The ZSortClips widget in used in combination with the 3D features of Flash. If movieClips are moved in the Z axis (i.e. forward and back in space), ZSortClips puts the clips in correct order so that those “closer” to the user (lower values for Z) are in “front” of other clips. Flash does not automatically provide this Z sorting feature in CS4 & CS5.

Example Flash File: ZSortClipsExample.fla.zip

This example uses two AnalogInputs and two corresponding ClipControl widgets to change the Z axis of clips called “a” and “b” respectively. These clips (along with one called “c”) are inside of a clip called “clip1” that’s on the main stage of the Flash movie. To use this example, be sure to change the property that each ClipControl controls to “z” instead of the default “height”. As you change the values of the AnalogInputs, you will see the A and B clips move forward and back in space, and positioning in front or behind other clips as appropriate.

On Screen Features

  • CONTAINER: The clip container that has the clips to be sorted
  • OUT: The value set by the code. By default, the IN value is passed directly to the OUT


  • INVISIBLE: if set to “yes”, the widget will disappear when the Flash movie is run
  • CLIPCONTAINER: The instance name of the clip to be sorted.
  • SORTRECURSIVELY: If set to “true” ZSortClips will sort clips nested inside of other clips inside the clip container. If set to “false”, only those clips at the top leve of the clip container instance will be sorted.

Last modified March 24th, 2011