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Chapter 37. Illustrator and the Web > Symbols and Symbolism for the Web

Symbols and Symbolism for the Web

Symbols are artwork that can be included once in an image and used many times. Hundreds of instances of a single symbol can appear in a document, but the file need only contain the artwork itself once, along with a record of where the symbols should appear. Symbolism can substantially reduce the size of a graphics file.

How Symbols Work in Illustrator

Artwork or text is saved as a symbol and stored in the Symbols palette (see Figure 37.5). The eight symbolism tools are used to add the artwork to the artboard and to manipulate it. Using the various symbolism tools, you can produce a wide variety of appearances among a set of symbol instances. This increased variation and randomness comes at a very low cost in terms of file size—the file actually contains only a single instance of each symbol that you use. Symbols can be saved in libraries, just like brushes, to be made available to any Illustrator document.


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