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What You'll Learn in This Hour:
Flash's Library is so fundamental that creating a Flash movie without it is almost impossible. If you don't use the Library, it's fair to say that you're doing something wrong. Using the Library as much as possible is your key to productivity and efficiency. It's a key to productivity because you can have "master" versions of graphics that, with one edit, reflect the change throughout a movie. It's a key to efficiency because graphics stored in the Library despite how many times they're used in a movie are stored and downloaded only once.
This hour explores the Library. By far, the Library is the most important Flash feature to understand and use, so after this hour, be sure to use the Library whenever you can.
Symbols are what you put in the Library. Anything created in Flash and placed onstage (shapes, groups, other symbols, even animations) can be converted to a symbol and placed in the Library. There are three symbol types that you can choose from, and each has unique characteristics.
Item is the term used for each media element imported into your movie (and, thereby residing in the Library). Specifically, bitmaps (as you saw in Hour 3, "Importing Graphics into Flash"), audio (as you'll see later in Hour 10, "Including Sound in Animations"), and digital video (as you'll see in Hour 18, "Using Video"), and Fonts (covered in Hour 5, "Applied Layout Techniques"). However, symbols created in Flash are surely the Library items with which you'll become most familiar.
Instance is the term given to a symbol anytime it's used outside the Library. As you'll see, there's only one master of any symbol the one that's in the Library. However, you can drag as many instances of a master symbol out of the Library as you like. Each instance is like a copy of the original. However, as you'll see this hour, instances aren't really copies because they don't add to the file size the way extra copies would.
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