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Creating a symbol

From: Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5

Video: Creating a symbol

At the backbone of Flash are symbols, which are basically graphic stored in the Library that can be reused over and over. But it really goes beyond that, because symbols can be animated and have interactivity associated with them, just to name a few things. That's what I want to do with this navbar right here. As you can see, I have it selected, and in order to convert it to a symbol, all I really need to do is click and drag it into the Library. As soon as I let go, it gives me the opportunity to convert it to a symbol.

Creating a symbol

At the backbone of Flash are symbols, which are basically graphic stored in the Library that can be reused over and over. But it really goes beyond that, because symbols can be animated and have interactivity associated with them, just to name a few things. That's what I want to do with this navbar right here. As you can see, I have it selected, and in order to convert it to a symbol, all I really need to do is click and drag it into the Library. As soon as I let go, it gives me the opportunity to convert it to a symbol.

From there, I can just call this navbar. I am just going to really make a movie Clip symbol right now, so I am going to select a movie clip, keep my registration point where it is, select OK. So now as I take a look at this graphic in my Properties panel, you can see that it's an instance of the navbar. So you can have many instances. In fact, that's what I want to do right now is drag out another instance of that navbar. In fact, what I can do is I can sort of move it down the page.

So I am going to just sort of zoom out, Command+Minus or Ctrl+Minus if you are on a PC, and I can nest it right down there. Okay. So with it selected, I want this to be sort of more of a footer. Well, I can select it. I can use the Free Transform tool, kind of scrunch it up a little bit more, and then sort of use my Selection tool and snap it into place down there. But just because these are from the same symbol called navbar doesn't mean he has to look exactly the same.

Because in my Properties panel, I'm given all of these other options. So I can change, for instance, the color effect. I can change this to alpha. This is a common way to make something transparent is by adjusting the alpha. You could even tint it as well. So I can go ahead and tint this red. As you can see, it is red, and I can crank that all the way up like that. Or I can even go to Advanced. That's what I want to do. I want to go to Advanced, because I want to tint this red, but I want it to be about 50% Opaque.

So now I can see that even though it's a different size and a different color, it's still part of that same navbar. This is going to make my file size pretty small, because I have two sort of unique graphics all based on this one file, and all Flash does is store in this one file. So I can go on down the line, I can add some blending modes, I can add some various filters, if I want to add a drop shadow, whatever the case may be. It's all done, but again, this has to be a symbol or at least an instance of a symbol in order for me to do that. So really, symbols are going to be really flexible for you, and I just encourage you to get in the habit of making everything a symbol.

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Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5

34 video lessons · 28378 viewers

Paul Trani
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