How to Use Scratch
What is Scratch?
Scratch is a website created by MIT where you can create imaginative projects and share them with others. It uses a coding language made up of many different drag-and-drop blocks and other controllable features (which you will see in the editor). In order to save any projects, you need to sign in with a user account.
"With the Scratch programming language and online community, you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations -- and share your creations with others around the world. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively."
- The MIT Scratch Team
I don't have an account on Scratch. How do I make one? How do I get started?
Go to https://scratch.mit.edu/. Simply click the "Join Scratch" tab at the top of the website and follow the instructions that show.
After signing in, to get started, hit the "Create" tab at the top of website. It will open the project editor, and you can start a new project.
Another way to create projects is by remixing another Scratch users' project, or making a copy of it which you are free to edit and share yourself. This is done by clicking the green button called "Remix" at the top right corner of a project page. Once you do this, your project editor pops up with a copy of everything ready to go!
Remember to save your projects often!
What is a sprite and what can I do with one?
Sprites are the objects or images that make up the dynamic part of your project. They can move, say things, interact with each other, with the user, and so much more. You can code them to behave with any of the options offered by the blocks on the left side of the editor.
When you start a fresh new project, Scratch gives you its orange cat sprite to begin with, but you have complete freedom! You can add as many different sprites as you want, by choosing one or drawing your own. To do that, hover over the cat button in the lower right hand corner:
The lower right hand panel also lists all your project’s sprites. On the stage (the project itself within the editor), you can select or drag any sprite around.
When you select a sprite, the lower panel also shows some settings for it that you can change if you want -- like the name of the sprite, its current position in the coordinate plane, whether it's visible, its size, and the direction it's currently pointing in.
When you select a sprite, you can click the tabs "Code", "Costumes", or "Sounds" in the top left to view or edit that sprite’s code blocks, appearances, and even sounds they could play:
How do I use backdrops?
Backgrounds, also called backdrops, are just different looks of the project's "stage." You have a lot of options with them, just like sprites. Click on the stage panel in the lower right, and you’ll see there are many blocks available to control how the stage behaves.
Hover over the photograph button in the lower right to choose from different backdrops to add, or draw your own:
If you select the stage panel in the lower right, you can use the top left tabs to edit its code, the appearance of its backdrops, or sounds: