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Hour 5. Using the Library for Productivity > The Concept of the Library

The Concept of the Library

The process of using the Library involves creating symbols and then using instances of those symbols throughout your movie. You always have one master version of a symbol stored in the Library. You can drag multiple instances of that symbol from the Library to any other part of the movie (even inside other symbols). This may seem like a meaningless procedure, but it has two valuable benefits. First, it means your file size remains small because only the master symbol adds to the file size, and each instance just “points” to the master (not unlike how a shortcut in Windows or an alias on the Macintosh points to a master file). The second benefit is you can make a visual change to the master symbol and that change will be reflected in each instance. This is similar to using styles in a word processing document—make a change to the style, and each instance where you used that style will reflect the change. You'll see these benefits in a minute, but let's first go over the basics of how to create and use symbols.

How to Create and Use Symbols

You can use two methods to create symbols. You can either convert a selected object to a symbol or make a symbol from scratch. Let's look at both methods.


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