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ActionScript Code Coloring

A quick guide to Amethyst’s fonts and colours
by Huw Collingbourne
Friday 16 April 2010.

As we draw closer to the final beta and, thereafter, the release version of Amethyst, we plan to publish a great many more tutorials to explain the features of the software. Some of these will be written tutorials. Others will take the form of short videos.

I’ve just uploaded a video explaining the fundamental features of Amethyst’s syntax colouring for ActionScript and MXML. Amethyst supports no less than 76 different code colouring options specifically for Flash Platform developers. Not only can you colour strings, numbers and comments but you can even assign different custom colours to each ActionScript keyword so that, for example, the keyword ‘private’ has a different colour from ‘public’, ‘function’ has a different colour from ‘return’ and so on.

These extensive colouring options make it possible for users to tailor their colour preferences precisely. But there is an obvious disadvantage for anyone who prefers to use colouring options sparingly. If you have set 25 keywords to 25 different colours, how can you set them back to the Visual Studio default of a single colour for all keywords? In the forthcoming beta (due out in a few days) we’ve solved this by adding a new option to let you set all keywords simultaneously to the Visual Studio default while leaving all your other custom colours intact.

There are a few other colouring additions in the next beta too. For example, it will allow you to set one colour for a method name when that name occurs in a function definition such a public function myFunction(); but a different colour for that name when it is used as a function call as in myobject.myFunction();.

This screencast should give you an idea the sheer range of colouring options now available in Amethyst. You can watch the video below or, if you prefer to view it in high definition, click HERE to watch it on YouTube.

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