Exercise 7: Duplicate + Swap Symbols

the Flash Symbol 101 series

Duplicating a symbol is NOT like copy and paste!
Duplicating a Flash symbol is a one-step-way to:

  • Take the contents of an existing symbol
  • Create a new, empty Flash symbol and give it a name
  • Put this old content inside the new symbol.

A duplicated symbol is not an instance.
It is a brand new symbol.

There are three, slightly different ways to do this:

Duplicate Symbol on the Stage

  1. Select an existing symbol on the Stage.

  2. Right click the object and select Duplicate Symbol from the context menu.

  3. For this exercise, let’s leave the default name for the duplicate – “yourSymbol copy”.

  4. Click OK.
Duplicate Symbol

Two things happened now:

One - the new symbol appeared in the Library,
And two – the instance on the stage has become an instance of the new duplicate.

Select it and check the Properties window to see.

Editing this symbol will not affect the original – they are two separate entities now.
Double click the new symbol and edit it – change something in it – and see that nothing happens to the other instances of the original.

Library Assets

Method 2: Through the Library Pane

  1. Select the symbol in the Library.

  2. Right click it; select Duplicate from the context menu.

  3. Click OK.
library menu

This way you get a new symbol in the Library.
It doesn’t have an instance on the Stage yet–
drag and drop from the Library to the Stage to give it an instance (see exercise 3).

Back to top

Return to main Flash 101 page

Browse the Flash FAQ for Animators

What do you say? Leave me a comment in the box below

Flash Tutorials

mask tutorial

the transformation point (why does the pivot jump?)

Drawing in Flash - How to draw a cat
Part 1 - body
Part 2 - face

Flash Animation FAQ

Flash 101 Series:

Flash Symbol Explained part 1 and part 2

Flash 101 series main page

Exercise 1: Create a new Flash Symbol

Exercise 2: Convert to Symbol + Break Apart

Exercise 3: Create Multiple Instances + Distribute to Layers

Exercise 4: Transform instances + color effects

Exercise 5: Edit Symbol + Navigate in and out of symbols

Exercise 6: nested symbols: Sun animation

Exercise 7: Duplicate + Swap

Flash Cut Out Animation Tuts

Butterfly Animation Tutorial:
Part 1Part 2, Part 3

Rabbit Animations Tutorial

Download the source files for these tutorials!

Recent Articles

  1. The New Cartoon People Shop is now LIVE!

    Apr 09, 15 02:21 PM

    In Beta - But it's all up and running! What do YOU need us to draw for you? Let us know in the "contact" form. YOUUUHOOO this is so exciting!

    Read More

  2. New site for Monkeyjam!

    Jan 30, 12 01:00 PM

    Don't miss the new version of this sweet, totaly free, 2D animation software!

    Read More