Action Buttons

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Action Buttons

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Action buttons are objects you create in your sketch that you can press to perform a variety of actions: hiding or showing objects, moving or animating objects, linking to a different page in your document or to a web site, scrolling the sketch window to a particular position, playing a sound, or making a presentation. Use action buttons to conveniently repeat frequent actions or to help explain the mathematics of your sketch to others.

Button Type and Properties




Hide/Show Buttons and Properties


One or more objects

Hide or show the selected objects

Animation Buttons and Properties


One or more geometric objects or parameters

Animate the selected objects

Movement Buttons and Properties


One or more pairs of points or values. The first object of each pair must be free to move or vary. (In other words, the first object can be a point that's free to move or a parameter.)

Move or vary the first object of each pair toward the second object of the pair

Presentation Buttons and Properties


One or more action buttons

Present the action buttons simultaneously or sequentially

Sound Buttons


One or two functions

Make a sound defined by the function(s)

Link Buttons and Properties



Link to another page, another sketch, or a location on the Internet

Scroll Buttons and Properties


One point

Scroll the window based on the location of the point

Using Action Buttons

To create an action button, choose a command from the Edit | Action Buttons submenu. Once you’ve created an action button, you can do several things with it.

Start the button’s action by pressing the button body (not the handle) with the Arrow tool. (If a button stays down after you press it, this indicates that its action is still continuing. Click the button a second time to stop its action.)

Start the button’s action by selecting it and pressing the Enter key. Press Enter a second time to stop its action.

Select the button by clicking the handle (not the body) with the Arrow tool. Once the button is selected, you can hide it, clear it, and perform other actions on it.

Change the button’s font, size, style, and color by first clicking the handle to select it and then using the Text Palette.

Move the button to a different position by using the Arrow tool to drag the button’s handle.

Change the button’s label by double-clicking it with the Text tool.

Change the button’s properties by choosing Edit | Properties or by choosing Properties from the Context menu.

Action Button Keyboard Shortcuts

You can create a keyboard shortcut for an action button, so that it performs its action when you press a key on the keyboard. In the button’s label, insert an ampersand symbol (&) before the letter that you want to use as the shortcut. That letter will then be underlined to indicate the keyboard shortcut. For example if you label an animation button Animate &Point, the P will be underlined, so that the button appears as Animate Point. On the keyboard, P will be the shortcut key.

To perform the button’s action, press the shortcut key on your keyboard. To stop the action, press the shortcut key a second time.

The keyboard shortcut works only when the action button is visible.

If several action buttons have the same keyboard shortcut, then pressing the key starts all of their actions.


Keyboard shortcuts are not case-sensitive unless there are separate buttons with uppercase and lowercase shortcuts for the same letter. For instance, if a sketch has a single button labeled Animate Point, you can start the action by pressing either “P” or “p.” If a sketch has buttons labeled Animate Point and Hide all points, pressing “P” activates the former, and pressing “p” activates the latter.