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Moving Adobe Illustrator Files into Flash

One of the most long-awaited upgrades to AdobeR CreativeR Suite is the improvements to the integration between IllustratorR and FlashR. Many Flash designers prefer to create the graphics for their Flash projects in Illustrator. Now, with the new release of CS3, you have more options when moving your Illustrator files into Flash. You can import your Illustrator files into Flash as well as copy/paste and drag/drop. In all three methods, you will be able to transfer the Illustrator paths, anchor point positions, gradients, clipping masks, symbols, layers, groups and object names along with the graphic. How is this possible? When you create text or a symbol in Illustrator that will be used in Flash, you will use two special panels. These panels allow you to add Flash information to your Illustrator graphics.

With the Flash Text panel in Illustrator, you can set the text Type to Static, Dynamic or Input. Then when the text is moved into Flash, it will be ready to be used on the Flash Timeline or programmed with ActionScript.

With the Symbols panel and Symbol Options dialog box in Illustrator, you can create a symbol to be used in Flash. As you can see, the Symbol Options dialog box in Illustrator is very similar to the Convert to Symbol dialog box in Flash. Therefore, while still in Illustrator, you can give the new symbol a name and set the symbol Type to one of the three Flash symbol types; Movie Clip, Button or Graphic. You can also set the Registration Location Point for Flash and enable 9-Slice Scaling.

You can also use the Illustrator Symbols panel or the Control panel to edit symbols. For example, you can give the symbol a name, break linked symbols, reassign an instance to a different symbol or make a copy of a symbol. All of these changes will be retained when the Illustrator file is moved into Flash.

Once you are ready to move your Illustrator files into Flash, it is a simple process.

1. Open your Flash project. Click File, Import, Import to Stage (or Import to Library).

2. In the Import to Stage dialog box, you have the option to import all or some of the Illustrator layers.

Next, you can set the Convert Layers To drop-down menu to import the Illustrator layers as Flash layers, keyframes or as a single (flattened) Flash layer.

Place Objects at Original Position
Because you have already created the graphic in Illustrator, you will want all of the parts of the image to remain in their original positions. So you will want to use this option.

Set Stage Size to Same Size as Illustrator Artboard/crop Area
You may or may not wish to use this option. If the graphic you are importing is a small part of the Flash project, you will not want the stage to be resized to match the size of this small graphic.

Import Unused Symbols
If there are symbols in the Illustrator file that are not part of the imported layers, you may still wish to have them imported. If you do not want these symbols, do not check the checkbox.

Import as a Single Bitmap Image
This will import the Illustrator graphic as a single bitmap image and you will loose all information about layers and import options.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.


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