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Terms in SWF Action Types

General type of the actions.


  • Arithmetic (14)
    In an ActionScript one can do math and handle strings. This is done primarily with the arithmetic instructions.


  • Comparisons (8)
    The content of variables can be compared against each other to then Branch one way or the other. These ActionScript instructions are saved under this category.
  • Context
    ActionScripts run against an object. That object is part of the current context. The context can be changed with different instructions in your ActionScript.
  • Control (11)
    A control action is an action that controls the execution pointer such as a Branch.


  • Logical and Bitwise (6)
    The arithmetic instructions are complemented by a set of logical operator used in with comparisons and to do binary (bitwise) math.


  • Miscellaneous (3)
    Instructions found in the category do not fit any of the other categories. Most of those have now been replaced by an object with proper variable members.
  • Movie (22)
    The Adobe Flash animations are also called Movies or Sprites. Every term is correct and used interchangeably. It looks like Movie is the preferred term. Some ActionScript instruction directly affect the behavior of a movie and are categories under this category.


  • Objects (15)
    The newest versions of ActionScript can handle objects. These instructions are available since version 5 and can be used to construct, use, and delete objects.


  • Properties (1)
    Older versions of the ActionScript system was tied to the Movie object in some intricate ways. This generated a list of properties and a set of instructions to handle those properties. Today, those are generally not used since you may have many Movies (Sprites) and using a property instruction requires the proper target to be selected first. It is harder to program that way than access a specific Movie using one of its method.


  • Sound (1)
    There is one ActionScript instruction directly linked to Sound.
  • Stack (4)
    Instructions dedicated to change the stack in an ActionScript.
  • String and Characters (11)
    The Adobe Flash system comes with a set of native instructions to work on strings and characters. The newest version uses the String object and calls methods on these objects instead. Older versions (before version 6) had to use the native instructions. It is still used against constants and for optimization.


  • Variables (6)
    Many native instructions let you handle variables. This is important since that's how to maintain a complete list of all your objects and different global values. You can get and set variables or registers. The newest version of Adobe Flash support up to 254 registers in version 7 functions.