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Hour 5. Using the Library for Productivi... > Task: Create a New Symbol from Scrat...

Task: Create a New Symbol from Scratch

In this task we'll make a symbol using the “New Symbol” feature. Follow these steps:

In the file containing the Circle symbol (or a new file), make sure nothing is selected and choose Insert, New Symbol…. (Note that the Convert to Symbol… option isn't active because nothing's selected.)

You'll be faced with nearly the same Symbol Properties dialog you saw when Convert to Symbol was used. Name the new symbol “Square” and set the Behavior setting to Movie Clip. This time when you click OK, you'll be taken inside the master version of the Square symbol (yet to be drawn) as shown in Figure 5.5. You should see the address bar change accordingly. Think of it this way: Convert to Symbol just takes your selection and puts it in the Library (end of story), whereas New Symbol (after you name the symbol) takes you to the master version of the symbol so you can draw something—effectively saying, “Okay, you want a new symbol? Draw it.”

Figure 5.5. Selecting New Symbol will take you into a blank symbol so that you can draw its contents.

Now that you're in the master version of the Square symbol, you can draw the square. You'll probably want to draw it in the center, indicated by the plus sign in the middle of the Stage (shown in Figure 5.5). This will become the default axis around which rotation and scaling occur in each instance used of this symbol. But how do you get the square you draw in the center? Surely by now you've discovered the Paste in Place command from the Edit menu. This lets you paste anything in the same location from which you copied it, unlike the “Paste” command, which centers whatever you paste onstage. However, this time the regular Paste function will be useful. Just cut and immediately paste your square. Presto! It's centered. By habit, I quite often cut and paste everything inside my master Library symbols for just this centering effect. (By the way, you could also use the Info panel to set the shape's position to 0,0 or use the Align Panel's “To Stage” option.)

When you're done creating the Square symbol, go back to the main scene (by either clicking “Scene 1” in the address bar or selecting Scene 1 from the Edit Scene menu). Where's the square? Well, New Symbol just creates a symbol and keeps it safe in the Library. Let's drag a couple instances out onstage. Open the Library and then drag as many instances of the Square symbol onstage as you like.



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