Problem: target path to movie clip element of a button

I’m trying to figure out how to use AS to access frames of a movie clip within a button symbol (using Flash MX 2004), and I seem to be stuck. I drafted a small test version of the FLA I’m working on, and it is attached to this message.

Specifically, my intention is to have a two-state button that goes into “selected mode” after the first mouse click, and then goes back to normal after a 2nd click. I can already handle the functional aspect of this using a global boolean like the one in the attached file. The problem is that I want to represent the current status of the button with a visual change; in the attached example FLA, the intention was to change the color of the text label on this button from grey to red when the button is in its “selected” state.

In this forum I found a similar question where someone had provided a “menu.fla” that had a row of buttons that acted more or less like a radio set, which is somewhat similar to my need. I’ve been trying to use the same sort of method, having converted the “up” state of the button text into a movie clip symbol with two frames (one for each state), and then trying to use AS to do a “gotoAndStop()” on the desired frame of the up label animation. The problem is that I cannot figure out how to actually make this work … no matter what sort of path I try to use to get to the movie clip animation within the button, I cannot seem to set the text animation to jump to the “selected” frame (2).

I think my problem is that I’ve been unable to glean any understanding from the Flash MX docs about the differences between an object name and a symbol name and an identifier and an instance name and a blah blah blah, or about which of them (if any) actually is an ID that can be accessed via ActionScript. Also, MX 2004 seems to provide almost no compile-time error checking on the validity of a target path either, so I’ve been reduced to just throwing every combination at it that I can think of. None have worked, so I’m at a loss.

If anyone can explain to me why the attached FLA doesn’t cause the text to stay red after a mouse click, no matter which of the commented out lines I try, it would undoubtedly be a big help to me.

(Please note that the button in this FLA uses a basic flashing animation for mouseovers … it was just something quick to implement to emulate the mouseover animation in my full file, so please don’t be distracted by it. Also note that I haven’t tried to implement any code to return the button to a non-selected status yet. One thing at a time.)

RESOLVED: It was apparently the nesting of a movieclip inside of a button that prevented the original target path from working (and one of the tutorials at this website seems to support that). Once I knew what the proper path syntax was and didn’t have to worry about that part anymore, eventually the rest fell into place pretty easily once I started using a movieclip for the button rather than an actual button.

You are missing some subtle difference between the two.
And yes, this is the way to create better buttons. For example, on which seamlessly fades out then fades in (i.e. transparency) when onMouseOver. So instead of static frames, AS-movieclip-buttons allow you to make more clever stuff.

Once you get used to it, it’s actually better to code your buttons (unless they REALLY ARE simple things like static frames). Coding buttons also allows you to change the text on buttons, so you could for example create one button template with a blank textfield and then generate the buttons (i.e. attachMovieClip) and assign those generated buttons some text.

Good luck :smiley: