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Once you start working with symbols in Flash it's really important to understand the difference between a symbol and an instance. In this movie we will look at the difference between symbols and instances and how to make edits on symbols verses making edits on an instance. Let's look at the Library. So I have several different symbols in the Library and I can click through them to show you. The simple difference between a symbol and an instance is symbols are stored in the Library and instances are on the Stage. So any thing that you actually see in a published application created by Flash is an instance of a symbol.
Library is never really seen. It's just a place to store your symbols. So any time I select any instance on the Stage, you will see that it says instance of: the name of the symbol. So Instance of: Flower5, Instance of: Flower 5, Instance of: Flower 2 and then again Instance of: Flower 2. So on the Stage, there are instances and in the Library, there are symbols. So when you are editing a symbol and you double-click to go into Symbol Editing mode and you make any change, that change applies to all of the instances of the symbol.
So when I just changed the sunflower, you'll notice that the other sunflower that was on the Stage updated as well, because I edited the symbol and not the instance. The things that you do with the instance include moving, rotating, and scaling. So if I wanted to take this flower on the right, as long as I don't go into Symbol Editing mode, and I say use the Free Transform tool to rotate it, the original symbol doesn't change, because I am making the change at the instance level, not at the symbol level.
If I were to double-click and go into symbol editing mode and then rotate the flower, then every instance of the flower will be rotated. But since I am doing it on the main timeline, I am only affecting one instance. So again on the Stage you have instances. In the Library you have your symbols. When you go into Symbol Editing mode, edits that you make affect all instances of the symbol, and when you edit instances on the main timeline, you can use the Free Transform tool to move, rotate, and scale them, and they don't affect the other instances of the symbol, because those changes are made at the instance level rather than the symbol level.
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