Flash CS3 keyboard shortcuts

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Authors: Daniel K. Schneider (TECFA) and Marielle Lange (WidgEd)

This page contains the most important Flash CS3 keyboard shortcuts. There may be some mistakes and omissions for now (e.g. programming/debugging is not covered). Table size optimized for Mozilla/Windows.

For Mac users, to have the functions keys functioning as below, you have to go to "System Preferences" > "Keyboard" > tick option "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys". Otherwise your function keys will function as the special feature printed on them (you can always use these special features using FN key+F1, F2, etc.).

The useful list

Standard windows commands not shown here

F5 - Add simple frame
F6 - Add new Keyframe
F7 - Add blank Keyframe
F8 - Make Symbol
CTRL+ENTER - Test a Movie

F9 - Action Panel
F4 - Show/Hide All Panels
F10 - Keystroke Menu command mode

Tools Panel

While drawing on the stage you quickly can change tools that way.

V - Selection Tool
A - Sub Selection Tool
Q - Free Transform tool
F - Gradient Transform Tool
L - Lasso Tool

P - Pen Tool
N - Line Tool
T - Text Tool
R - Rectangle Tool
O - Oval Tool
Y - Pencil Tool
B - Paint Brush

S - Ink Bottle
K - Paint Bucket
I - EyeDropper
D - Dropper
E - Eraser

H - Hand Tool
M,Z - Magnifier (Zoom)

Modifying and editing

CTRL+G - Group
CTRL+SHIFT-G - Ungroup
CTRL+B - Break Apart

CTRL+A - Select All
CTRL+SHIFT+A - Deselect All
CTRL+C - Copy
CTRL+V - Paste
CTRL+SHIFT+V - Paste in Place
CTRL+D - Duplicate

CTRL+SHIFT+O - Optimize Curves

CTRL+T - Modify Font
CTRL+SHIFT+T - Modify Paragraph
CTRL+left Arrow - Narrower Letter Spacing (kerning)
CTRL+right Arrow - wider Letter Spacing (kerning)

CTRL+SHIFT+9 - Rotate 90° Clockwise
CTRL+SHIFT+7 - Rotate 90° Counter clockwise
CTRL+SHIFT+Z - Remove Transform

CTRL+ALT+S - Scale and Rotate
CTRL+SHIFT+Z - Remove Transform


CTRL+Up Arrow - Move Ahead
CTRL+Down Arrow - Move Behind
CTRL+SHIFT+Up Arrow - Bring to Front
CTRL+SHIFT+Down Arrow - Send to Back

CTRL+ALT+1 - Left Align
CTRL+ALT+2 - Horizontal Center
CTRL+ALT+3 - Right Align
CTRL+ALT+4 - Top Align
CTRL+ALT+5 - Vertical Center
CTRL+ALT+6 - Bottom Align
CTRL+ALT+7 - Distribute Widths
CTRL+ALT+9 - Distribute Heights
CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+7 - Make Same Width
CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+9 - Make Same Height
CTRL+ALT+8 - Set "Align to stage"

Windows and Panels

Open/close various Panels

F1 - Help
F4 - Show/Hide Panels
CTRL+K - Align Panel
CTRL+T - Transform
SHIFT+F9 - Color Mixer
CTRL+F9 - Color Swatches
CTRL+L - Show/Hide Library
F9 - Actions

If your screen is big enough you won't need these a lot ...

CTRL+F3 - Properties Inspector
CTRL+F2 - Tools Panel
CTRL+ALT-T - Timeline
CTRL+M - Modify Movie Properties
CTRL+E - Toggle between Edit Movie& Edit Symbol Mode
CTRL+SHIFT+L - Show/Hide Timeline
CTRL+SHIFT+W - Show/Hide Work Area

Frames and Symbols

(most of the time, position first inside the timeline)

F5 - Add frame (extend the timeline)
SHIFT+F5 - Delete Frame
F6 - Add Key Frame (and copy over old contents)
SHFIT-F6 - Clear Key Frame
F7 - Add Blank Key Frame (and leave the stage empty)

F8 - Turn into Symbol
CTRL+F8 - Make new Symbol

CLICK DRAG - Move keyframe (Select, release - then drag !)
CTRL-DRAG - Select several Frames


Enter - Play Movie
CTRL+0 (zero) - Rewind Movie
< - Previous Frame
> - Next Frame

CTRL+ENTER - Test Movie

Home - Goto First Scene
End - Goto Last Scene
Page Up - Goto Previous Scene
Page Down - Goto Next Scene


CTRL+N - New File
CTRL+O - Open File
CTRL+S - Save File

CTRL+R - Import Image/Sound/etc...
CTRL+SHIFT+O - Open as Library

SHIFT+F12 - Publish
CTRL+SHIFT+R - Export to .swf/.spl/.gif/etc...


CTRL+1 - View movie at 100% size
CTRL+2 - Show Frame
CTRL+3 - Show All

Generate shortcut table

  • Menu Edit->Keyboard shortcuts
  • Click on the little icon on top right (Export Set as HTML). This will generate a single HTML file with several tables, showing all commands that can have a shortcuts plus the shortcuts currently defined.



  • On a Mac replace "Control" by "Command"
  • In this table, "+" means hold down both (usually I just use a "-" for this)

Other tricks

(from Adobe, to sort out)

With the arrow cursor: Control + Click and Drag - Duplicates a shape By hitting the control key first (Macintosh & Windows) and THEN clicking and dragging on a selected shape or group of shapes, you will create a duplicate of those shapes at the spot where you release the mouse button.

CTRL+Clicking a keyframe to move frame: CTRL+clicking a frame in the timeline switches the cursor to a slider, and allows you to click and drag that frame to a new place in the timeline within that same layer. Useful if you want to stretch out tweens for example

With the magnifier tool:

Control + Click - Toggles to the opposite magnifier. If the + magnifier (zoom in) is active, and you hit Control while clicking, you will switch to the - magnifier and actually zoom OUT.

With the dropper tool:

Shift + Click - Select a color for both fill and outline tools Clicking a red fill will do the same, giving you the Bucket tool, and switching fill colors to red. But the outline tool colors are not changed. Clicking on text switches the text tool to that color, and gives you the text tool. Shift clicking with the dropper makes the color you click on active for ALL tools, and doesn't automatically switch you to any tool. It leaves the dropper active.

This is one of the least well known short cuts in Flash, and is the ONLY way to use the dropper on an outline for example, and then be able to switch to the fill tool and have that color automatically active already.