Usually, the Symbols are created using object on the Stage. But you can also convert a series of frames into a Symbol.
For example, you can create a Symbol with the selected frames of an animation, and you'll make a Multiframe Symbol, a Symbol element which contains the selected animation and it is stored in the Library.
Multiframe symbol is useful when you want to use the same piece of animation multiple times.
- To create a multiframe symbol:
- On the timeline, select the frames you want to convert.
- You can select a series of frames by holding down the Ctrl key, click on the first Frame of the series and drag till the last frame you want to select.
- Click Edit -> Timeline -> Copy Frames (or right-click on them, and Copy Frames) to copy the selected frames
- Click Insert -> New Symbol. Flash will open the "Create New Symbol" dialog box. You can specify a name for the symbol, then chose the type (usually "Movie Clip" or "Graphic"), and click OK.
- Flash enters a symbol editing mode that contains a blank scene, with a '+' sign in the center.
- Flash pastes the copied frames in the symbol's timeline. The Library panel's preview window shows you the contents of your new symbol's first keyframe, along with a minicontroller in the top-right corner, which can be used to preview the Multiframe Symbol in the Library (see the image below).
- If you choose "Movie Clip" type, right-click on the first frame in Timeline, and Paste Frames.
- If you choose "Graphic" type, you must first select in Timeline a number of frames greater (or egual) than the number of copied frames. Then right-click on them, and Paste Frames.
- Get out of symbol editing mode by clicking the Scene name in the Edit bar (or choosing Edit -> Edit Document).
Creating an instance of a Multiframe Symbol An Instance of a Multiframe Symbol is created in the same way as a normal Symbol instance, by dragging it from the Library on the Stage, but in the Multiframe case you should take in consideration the frames in Timeline.
- To create an instance of a multiframe symbol:
- If the Multiframe Symbol type is a "Movie Clip", the animation inside it is added in the selected keyframe. There is no need for other frames, so it is predferable to use "Movie Clip" type.
- In Timeline, click to select the keyframe where you want to place an instance of a multiframe symbol.
- If you use a Graphic type, the numbers of frames after the selected keyframe (including the selected keyframe) must be egual to the number of frames in Multiframe Graphic Symbol.
If you don't have enough room on your timeline, Flash snips off the instance frames that don't fit.
If you have too much room, Flash repeats the instance frames until all your main animation's frames are filled.
- Once the keyframe is selected, don't click anywhere. In the Library, click and drag the multiframe symbol on the Stage.
- To edit a Multiframe Symbol, right-click on it in the library and choose Edit. Flash applies the changes you make to the symbol to all the instances of that symbol.
- To delete a Multiframe Symbol, click on its name in the Library, then press "Del" key. Flash will delete all the instances of that symbol.