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Authortime Sharing: The Cool Part

You now have three symbols in your Library. So what. Big deal. You could have done that without me. But here's the cool part.

  1. Open a new, blank document, but don't bother saving it—it would just be more crap taking up space on your hard drive.

  2. Open the Library for this new .FLA (Ctrl/Cmd+L).

  3. Choose File > Import > Open External Library. Navigate to the Desktop, choose Shapes.fla and click Open. You should now have two open libraries. One will be empty and the other will contain the three shapes you made in the last section (see Figure 5).

  4. Figure 5Figure 5 Two libraries are better than one.

  5. Drag an instance of each symbol in the Shapes.fla library onto the Stage.

  6. Check out the Library for your new file. It now has the same symbols inside of it.

That's right—you've just made inst-o-matic copies of all three symbols, and you barely had to do any work at all. You are now on the road to bliss. But wait, there's more.

  1. Quit Flash without saving the file you just created.

  2. On your Desktop, find Shapes.fla and copy it to the Clipboard (Ctrl/Cmd+C).

  3. Navigate to the directory below and paste Shapes.fla into the Libraries folder (see Figure 6).

  4. Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application

    Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\en\Configuration\Libraries\

    Mac OS X: Macintosh HD/Users/yourUserName/Library/Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/en/Configuration/Libraries

    Figure 6Figure 6 Save Shapes.fla into the Libraries folder. It's fun.

  5. Launch Flash again and open a new blank document.

  6. Choose Window > Other Panels > Common Libraries. You should see an option called Shapes. Choose that one. It's the library from the .FLA you saved into the Libraries folder in the Flash install directory.

  7. Drag the shapes out to the Stage. They will be added to the Library for your new .FLA automatically.

Hooray! Now you never have to draw a box again.


Shameless plug: If you had read "10 Minutes with Flash (Article 2): Repeating History through Commands," you'd know another cool way to automate the creation of a box symbol. So why haven't you read it?

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