You've probably all read about the great new extensibility features in Flash MX 2004. We've got Timeline effects, Tools, Behaviours but my personal favourite is - believe it or not - Commands.

Commands are basically little (or not so little) scripts written in JSFL that perform a sequence of task in the authoring environment. You can choose to code your commands by hand and drop them in the "Commands" folder or simply select the steps you want to reproduce from the History Panel and save those to a Command. Once you've done that your script is available from the Commands menu of the toolbar and can be run

It's that easy, I bet even your grandmother could do it! I can't tell you how things like that can influence your workflow.

I'll share with you the very first command I created "prepareLayers.jsfl. What it does is add two layers to the timeline, one for actionscript one for frame labels and lock them. This is something I would typically do every time I created a new FLA.

I became quite proficient at doing so, it would usually take me just under 10 seconds to add these layers, change the layer name and lock them. Now I'm down to 3 seconds, Commands > prepareLayers ... talk about increased performance! :)