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ActionScript is a scripting language used to develop interactive web content embedded in Adobe Flash SWF files. Originally developed by Macromedia, the trademark in the language is now owned by Adobe (which acquired Macromedia in 2005), though the language itself is "open source" in the sense that its specification is offered free of charge and an open source compiler (as part of Adobe Flex) is available.

There are three variations of ActionScript:

  • ActionScript 1.0: designed for controlling simple 2D vector animations made in Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash).
  • ActionScript 2.0: a scripting programming language more suited to the development of Flash applications; released in 2004.
  • ActionScript 3.0: an object oriented programming language allowing far more control and code reusability when building complex Flash applications, released in 2006. Code written in ActionScript 3.0 (AS3) will typically only work in Flash Player 9 and higher, and executes up to 10 times faster than legacy ActionScript code.

Child Pages

Learning Resources


  • Flash Foundation - contains some great lessons on Action Script 3, including this very handy one: "Drawing by Mouse in AS3". The source code to allowing a the user to draw lines is very easy in AS3.
  • Official ActionScript 3 samples - official site which include some nice examples demonstrating the drawing API, rotation, nesting movies, drag, keyboard input... and includes two game samples, including an maze and asteroids game.