Designing the Flash CS4 Drop Down Menu Components
A Flash CS4 drop down menu is simply a movie clip that is controlled by the user through mouse actions. With that in mind, we need to create all the necessary buttons required in our Flash CS4 drop down and lay them our including the backgrounds and text. The buttons can simply be made out of rectangles styled appropriately with the color tool or using images.
The Flash drop down menu we are creating is similar to the one seen in the image on the left. In the Flash time-line, you will need to create a layer for the top level menu. That is the one labeled with buttons reading Link 1, Link 2, Link 3 and Link 4.
The sub-menu items will then be created on separate layer. These are the ones labeled Link 4 A, Link 4 B, Link 4 C and Link 4 D. You will then need another layer to sit in between these two layers to hold a mask that will be responsible for showing and hiding the sub-menu items. The mask should have a height the same as the largest sub-menu while it should have a width the same as a single sub-menu. The Mask will be created out of a rectangle.
Also under the mask, there will be a layer for the static text of all the sub-menus and finally another layer with controls to stop the movie clip and take the movie back to the first frame and hides all active sub-menus when the user moves the mouse away from the menu. This is wrapped over an invisible button that catches the mouse movement events.
We will then need another layer to hold the labels which act as anchors for the Goto function to jump to. There should be one for each sub-menu. Next there should be another layer to stop the current running script after a certain number of frames before reaching frames marked for other sub-menus.
Finally there should be a frame to hold the ActionScript code that makes everything interact together. If all is well up to this point you should be thinking of a total of eight layers.