Both the animator and scalable graphics utilize Macromedia Flash technology. If either is not behaving in an expected manner, we recommend downloading the latest version of the plugin.

Performance is machine dependent. The animator and scalable graphics share the ability to "zoom".

There are four general functions associated with the animator:

A "menu" may be available. This function allows the visibility of individual "layers" to be turned on or off. In all instances, an "instructions" button is available that will cause this page to be displayed.


stop/play buttons The Stop and Play buttons were designed to mimic VCR controls in appearance and function. Selecting the "Stop" button (square) will cause the animation to stop looping. Selecting the "Play" button (triangle) will cause the animation to resume. By default, the animation is stopped when first loaded.


speed button The speed control adjusts the amount of time that the animator waits before displaying the next frame in the animation. Slowly dragging the control to the left will cause the animation to slow. Slowly dragging the control to the right will cause the animation speed to increase. The frame rate can be adjusted while the animator is displaying frames. The animator will display each frame as quickly as your machine is capable - up to a maximum speed of twenty frames per second . This is the default speed setting.

Frame Controls

frame controls The frame controls area provides feedback concerning which frame is currently displayed as well as total frames. Selecting any point on the indicator will cause the animator to stop the animation and "jump" to the appropriate frame. The animation can be restarted using the play button.
step control Likewise, the "step" controls will allow you to incrementally move forward and backward through the animation by selecting either the left or right arrows.


zoom control Most animations can be zoomed/scaled by clicking once on the displayed graphic portion of the animation. Clicking a second time will cause the viewable area to return to 100 percent. Clicking on text, legends, or the animation controls will not cause the graphic to scale. By default, the graphic will recenter on the cursor.


pulldown menu Depending on the animation, a pulldown menu may be available. This menu is used to toggle the visiblility of individual "layers" or overlays. An example of this might be an animation with interstates, state highways, county boundaries, subdistricts, and city locations "layered" over a base map containing weather information. By turning several layers off, leaving only those items of interest (ex. subdistricts and cities), the graphic becomes less cluttered and more pertinent.

The menu can be displayed by placing the cursor over the menu name, immediately below the play/stop controls, and clicking once. While the menu is closed, the small arrow adjacent to the menu will point downward.

Please Note: All animator functions remain active when a menu is displayed - except the ability to scale.
Scaling is automatically disabled while a menu is being displayed. Closing the menu will return the scale function to its' normal behavior.

menu displayed Passing the cursor over the menu items will cause individual items to "highlight". Clicking on an item, while the item is highlighted, will cause the visibility of that item to be turned either "off" or "on". Those items which are currently "on" will have a "checkmark" displayed immediately to their left. In some instances, an animation may have several items turned "off" by default. These items can be redisplayed by clicking on the menu item.

Several selections can be made from a menu at a single time. It is not necessary to close the menu at all unless the ability to scale the graphic is needed or the menu covers up a critical portion of the graphic.

To close the menu, place the cursor over the menu name and click once.