Placing artwork into Animate

About importing artwork into Animate

Adobe Animate can use artwork created in other applications. You can import vector graphics and bitmaps in a variety of file formats. If you have QuickTime® 4 or later installed on your system, you can import additional vector or bitmap file formats. You can import Adobe® FreeHand® files (version MX and earlier) and Adobe® Fireworks® PNG files directly into Animate, preserving attributes from those formats.

Graphic files that you import into Animate must be at least 2 pixels x 2 pixels in size.

To load JPEG files into a Animate SWF file during runtime, use the loadMovie action or method. For detailed information, see loadMovie (MovieClip.loadMovie method) in ActionScript 2.0 Language Reference or Working with movie clips in the ActionScript 3.0 Developer’s Guide.

Animate imports vector graphics, bitmaps, and sequences of images as follows:

  • When you import Adobe® Illustrator® and Adobe® Photoshop® files into Animate, you can specify import options that let you preserve most of your artwork's visual data, and the ability to maintain the editability of certain visual attributes with the Animate authoring environment.

  • When you import vector images into Animate from FreeHand, select options for preserving FreeHand layers, pages, and text blocks.

  • When you import PNG images from Fireworks, import files as editable objects to modify in Animate, or as flattened files to edit and update in Fireworks.

  • Select options for preserving images, text, and guides.

    note: If you import a PNG file from Fireworks by cutting and pasting, the file is converted to a bitmap.

  • Vector images from SWF and Windows® Metafile Format (WMF) files that you import directly into a Animate document (instead of into a library) are imported as a group in the current layer.

  • Bitmaps (scanned photographs, BMP files) that you import directly into a Animate document are imported as single objects in the current layer. Animate preserves the transparency settings of imported bitmaps. Because importing a bitmap can increase the file size of a SWF file, consider compressing imported bitmaps.

    note: Bitmap transparency might not be preserved when bitmaps are imported by dragging and dropping from an application or desktop to Animate. To preserve transparency, use the File > Import To Stage or Import To Library command for importing.

  • Any sequence of images (for example, a PICT or BMP sequence) that you import directly into a Animate document is imported as successive keyframes of the current layer.

Supported file formats for import


For a complete list of every file format supported by Animate for import, export, or edit, see the Supported File Formats TechNote.

Graphics formats

Animate can import different vector or bitmap file formats depending on whether QuickTime 4 or later is installed on your system. Using Animate with QuickTime 4 installed is especially useful for collaborative projects in which authors work on both Windows and Macintosh platforms. QuickTime 4 extends support for certain file formats (including PICT, QuickTime Movie, and others) to both platforms.

You can import the following vector or bitmap file formats into Animate 8 or later, regardless of whether QuickTime 4 is installed:

File type




Adobe Illustrator (version 10 or earlier)


Adobe Photoshop






Enhanced Windows Metafile


FutureSplash Player


GIF and animated GIF






Flash Player 6/7


Windows Metafile


Adobe XML Graphic file


You can import the following bitmap file formats into Animate only if QuickTime 4 or later is installed:

File type




QuickTime Image




Sound formats

Animate can import the following audio formats:

File type




Adobe Soundbooth




Audio Interchange File Format




Animate can import the following audio formats only if QuickTime 4 or later is installed:

File type




Audio Interchange File Format


Sound Designer II


Sound-only QuickTime movies

.mov, .qt

Sun AU


System 7 sounds




Video formats

Animate can import the following video formats:

File type




Video for Adobe Animate

.flv, .f4v

QuickTime Movie

.mov, .qt

Video for Windows



.mpg, .m1v, .m2p, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, .tod, .mpe, .mpeg


.mp4, .m4v, .avc

Digital Video

.dv, .dvi

3GPP/3GPP2 for Mobile Devices

.3gp, .3gpp, .3gp2, .3gpp2, .3p2

Import artwork in Animate

Animate lets you import artwork in various file formats either directly to the Stage, or to the library.

Import a file into Animate

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To import a file directly into the current Animate document, select File > Import > Import To Stage.

    • To import a file into the library for the current Animate document, select File > Import > Import To Library. (To use a library item in a document, drag it onto the Stage. )

  2. Select a file format from the Files Of Type (Windows) or Show (Macintosh) pop-up menu.
  3. Navigate to the desired file and select it. If an imported file has multiple layers, Animate might create new layers (depending on the import file type). Any new layers appear in the Timeline.

  4. Click Open.
  5. If the name of the file you are importing ends with a number and additional sequentially numbered files are in the same folder, do one of the following:

    Note: (Windows 8 only) If a PSD file containing text is imported with the Vector Outline option selected, you cannot edit the anchor points for the vector object. This is observed with PSD files that were created using fonts unavailable in Windows 8.

    • To import all the sequential files, click Yes.

    • To import only the specified file, click No.

      The following are examples of filenames that can be used as a sequence:

      Frame001.gif, Frame002.gif, Frame003.gif

      Bird 1, Bird 2, Bird 3,,

Paste a bitmap from another application directly into the current Animate document

  1. Copy the image in the other application.
  2. In Animate, select Edit > Paste In Center.

Importing FXG files

The FXG format allows Animate to exchange graphics with other Adobe applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks, and Photoshop with all of the complex graphic information preserved. Animate allows you to import FXG files (2.0 version only) as well as save selections of objects on the Stage or the entire Stage in FXG format. For more information about FXG files, see About FXG files.

  • To import an FXG file, choose File > Import > Import to Stage or Import to Library and select the FXG file you want to open.

About AutoCAD DXF files

Animate supports the AutoCAD® DXF format in AutoCAD 10.

DXF files do not support the standard system fonts. Animate tries to map fonts appropriately, but the results can be unpredictable, particularly for text alignment.

Because the DXF format does not support solid fills, filled areas are exported as outlines only. For this reason, the DXF format is most appropriate for line drawings, such as floor plans and maps.

You can import two-dimensional DXF files into Animate. Animate does not support three-dimensional DXF files.

Although Animate doesn’t support scaling in a DXF file, all imported DXF files produce 12-inch x 12-inch files that you can scale using Modify > Transform > Scale. Also, Animate supports only ASCII DXF files. If your DXF files are binary, convert them to ASCII before importing them into Animate.

Loading artwork with ActionScript

With ActionScript, you can load external image files or assets from the Library at runtime.

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