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Using Symbol Instances

A symbol instance is a pointer to the full description of the symbol. Symbols help keep file sizes small. If you converted a graphic on the Stage to a symbol, you already have one symbol instance on the Stage. If you want to use the symbol again, or if you created your symbol from scratch in symbol-editing mode, you’ll need to get a copy out of the library and onto the Stage.

To place a symbol instance in your movie:

In the Timeline, select the layer and keyframe where you want the graphic symbol to appear.

Flash can place symbols only in keyframes. If you are currently in a blank frame, Flash places the symbol in the preceding keyframe. (To learn more about keyframes, see Chapter 8.)

Open the library that contains the symbol you want to use.

In the Library window, navigate to the symbol you want to place on the Stage, and click it to select it.

Flash highlights the chosen symbol and displays it in the preview window.

Position your pointer over the preview window.

Click and drag a copy of the symbol onto the Stage.

Flash previews the symbol’s location on the Stage with a rectangular outline (Figure 6.20).

Figure 6.20. When you drag a symbol from the Library window to the Stage (top), Flash places the symbol on the Stage, selects it, and updates that symbol’s use count (bottom). When you are not keeping use counts updated constantly, the dash in the Use Count column indicates a change. To see the actual figure, choose Update Use Counts Now from the Library window’s Options menu.

Release the mouse button.

Flash places the symbol on the Stage and selects it.



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