Graphic Symbol Basics

Graphic Symbol Basics

Flash CS4 Tutorial


How to Create a Graphic Symbol in Flash



Graphic Symbols are similar to Movie Symbols in that they have a timeline. A Graphic Symbol can have one or many frames. The main difference between a Graphic Symbol and the others (Movie and Button) is that a Graphic Symbol can not be given an instance name and used in ActionScript.

Graphic Symbols are timeline dependent and Movie Symbols are not. In other words, you can place a 10 frame Movie Symbol on the main timeline. If the main timeline stops at the frame where the movie is added, the movie will still play. A Graphic Symbol with the same duration would require that the main timeline be allowed to move forward at least 10 more frames while the symbol is visible.


Step One

Add a rectangular object to the workspace with the Rectangle tool (r key).

Step Two

With the rectangle selected, press F8 (Modify > Convert to Symbol).

Step Three

In the dialog box, name your symbol and choose Graphic for the symbol type.

Step Four

The newly created symbol is added to the Library.

Step Five

Once you have created a symbol, double-click the symbol with the Selection tool (v key) to edit the symbol timeline.

Main Timeline Dependent

If you add a Graphic Symbol animation to the main timeline, it will play as you scrub the main timeline. A Movie Symbol displays only the first frame in the authoring environment.