Adobe Flash

Create Symbols and Instances in Flash

A symbol is a reusable object, and an instance is an occurrence of a symbol on the Stage. Repeatedly using instances does not increase the file size and is a good part of a strategy for keeping a document file size small.

Symbols also simplify editing a document; when you edit a symbol, all instances of the symbol update to reflect the edits. Another benefit of symbols is that they allow you to create sophisticated interactivity.

Set up your workspace

First, you'll open the start file for the lesson and set up your workspace to use an optimal layout for taking lessons.

  1. To open your start file, in Flash select File > Open and navigate to the file:
    • In Windows, browse to boot drive\Program Files\Macromedia\Flash 8\Samples and Tutorials\Tutorial Assets\Basic Tasks\ Create Symbols and Instances and double-click symbols_start.fla.
    • On the Macintosh, browse to Macintosh HD/Applications/Macromedia Flash 8/Samples and Tutorials/Tutorial Assets/Basic Tasks/Create Symbols and Instances and double-click symbols_start.fla.

    Note: The Create Symbols and Instances folder contains completed versions of the tutorial FLA files for your reference.

    The document opens in the Flash authoring environment.
  2. Select File > Save As and save the document with a new name, in the same folder, to preserve the original start file.
    As you complete this lesson, remember to save your work frequently.
  3. Select Window > Workspace Layout > Default to configure your workspace.