When you add a tween to an object on a layer, Animate does one of the following:

  • It converts the layer to a tween layer.
  • It creates a layer to preserve the original stacking order of the objects on the layer.

Layers are added according to these rules:

  • If there are no objects on the layer other than the selection, the layer changes to a tween layer.

  • If the selection is at the bottom of the stacking order of the layer (under all other objects), Animate creates a layer above the original layer. This new layer holds the non-selected items. The original layer becomes a tween layer.

  • If the selection is at the top of the stacking order of the layer (above all other objects), Animate creates a layer. The selection is moved to the new layer and that layer becomes a tween layer.

  • If the selection is in the middle of the stacking order of the layer (there are objects above and below the selection), Animate creates two layers. One layer holds the new tween and another one above it holds the non-selected items at the top of the stacking order. The non-selected items at the bottom of the stacking order remain on the original layer, below the newly inserted layers.

A tween layer can contain tween spans, static frames, and ActionScript. However, frame of a tween layer that contains a tween span cannot contain objects other than the tweened object. To add more objects in the same frame, place them on separate layers.

See also

Tween an object across the timeline

To make an object move or slide across the Stage:

  1. Select a symbol instance or a text field to tween on the Stage. The object can reside in any of the following layer types: NormalGuideMask, or Masked. If the selection contains other objects, or it contains multiple objects from a layer, Animate convertd your selection to a movie clip symbol.

  2. To invert the selection, right-click the object and select Invert Selection.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Insert > Motion Tween.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Macintosh) the selection or current frame and chooseCreate Motion Tween from the context menu.

    If the “Convert selection to symbol for tween” dialog box appears, click OK to convert the selection into a movie clip symbol.

    If the tweened object was the only item on the layer, Animate converts the layer containing the object to a tween layer. If there are other objects on the layer, Animate inserts layers to preserve the stacking order. Animate places the tweened object on its own layer.

    If the original object resided in only the first frame of the Timeline, the length of the tween span is equal to one second in duration. If the original object was present in more than one contiguous frame, the tween span contains the number of frames occupied by the original object.

  4. Drag either end of the tween span in the Timeline to shorten or extend the span to the desired number of frames. Any existing property keyframes in the tween move proportionally with the end of the span.

    To move the end of the span without moving any existing keyframes, Shift-drag the end of the tween span.

  5. To add motion to the tween, place the playhead on a frame within the tween span and then drag the object to a new position.

    A motion path appears on the Stage showing the path from the position in the first frame of the tween span to the new position. Because you explicitly defined the X and Y properties of the object, property keyframes are added for X and Y in the frame containing the playhead. Property keyframes appear as small diamonds in the tween span.


    By default, the Timeline displays the property keyframes of all property types. You can choose which types of property keyframes to display by right-clicking (Windows) or Command-clicking (Macintosh) the tween span and choosing View Keyframes > property type.

  6. To specify another position for the object, place the playhead in another frame within the tween span and drag the object on Stage to another position.

    The motion path adjusts to include all the positions you specify.

  7. To tween 3D rotation or position, use the 3D Rotation or 3D Translation tool. Be sure to place the playhead in the frame where you want to add the 3D property keyframe first.


    To create multiple tweens at once, place tweenable objects on multiple layers, select them all, and choose Insert > Motion Tween. You can also apply Motion Presets to multiple objects in the same way.