Sharing library assets at runtime

About runtime shared library assets

Shared library assets let you use assets from one FLA file in another FLA file. This can be useful in these situations:

  • When more than one FLA file needs to use the same artwork or other assets.

  • When a designer and a developer want to be able to edit artwork and ActionScript code in separate FLA files for a joint project.

Sharing library assets works like this:

  • For runtime shared assets, assets from a source document are linked as external files in a destination document. Runtime assets are loaded into the destination document during document playback—that is, at runtime. The source document containing the shared asset does not need to be available on your local network when you author the destination document. The source document must be posted to a URL for the shared asset to be available to the destination document at runtime.

Working with runtime shared assets

Using runtime shared library assets involves two procedures. First, the author of the source document defines a shared asset in the source document and enters an identifier string for the asset and a URL (HTTP or HTTPS only) where the source document will be posted.

Second, the author of the destination document defines a shared asset in the destination document and enters an identifier string and URL identical to those used for the shared asset in the source document. Alternatively, the destination document author can drag the shared assets from the posted source document into the destination document library. The ActionScript version set in the Publish settings must match that of the source document.

In either scenario, the source document must be posted to the specified URL for the shared assets to be available for the destination document.

Define runtime shared assets in a source document

To define sharing properties for an asset in a source document and make the asset accessible for linking to destination documents, use the Symbol Properties dialog box or the Linkage Properties dialog box.

  1. With the source document open, select Window > Library:
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Select a movie clip, button, or graphic symbol in the Library panel, and select Properties from the Library Panel menu. Click Advanced.

    • Select a font symbol, sound, or bitmap, and select Linkage from the Library Panel menu.

  3. For Linkage, select Export For Runtime Sharing to make the asset available for linking to the destination document.
  4. Enter an identifier for the symbol. Do not include spaces. This is the name Animate uses to identify the asset when linking to the destination document.

    Note:

    Animate also uses the linkage identifier to identify a movie clip or button that is used as an object in ActionScript. 

  5. Enter the URL where the SWF file containing the shared asset will be posted, and click OK.

    When you publish the SWF file, you must post the SWF file to the URL you specified so that the shared assets are available to destination documents.

You can link to a shared asset by entering its URL or by dragging the asset into the destination document.

  1. In the destination document, select Window > Library.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Select a movie clip, button, graphic symbol, bitmap, or sound in the Library panel, and select Properties from the Library Panel menu. Click Advanced.

    • Select a font symbol, and select Linkage from the Library Panel menu.

  3. For Linkage, select Import For Runtime Sharing to link to the asset in the source document.
  4. Enter an identifier for the symbol, bitmap, or sound that is identical to the identifier used for the symbol in the source document. Do not include spaces.
  5. Enter the URL where the SWF source file containing the shared asset is posted, and click OK.
  1. In the destination document, do one of the following:
    • Select File > Open.

    • Select File > Import > Open External Library.

  2. Select the source document and click Open.
  3. Drag the shared asset from the source document Library panel into the Library panel or onto the Stage in the destination document.

Turn off sharing for a symbol in a destination document

  1. In the destination document, select the linked symbol in the Library panel and do one of the following:
    • If the asset is a movie clip, button, or graphic symbol, select Properties from the Library Panel menu.

    • If the asset is a font symbol, select Linkage from the Library Panel menu.

  2. Deselect Import For Runtime Sharing, and click OK.

Sharing library assets at author-time

Sharing assets at author-time has these advantages:

  • Allows you to avoid the need for redundant copies of assets used in more than one FLA file. For example, if you are developing a FLA for web browsers, another for iOS and another for Android, you can share assets among the 3 files.

  • When you edit a shared asset in one FLA file, the changes are reflected in other FLA files that use the asset when they are opened or brought into focus.

There are 2 ways of sharing library assets during authoring:

  • Using symbols from external FLA files by linking to them from symbols in another FLA file.

  • Sharing symbols among FLA files that are part of the same Animate project in the Project panel. For information about using the Project panel, see Working with Animate projects.

Sharing by linking to symbols in separate FLA files works like this:

  • For shared assets during authoring, update or replace any symbol in a FLA file you are authoring with any symbol in any other FLA file available on your local network.

  • Update the symbol in the destination document as you author the document.

  • The symbol in the destination document retains its original name and properties, but its contents are updated or replaced with those of the symbol you select.

Sharing symbols using the Project panel works like this:

  • You create a project in the Project panel and create a FLA file in the project.

  • In that FLA file, you specify which symbols you want to share with other files by checking the sharing checkbox for each item in the Library panel.

  • Create a second FLA file in the project.

  • Copy and paste layers, frames, or items on the Stage from the first FLA file to the second.

  • Animate moves the shared library items in the pasted elements to a separate file called AuthortimeSharedAssets.FLA within the project folder.

The following assets types are sharable within a project:

Asset type

Sharable on its own?

Sharable if inside a movie clip?

Movie clip symbol

Yes

Yes

Graphic symbol

Yes

Yes

Button symbol

Yes

Yes

Font symbol

No

Yes

FLV video

No

Yes

Embeded video

No

Yes

Sound (any format)

No

Yes

Bitmap (any format)

No

Yes

Compiled clip (SWC)

No

Yes

Component (symbol-based)

Yes

Yes

Update or replace shared symbols

You can update or replace a movie clip, button, or graphic symbol in a document with any other symbol in a FLA file accessible on your local network. The original name and properties of the symbol in the destination document are preserved, but the contents of the symbol are replaced with the contents of the symbol you select. Any assets that the selected symbol uses are also copied into the destination document.

  1. With the document open, select a movie clip, button, or graphic symbol in the Library panel and select Properties from the panel Options menu.
  2. If the Linkage and Source areas of the Symbol Properties dialog box are not showing, click Advanced.
  3. To select a new FLA file, click Browse.
  4. Navigate to a FLA file that contains the symbol to use to update or replace the selected symbol in the Library panel, and click Open.
  5. Navigate to a symbol, and click OK.
  6. Do one of the following:
    • In the Symbol Properties dialog box, under Source, select Always Update Before Publishing and click OK.

    • In the Symbol Properties dialog box, under Authortime Sharing, select Update Automatically and click OK

Define assets for sharing in a project

Sharing assets among FLA files in a project allows you to edit the asset in one file and see the changes reflected in the other FLA files that use the asset.

  1. Create a Animate project. 

  2. In a FLA file in the project, for each library asset you want to share with other FLA files in the project, do one of the following:

    • Open the Library panel and select the Link checkbox next to the asset name.

    • With the asset selected in the Library panel, choose Properties from the panel Options menu and then click the Share with Project button.

  3. In the Timeline or on the Stage, copy layers, frames, or Stage items containing shared assets.

  4. In a separate FLA file in the same project, paste the layers, frames, or stage items into a separate FLA filer in the same project.

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