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Chapter 18. Animation, Interactivity, an... > Symbols, Instances, and Library Asse...

Symbols, Instances, and Library Assets

Symbols are the basic building blocks of a well-designed Flash movie, allowing you to reduce the size of your SWF file and organize movie assets conveniently in the Library.

Understanding Symbols

Any time you draw a shape, place an imported bitmap, or animate an object, your published movie must store the information required to render these elements. Symbols allow you to store each asset just once in the Library. You can then display each asset on the Stage as many times as you want without significantly increasing the movie's size. Smaller movies mean faster downloads and better performance. In addition, when you need to make changes, you can make them in a single place and affect many parts of your movie. If a client doesn't like the color scheme you've used for a project, you may be able to change it very quickly just by editing a few symbols.


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