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Hour 5. Using the Library for Productivity > Using Symbols from the Library

Using Symbols from the Library

So far, the concept of dragging a symbol from the Library to create as many instances as you want of the symbol has been pretty straightforward. It's powerful, but easy to use. For a simple example, imagine you made one symbol of a cloud. You could create many instances of the cloud symbol to make a cloudy sky. But you can do much more. Each instance onstage can be more wild than the next. One could be large and another one could be stretched out and darkened. In the upcoming task, for example, you'll see how multiple instances of one symbol can vary in size, scale, and rotation. And later this hour you'll make a symbol that contains instances of another symbol. Such nesting means not only can you have many instances onstage, but you can also recycle symbols to be used in the creation of other symbols. One step at a time, but I wanted you to have an idea of some of ways you can use symbols.

Placing Instances of Symbols Onstage

This discussion may seem like repeated material, but the concept and process are very specific. One master symbol in the Library can be dragged onstage as many times as you like. Each one onstage is called an instance. You'll see how each instance can vary in a minute, but first let's review a couple points. If you copy and paste an instance already onstage, you are simply creating another instance. Not only is this okay, but it's sometimes preferable to the alternative—simply dragging an instance from the Library—because all the properties of the instance being copied will be in the new instance. Remember, the “copy” is just another instance.


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