Work with libraries

The library in a Animate document stores media assets that you create in the Animateauthoring environment or import to use in the document. You can create vector artwork or text directly in Animate; import vector artwork, bitmaps, video, and sound; and create symbols. A symbol is a graphic, a button, a movie clip, or text that you create once and can reuse multiple times. You can also use ActionScript to add media content to a document dynamically.

The library also contains any components that you have added to your document. Components can be either compiled clips or MovieClip based components.

You can open the library of any Animate document while you are working in Animate, to make the library items from that file available for the current document. You can search the symbols in the library by their names or their ActionScript linkage names.

You can create permanent libraries in your Animate application that are available whenever you start Animate. Animate also includes several sample libraries containing buttons, graphics, movie clips, and sounds.

You can export library assets as a SWF file to a URL to create a runtime-shared library. This lets you link to the library assets from Animate documents that import symbols using runtime sharing.

The Library panel (Window > Library) displays a scroll list with the names of all items in the library, which lets you view and organize these elements as you work. An icon next to an item’s name in the Library panel indicates the item’s file type.

note: (Animate CC and later versions only) Dragging objects from Stage to the Library panel to convert to a Symbol is deprecated, and will not be functional with Animate CC.

note: (Animate CC and later versions only) Dragging objects on to the Stage across two undocked documents is deprecated, and will not be functional with Animate CC.

 

Open a library in another Animate file

  1. From the current document, select File > Import > Open External Library.
  2. Navigate to the Animate file whose library you want to open and click Open.

    The selected file’s library opens in the current document, with the filename at the top of the Library panel. To use items from the selected file’s library in the current document, drag the items to the current document’s Library panel or to the Stage.

Resize the Library panel

  • Do one of the following:
    • Drag the lower-right corner of the panel.

    • Click the Wide State button to enlarge the Library panel so it shows all the columns.

    • Click the Narrow State button to reduce the width of the Library panel.

Change the width of columns

  • Position the pointer between column headers and drag to resize.

Work with folders in the Library panel

You can organize items in the Library panel using folders. When you create a new symbol, it is stored in the selected folder. If no folder is selected, the symbol is stored at the root of the library.

Animate also imports animated GIF files in an organized way by placing them in a separate folder under the library root folder and naming all the associated bitmaps based on their sequence. 

Create a new folder

  • Click the New Folder button  at the bottom of the Library panel.

Open or close a folder

  • Double-click the folder, or Select the folder and select Expand Folder or Collapse Folder from the Panel menu for the Library panel.

Open or close all folders

  • Select Expand All Folders or Collapse All Folders from the Panel menu for the Library panel.

Move an item between folders

  • Drag the item from one folder to another.

    If an item with the same name exists in the new location, Animate prompts you to replace it with the item you are moving.

Sort items in the Library panel

Columns in the Library panel list the name of an item, its type, the number of times it’s used in the file, its linkage status and identifier (if the item is associated with a shared library or is exported for ActionScript), and the date on which it was last modified.

You can sort items in the Library panel alphanumerically by any column. Items are sorted within folders.

Animate libary organizes the imported animated GIF files in a separate folder under the library root folder and names all the associated bitmaps based on their sequence. 

  • Click the column header to sort by that column. Click the triangle button to the right of the column headers to reverse the sort order.

Conflicts between library assets

If you import or copy a library asset into a document that already contains a different asset of the same name, choose whether to replace the existing item with the new item. This option is available with all the methods for importing or copying library assets.

The Resolve Library Items dialog box appears when you attempt to place items that conflict with existing items in a document. A conflict exists when you copy an item from a source document that already exists in the destination document and the items have different modification dates. Avoid naming conflicts by organizing your assets inside folders in your document’s library. The dialog box also appears when you paste a symbol or component into your document’s Stage and you already have a copy of the symbol or component that has a different modification date from the one you’re pasting.

If you choose not to replace the existing items, Animate attempts to use the existing item instead of the conflicting item that you are pasting. For example, if you copy a symbol named Symbol 1 and paste the copy into the Stage of a document that already contains a symbol named Symbol 1, Animate creates an instance of the existing Symbol 1.

If you choose to replace the existing items, Animate replaces the existing items (and all their instances) with the new items of the same name. If you cancel the Import or Copy operation, the operation is canceled for all items (not just those items that conflict in the destination document).

Only identical library item types may be replaced with each other. That is, you cannot replace a sound named Test with a bitmap named Test. In such cases, the new items are added to the library with the word Copy appended to the name.

Note:

Replacing library items using this method is not reversible. Save a backup of your FLA file before you perform complex paste operations that are resolved by replacing conflicting library items.

If the Resolve Library Conflict dialog box appears when you are importing or copying library assets into a document, resolve the naming conflict.

Resolve naming conflicts between library assets

  • Do one of the following in the Resolve Library Conflict dialog box:

    • To preserve the existing assets in the destination document, click Don’t Replace Existing Items.

    • To replace the existing assets and their instances with the new items of the same name, click Replace Existing Items.

Work with library items

When you select an item in the Library panel, a thumbnail preview of the item appears at the top of the Library panel. If the selected item is animated or is a sound file, you can use the Play button in the library preview window or the Controller to preview the item.

Search library items by linkage name

You can search the library search panel for symbols by their names or their ActionScript linkage names.

  • To search for a library item, type in the first few letters of the symbol name or the ActionScript linkage name of the library item. As you type, the list of matching symbols appears in the library panel.

Use a library item in the current document

  • Drag the item from the Library panel onto the Stage.

    The item is added to the current layer.

Convert an object on the Stage to a symbol in the library

  • Select the object on stage, right click, and select Convert to Symbol.

Use a library item from the current document in another document

  • Drag the item from the Library panel or Stage into the Library panel or Stage of another document.

Copy library items from a different document

  1. Select the document that contains the library items.
  2. Select the library items in the Library panel.
  3. Select Edit > Copy.
  4. Select the document that you want to copy the library items to.
  5. Select that document’s Library panel.
  6. Select Edit > Paste.

Edit a library item

  1. Select the item in the Library panel.
  2. Select one of the following from the Panel menu for the Library panel:
    • To edit an item in Animate, select Edit.

    • To edit an item in another application, select Edit With and then select an external application.

Note:

When starting a supported external editor, Animate opens the original imported document.

Rename a library item

Changing the library item name of an imported file does not change the filename.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Double-click the item’s name.

    • Select the item and select Rename from the Panel menu for the Library panel.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) the item and select Rename from the context menu.

  2. Enter the new name in the box.

Delete a library item

When you delete an item from the library, all instances or occurrences of that item in the document are also deleted.

  • Select the item and click the Trash Can icon at the bottom of the Library panel.

Find unused library items

To organize your document, you can find unused library items and delete them.

Note:

It is not necessary to delete unused library items to reduce a Animate document’s file size, because unused library items are not included in the SWF file. However, items linked for export are included in the SWF file.

  • Do one of the following:
    • Select Unused Items from the Panel menu for the Library panel.

    • Sort library items by the Use Count column, which indicates whether an item is in use.

Update imported files in the library

If you use an external editor to modify files that you have imported into Animate, such as bitmaps or sound files, you can update the files in Animate without reimporting them. You can also update symbols that you have imported from external Animate documents. Updating an imported file replaces its contents with the contents of the external file.

Note: You can locate the imported animated GIF files organized in a separate folder under the library root folder with all the associated bitmaps named based on their sequence. 

  1. Select the imported file in the Library panel.
  2. Select Update from the Panel menu for the Library panel.

Copy library assets between documents

You can copy library assets from a source document into a destination document in a variety of ways. You can also share symbols between documents as shared library assets during authoring or at runtime.

If you attempt to copy assets that have the same name as existing assets in the destination document, the Resolve Library Conflicts dialog box lets you choose whether to overwrite the existing assets or to preserve the existing assets and add the new assets with modified names. Organize library assets in folders to minimize name conflicts when copying assets between documents.

Copy a library asset by copying and pasting

  1. Select the asset on the Stage in the source document.

  2. Select Edit > Copy.

  3. Make the destination document the active document.

  4. To paste the asset in the center of the visible pasteboard, place the pointer on the Stage and select Edit > Paste In Center. To place the asset in the same location as in the source document, select Edit > Paste In Place.

Copy a library asset by dragging

  • With the destination document open, select the asset in the Library panel in the source document and drag the asset into the Library panel in the destination document.

Copy a library asset by opening the source document library in the destination document

  1. With the destination document active, select File > Import > Open External Library.

  2. Select the source document, and click Open.

  3. Drag an asset from the source document library onto the Stage or into the library of the destination document.

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