolio"
And so do to every one of the buttons (just change the string "portfolio as needed)
and the actions of all the buttons you need to out into an if() { … } that checks if the variable (_root. currentmovie) is already the one that this button should change it to…
so for the portfolio it should look something like this:

on(release) {
if(!_root.currentmovie == "portfolio") { // and "!" sign in front of a condition makes the if() check if the condition is false instead of true
_root.currentmovie = "portfolio";