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Using symbols in FreeHand 10 to optimize your workflow

Symbols are now more intuitive and easier to use in Macromedia FreeHand 10. Although changing a symbol has always changed all associated instances automatically, you no longer need to release an instance from its symbol, edit it, and then replace it. Symbols are particularly useful for graphics that need to be updated often, such as a company logo that changes color depending on how and where it is used. Symbols are also useful for creating tiled fills and brush strokes. Tiled fills are patterns based on an object that you create from a graphic or text and paste into the Fill inspector. By creating a tiled fill from a symbol, you save file space, which is ideal for graphics that will appear on a Web page.

This article is a hands-on tutorial that demonstrates how to create a symbol, use it to make a tiled fill, and apply the fill to a vector object. It also shows you how to use the symbol to quickly and easily update many instances of the same graphic throughout a document. Another tutorial, Using brush strokes in FreeHand 10 to create intricate patterns, focuses on intricate patterns by creating a brush stroke from a symbol.

For details about symbols, see FreeHand Help or the Using FreeHand manual.

Download the Windows source file rapunzel.zip (328K)
Download the Macintosh source file rapunzel.sea.hqx (464K)

Convert a vector object into a symbol
Use the symbol to create a tiled fill
Edit the symbol to update all instances in the document


Robin Hunt-Smith

8/13/2001

symbol, instance, Library panel, tiled fill, pattern, tutorial