Tynker Toolbox: Code Block Tricks

Tynker Toolbox: Code Block Tricks

Think you know everything about Tynker Code Blocks? 

Let’s see about that. Explore some cool hidden features and become a Tynker ninja! Open up Tynker workshop (+Create Project > Blank) and follow along!

Disconnecting Blocks

You’ll often have to rearrange code and experiment with the sequence of your code. Tynker code blocks have “handles” on their left and right side that make moving blocks easy. 

If you drag a block from the left side, you’ll grab the whole code stack below. 

If you drag a block from the right side, you’ll “peel off” just a single block. Take a look!

Try it yourself! Experiment with a long code stack to see how it behaves, depending on which handle you use. 

Find Blocks Fast

Use the Search 🔎 feature in the Code Palette to find the code block you need fast. 

Search also finds places in your project where you’re already using the code block! Notice the arrows ◀  ▶ beside the text “2 blocks in code” — click this button to switch to those scripts, and your search term is highlighted in yellow, too! Convenient. 

Help Is a Click Away

Find an unfamiliar block? Click on any block to get a description of its behavior. Click on More Help to get a longer description and code examples that you can drag right into your project.

Save Code with The Backpack

Do you want to share code among different projects? Or just need to try a quick experiment? You can use the Backpack feature to save Actors or Scripts. 

First, click the Backpack icon.

Then drag Actors or Scripts to the Backpack area. You can then open up the Backpack in a new project and use your saved scripts or actors. 

Special Locations and Stage Properties

Let’s take a closer look at some of the stage blocks. 

While you can use the coordinate system to place actors, you can also place them relative to the screen itself, using blocks like screen left and screen top

For example, this will place an actor in the top-left corner: 

You can even nest these special blocks within the pick random block to choose a location between the two extremes: 

You can also use the stage properties block, which reports the Stage’s width or height. Here’s code that will draw a rectangle 1/3rd of the size of the height and width of the stage: 

Get and Set Actor Properties

Working with actor properties is like a Tynker superpower, once you get the hang of it. Here’s how you can use the Actor Properties block, which returns a value. 

It has two parameters: 

  1. The Property you want to retrieve. This can be information like the Actor’s current x position, costume name, density, and so on. Click the dropdown menu in the block to see all the options. 
  2. The Actor whose property you want to retrieve. In addition to working with actors, you can retrieve the properties of the screen edges and the mouse-pointer.

If you try to retrieve a property that does not exist or doesn’t “make sense” (for example, the volume of the mouse-pointer), this block returns nothing. 

In the same way, you can use the set property block to change an actor’s properties: 

True-and-False Are Diamond-Shaped

Have you noticed that the blocks’ shapes give you a hint about the kind of data they return? True-and-false values in Tynker take a diamond shape. These true-and-false values are also called booleans

True-and-false expressions are the only conditions you can use in if-else blocks. Notice how the shape matches!

In contrast, numbers will have a rounded shape and cannot be used as conditions alone. Their shape hints at what you can do with them!

Expand Blocks 

Several code blocks, like if-else and join, can be expanded. You can use the (+) button to add more branches or inputs. Then use (-) to remove them. 

Ready to Learn More? 

Looking for more activities? Check out the Course Catalog! 

Or read more articles in the Tynker Toolbox series: 

Did we forget your favorite block-coding tip? Share your tricks with us at community@tynker.com


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