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Shared Library Items

The whole lidea of storing items in your Library is that they're only stored once, regardless of how many times they're used in a movie. However, an item in one movie's Library isn't automatically recycled if you copy it into another movie. Flash has two (confusingly similar) features to let you share Library items among your movies. There are two ways to do it: runtime sharing and authortime sharing. Runtime sharing involves storing Library items in a single source movie (that gets exported as a .swf). Then, one or more user movies can access the source .swf's items. This way, if the source .swf ever gets updated, the changes will be reflected in all user files. This is just like making an edit to a master symbol, except in this case, multiple movies will reflect the change instead of just multiple instances within one movie.

Authortime sharing is slightly less complex than runtime sharing. You still have one source movie containing Library items. But with authortime sharing, the shared items get recopied into each user file every time you use Test Movie. That is, the user files copy the shared Library item at the time of export. So if a change occurs in the source item, all user files have to be reopened and exported to reflect the change. Plus, each copy of the source adds to the file size of the user files. It's true that authortime sharing is not as modular as runtime sharing, but it's appropriate for larger common elements that you want copied into each user file. One limit of runtime sharing is that the entire shared Library has to fully download before a user file can begin playing. In this way, runtime sharing isn't good for many or large items.


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