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Copy/Paste and Share Assets in Flash CS5.5

Two of the best time saving new features in AdobeR FlashR Professional CS5.5 are the sharing of symbols (or assets) across documents and copy/pasting layers.

Copy/Paste Layers

How many times have you wanted to copy and paste a layer from one location to the next or maybe from one file to another in Flash? Until now, this wasn't possible and we've had to rebuild the layer a second time if we wished to use it elsewhere. Well, now we can copy and paste our work, even for multiple selected layers and when the layer contains inverse kinematics armatures. With this new feature, you can duplicate layers and even copy/paste folders.

Sharing Assets Between Document Files

If you are a fan of PhotoshopR, you know that you can edit any graphic in your Flash file directly in Photoshop and see the changes automatically update in Flash. This feature was added a while ago and has saved me a lot of time, especially when the client requests several changes. But until now, if two Flash documents contained the same movie clip or other asset, it was still necessary to make the same changes within both documents.

With this Flash Pro CS5.5 upgrade, you can share assets across multiple documents within a project, make changes to an asset in one document and see the same asset automatically update in the other document files that share the asset. This becomes a great timesaving feature when working on mobile projects that contain document files for multiple devices.

For example, a Flash mobile project will probably contain a fla file for an iOS device which has a screen size of 320 px by 480px and an Android device with a screen size of 480px x 800px. We've already discussed how easy it is now to resize or scale content for projects with multiple screen sizes. But you will also be creating assets that will be used in both documents. With this new feature, these assets can be created once and shared between the fla files.

To share assets, you simply check the checkbox for that asset in the Linkage column in the Library panel. Once these assets are linked between document files, any changes made in one file will be updated in all files.

*Adobe provided a review copy to me free of charge.

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