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In Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, author Todd Perkins explains the fundamentals of Flash Professional CS5, the industry standard for creating animations and interactive applications for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. This course starts with the basics, such as using the drawing tools to create simple animations, and progresses to automating animation with tweens and adding interactivity with ActionScript. This course also covers how to add sound and video to projects, enhance realism with effects like easing, and publish a project to a variety of platforms. Exercise files are included.
You can create a symbol in Flash in two ways. You can create a symbol based on artwork that you already have or you can create an empty symbol and put artwork into it. In this movie, we'll take a look at both of those methods for creating symbols. On the Stage here, I have a flower. I'll select the whole thing by clicking- and-dragging with the Selection tool to create a selection area around the whole flower. I will release my mouse button. You see that the shape is made up of many different drawing objects. So, I'll take this and convert it to a symbol by going to Modify > Convert to Symbol.
Notice that the keyboard shortcut is F8. I definitely recommend memorizing this keyboard shortcut because this is one of the most common that you will use when you are working in Flash. So, F8 to convert your selection to a symbol. For the Name, I'll type a symbol name. Typically, it's best to avoid spaces when you are creating symbols. You always want to avoid the special characters like the # sign or the @ symbol. So, you want to just stick with letters and numbers and no spaces for symbol name. Keep them descriptive so you can easily find them in the library.
I'll call this Flower1, no space. For the Type, I am going to choose Graphic. We'll talk about other symbols in other movies. With the Folder option, you can choose to put your symbols in a specified folder in the library. Since I don't have any folders in the library, I am just going to leave Library root there. Then for the Registration, you can specify the X/Y origin for your object. In Flash, you usually want to have that be at the top-left. Flash uses the top-left as the XY origin of the Stage.
So, I like to keep most of my symbols at an XY origin of top-left. Keep in mind that this is actually doesn't really matter until you start writing ActionScript code to manipulate objects. So, click OK and then you have a graphic symbol. If you want to make copies of your graphic symbol, you can simply drag them out of the library. So, I am going to click-and-drag from the library on to the Stage. So, I have my symbol created. I am going to undo these changes.
I am going to put this flower into an empty symbol. So I am going to cut all the artwork once it's selected by pressing Command+X or Ctrl+X, and then I am going to go to Insert > New Symbol. Note that that's different from Modify > Convert to Symbol. You are going to use the Insert > New Symbol command much less than the Modify > Convert to Symbol. So, I wouldn't recommend memorizing the keyboard shortcut at this point. So, I'll choose Insert > New Symbol. I'll type a Name. I am going to type Flower1 again.
If you have that Flower1 symbol in your library still, you can call this one flower2, if you want. I'll choose Graphic symbol for the Type and I'll click OK, and then I am going to use the Paste in Place command to paste the artwork in place. So, Edit > Paste in Place. So that puts the artwork on the Stage, and then to go back to the main Timeline, which I am not in right now, I am actually working in Flower1, the symbol, as I can see at the top-left of the Stage, I am going click Scene1. Now, at the main Timeline where there is no artwork because I cut the flower from the main Timeline, I am going to click-and-drag the flower from the library on to the Stage.
So there are two different ways to create symbols. You can go and select artwork that's already created and go to Modify > Convert to Symbol or the F8 keyboard shortcut or you can create an empty symbol by going to Insert > New Symbol.
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