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Symbols

If the document is the cornerstone of your Flash Document, then symbols are the bricks and stones that build the house. While we'll be treating symbols in detail on their own in Part 3, we'll introduce them here, because they are a vital part of the Flash anatomy. The three main symbols of Flash are:

  • The Button symbol

  • The Graphic symbol

  • The Movie Clip symbol

Of the three, Movie Clip symbols and Button symbols have the ability to be used with ActionScript. All three symbols are reusable, which means that the original graphic is stored in a single location for every symbol, and each use of the symbol (a symbol instance), has a negligible, if any, impact on the file size of our document.

Additionally, the Movie Clip symbol is the basis of many elements in Flash, including your main document.

NOTE

All symbols are stored in the document library, which can be retrieved through the Window pull-down menu.


TIP

There is a fourth symbol, the Font symbol, which is used to share fonts between SWFs and FLAs. It's not a symbol like the main three, but it's useful because you can embed it in an SWF, and then share it across other SWFs to prevent the same outline from being embedded in every document that uses the font. It can be used for author time sharing as well. See Chapter 9, “Organizational Tools and Where to Find Them,” for information on sharing symbols.


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