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Adobe Flash Professional CS5 : Importing Bitmaps

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You can import bitmaps of several file types directly into Flash to use in your Flash movie. It is important to remember that even though you can edit and resize bitmaps in Flash, the original bitmap will always be embedded in the exported Flash file. If file size is an issue, it is best to bring your bitmapped art in at the size you want to export it. For example, if your image is going to be 160 pixels by 160 pixels in the final movie, it is best to import it at this size and not resize it up or down in Flash. You will end up with higher-quality images and smaller files if you do this. You can import files using the Import To Stage or Import To Library methods. The Import To Stage method stores the bitmap in the Library and places a copy on the Stage, while the Import To Library method stores the bitmap in the Library and doesn’t place a copy on the Stage.

Import a Bitmap to the Stage

Click the File menu, point to Import, and then click Import To Stage.

Click the Show popup (Mac) or Files Of Types list arrow (Win), and then select the format of the file you want to import.

Navigate to the drive or folder where the file is located.

Select the file you want to import.

Click Import (Mac) or Open (Win).

Did You Know?

You may not be able to see the images you’ve imported to the Stage at certain magnification levels. Flash aligns the top left-hand corner of the image at the 0,0 coordinate. If you are zoomed in, the image may have appeared outside the viewable area. Use the Hand tool to navigate around, zoom out, or Ctrl+Shift+W (Win) to toggle the Work Area off. This sets the zoom level to 100% and hides the Work Area.

For Your Information: Scaling Image Before Importing

Scaling bitmaps reduces the quality of the image, so it’s best to import an image into Flash at the size you want it to be. If you need to scale an image in Flash, it’s a good idea to import the image at a slightly larger size, so when you scale it down, loss of quality is minimized.


Import to the Library

Click the File menu, point to Import, and then click Import To Library.

Click the Show popup (Mac) or Files Of Types list arrow (Win), and then select the format of the file you want to import.

Navigate to the drive or folder where the file is located.

Select the file you want to import.

Click Import To Library (Mac) or Open (Win).

Did You Know?

You can quickly swap bitmaps. You can exchange an image on the Stage with another one from the Library. To swap one bitmap with another on the Stage, select the bitmap image on the Stage, open the Property Inspector, click Swap, select the image you want from the list of currently stored images in your document library, and then click OK.
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