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Flash CS5: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover

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Chapter 7. Reusable Flash: Symbols and Templates

The secret to productivity is to work smarter, not harder. And the secret to smart work is to avoid doing the same thing more than once. Flash understands. The program gives you ways to reuse bits and pieces of your animations—everything from simple shapes to complex drawings, multiframe sequences, and even entire animations. Create something once; reuse it as many times as you like. Reusing animation elements can save you more than just time and effort—Flash lets you store pieces of animation as reusable master copies that can actually whittle the size of your finished animation file. That’s great news if you plan to put your animation up on a website or shoot it out to handhelds. The smaller your file size, the faster it downloads, which makes you less likely to lose your audience to impatience.

Templates are another work- and time-saving feature in your Flash arsenal. You can use these predesigned Flash documents as starting points for your own projects. Even better, you can save documents as templates. You can also save templates containing the pictures, logos, and other elements that appear in just about all your documents. Then you don’t have to start from scratch next month when you have a similar project.

Tip

With Flash Professional CS5, Adobe has included several new templates that serve as hands-on learning tools. Want to learn how to create random movement? Check out the templates in the Animation category. You’ll find several ...

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