How to use the ScrollScreen component (Starling version)

A ScrollScreen component is meant to be a base class for custom screens to be displayed by StackScreenNavigator and ScreenNavigator. ScrollScreen is based on the ScrollContainer component, and it provides scrolling and optional layout.

If you don't need scrolling at all, you should use Screen instead. If you need a header or a footer, you should use PanelScreen instead.

The Basics

Just like ScrollContainer, you can add children and use layouts. Typically, you would override initialize() in a subclass of ScrollScreen and add children there:

protected function initialize():void
	// never forget to call this!

	// use a layout
	var layout:HorizontalLayout = new HorizontalLayout(); = 10;
	this.layout = layout;

	// add children
	for(var i:int = 0; i < 5; i++)
	    var quad:Quad = new Quad( 100, 100, 0xff0000 );
	    group.addChild( quad );

Hardware Key Callbacks

Some devices, such as Android phones and tablets, have hardware keys. These may include a back button, a search button, and a menu button. The ScrollScreen class provides a way to provide callbacks for when each of these keys is pressed. These are shortcuts to avoid needing to listen to the keyboard events manually and prevent the default behavior.

Screen provides backButtonHandler, menuButtonHandler, and searchButtonHandler.

this.backButtonHandler = function():void
    trace( "the back button has been pressed." );

Transition Events

The ScrollScreen dispatches a number of events when the screen navigator shows and hides it with a transition. To avoid long delays and to keep the transition animation smooth, it's often a good idea to postpone certain actions during initialization until after the transition has completed. We can listen for these events to know when to continue initializing the screen.

When the screen is shown by the screen navigator, the screen dispatches FeathersEventType.TRANSITION_IN_START at the beginning of a transition, and it dispatches FeathersEventType.TRANSITION_IN_COMPLETE when the transition has finished. Similarly, when the screen navigator shows a different screen and the active screen is hidden, we can listen for FeathersEventType.TRANSITION_OUT_START and FeathersEventType.TRANSITION_OUT_COMPLETE.

Let's listen for FeathersEventType.TRANSITION_IN_COMPLETE:

this.addEventListener( FeathersEventType.TRANSITION_IN_COMPLETE, transitionInCompleteHandler );

The event listener might look like this:

private function transitionInCompleteHandler( event:Event ):void
    // do something after the screen transitions in

Screen ID

The screenID property refers to the string that the screen navigator uses to identify the current screen when calling functions like pushScreen() on a StackScreenNavigator or showScreen() on a ScreenNavigator.

Accessing the screen navigator

The owner property provides access to the StackScreenNavigator or ScreenNavigator that is currently displaying the screen.

Skinning a ScrollScreen

For full details about what skin and style properties are available, see the ScrollScreen API reference.

As mentioned above, ScrollScreen is a subclass of ScrollContainer. For more detailed information about the skinning options available to ScrollScreen, see How to use the ScrollContainer component.

Skinning the Scroll Bars

This section only explains how to access the horizontal scroll bar and vertical scroll bar sub-components. Please read How to use the ScrollBar component (or SimpleScrollBar) for full details about the skinning properties that are available on scroll bar components.

With a Theme

If you're creating a theme, you can target the Scroller.DEFAULT_CHILD_STYLE_NAME_HORIZONTAL_SCROLL_BAR style name for the horizontal scroll bar and the Scroller.DEFAULT_CHILD_STYLE_NAME_VERTICAL_SCROLL_BAR style name for the vertical scroll bar.

getStyleProviderForClass( ScrollBar )
    .setFunctionForStyleName( Scroller.DEFAULT_CHILD_STYLE_NAME_HORIZONTAL_SCROLL_BAR, setHorizontalScrollBarStyles );
getStyleProviderForClass( ScrollBar )
    .setFunctionForStyleName( Scroller.DEFAULT_CHILD_STYLE_NAME_VERTICAL_SCROLL_BAR, setVerticalScrollBarStyles );

The styling function for the horizontal scroll bar might look like this:

private function setHorizontalScrollBarStyles(scrollBar:ScrollBar):void
    scrollBar.trackLayoutMode = TrackLayoutMode.SINGLE;

You can override the default style names to use different ones in your theme, if you prefer:

screen.customHorizontalScrollBarStyleName = "custom-horizontal-scroll-bar";
screen.customVerticalScrollBarStyleName = "custom-vertical-scroll-bar";

You can set the function for the customHorizontalScrollBarStyleName and the customVerticalScrollBarStyleName like this:

getStyleProviderForClass( ScrollBar )
    .setFunctionForStyleName( "custom-horizontal-scroll-bar", setCustomHorizontalScrollBarStyles );
getStyleProviderForClass( ScrollBar )
    .setFunctionForStyleName( "custom-vertical-scroll-bar", setCustomVerticalScrollBarStyles );

Without a Theme

If you are not using a theme, you can use horizontalScrollBarFactory and verticalScrollBarFactory to provide skins for the container's scroll bars:

screen.horizontalScrollBarFactory = function():ScrollBar
    var scrollBar:ScrollBar = new ScrollBar();

    //skin the scroll bar here, if not using a theme
    scrollBar.trackLayoutMode = TrackLayoutMode.SINGLE;

    return scrollBar;

Customize scrolling behavior

A number of properties are available to customize scrolling behavior and the scroll bars.

Interaction Modes

Scrolling containers provide two main interaction modes, which can be changed using the interactionMode property.

By default, you can scroll using touch, just like you would on many mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. This mode allows you to grab the container anywhere within its bounds and drag it around to scroll. This mode is defined by the constant, ScrollInteractionMode.TOUCH.

Alternatively, you can set interactionMode to ScrollInteractionMode.MOUSE. This mode allows you to scroll using the horizontal or vertical scroll bar sub-components. You can also use the mouse wheel to scroll vertically.

Finally, you can set interactionMode to ScrollInteractionMode.TOUCH_AND_SCROLL_BARS. This mode allows you to scroll both by dragging the container's content and by using the scroll bars.

Scroll Bar Display Mode

The scrollBarDisplayMode property controls how and when scroll bars are displayed. This value may be overridden by the scroll policy, as explained below.

The default value is ScrollBarDisplayMode.FLOAT, which displays the scroll bars as an overlay above the view port's content, rather than affecting the size of the view port. When the scroll bars are floating, they fade out when the container is not actively scrolling. This is a familiar behavior for scroll bars in the touch interaction mode. In the mouse interaction mode, the scroll bars will appear when the mouse hovers over them and then disappear when the hover ends.

To completely hide the scroll bars, but still allow scrolling, you can set scrollBarDisplayMode to ScrollBarDisplayMode.NONE.

If you want the scroll bars to always be visible outside of the content in a fixed position, you can set scrollBarDisplayMode to ScrollBarDisplayMode.FIXED. This is best for traditional desktop scrollable content.

Finally, you can set scrollBarDisplayMode to ScrollBarDisplayMode.FIXED_FLOAT to display the scroll bar as an overlay above the view port's content, but it does not fade away.

Scroll Policies

The two previous properties control how scrolling works. The horizontalScrollPolicy and verticalScrollPolicy properties control whether scrolling is enabled or not.

The default scroll policy for both directions is ScrollPolicy.AUTO. If the content's width is greater than the view port's width, the screen may scroll horizontally (same for height and vertical scrolling). If not, then the screen will not scroll in that direction. In addition to the scrollBarDisplayMode, this can affect whether the scroll bar is visible or not.

You can completely disable scrolling in either direction, set the scroll policy to ScrollPolicy.OFF. The scroll bar will not be visible, and the screen won't scroll, even if the content is larger than the view port.

Finally, you can ensure that scrolling is always enabled by setting the scroll policy to ScrollPolicy.ON. If combined with hasElasticEdges in the touch interaction mode, it will create a playful edge that always bounces back, even when the content is smaller than the view port. If using the mouse interaction mode, the scroll bar may always be visible under the same circumstances, though it may be disabled if the content is smaller than the view port.


Set the snapToPages property to true to make the scroll position snap to the nearest full page. A page is defined as a multiple of the view ports width or height. If the view port is 100 pixels wide, then the first horizontal page starts at 0 pixels, the second at 100, and the third at 200.

The pageWidth and pageHeight properties may be used to customize the size of a page. Rather than using the full view port width or height, any pixel value may be specified for page snapping.