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Chapter 16. Graphic and Font Symbols > Graphic Symbols Explained

Graphic Symbols Explained

Simply put, Graphic Symbols, and in fact all symbols in Flash, are reusable assets. Anything visual can be a graphic symbol, whether it's a bitmap image, a vector drawing, a block of text, or individual letters. All we have to do is take one of those visual assets and put it inside the graphic symbol, or create a graphic symbol from scratch and import or draw our assets into it. From there, we can use the symbol and its assets as many times as we need to without having a significant impact on file size. That's pretty important when you consider that many tasks in Flash require multiple instances of assets; motion animation, for instance, requires that you take one visual asset and slightly adjust its position in multiple frames over time.

TIP

When you create a graphic symbol, you are essentially wrapping an asset in a container, and storing it in the library. When you use the symbol on your stage, you're creating an instance of that symbol; a pointer to the symbol definition in the library, the same way image tags in HTML don't actually copy and paste an image in the HTML document, but point to its location on the server for retrieval.



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