Timeline Block To Symbol


Converts a selected block of frames to a Symbol, preserving its relative position and layer structure.

There are two modes:

  1. Single Frame mode
    If the selection is strictly limited to multiple objects/layers spanning only one frame, the command behaves just like the discontinued (as of v.3) Convert To Symbol Preserving Layers. A self-explanatory dialog box pops up and the user is required to choose certain options.
  2. Timeline Block mode
    Selection can be any block of frames. A self-explanatory dialog box appears and after the user chooses what they need the frames are nested inside a container.
    The command can slice through tweens, preserving easing, but this should be used with care*. (Please, see notes below.)

Suggested use

Should be used when content needs to be treated as one Symbol and buried a level deeper

Where does it work?

Mode 1. Symbols on Stage or vertical Timeline selection across multiple layers, single frame only
Mode 2. Timeline; block selection of frames

EDAP Tools v.5 shortcut



Important! Depending on the complexity of your selection this command might take up to a few minutes to complete your request.
If Flash pops up message(s) asking you if you'd like the command to continue working, just press 'Yes' as many times as necessary.

* Timeline Block To Symbol can split tweens and slice through all kinds of layers.
Depending on many circumstances (masks, motion guides, synced Symbols, etc) in certain situations this can produce undesired differences from the original selection. Use this option with care and ideally double-check.

The best practice that would guarantee nested content identical to the original selection would be to prepare your block by manually creating keys on both ends so that the block is clearly defined before you begin.

Safely-defined block (below)

TBS result (below)

Known issues

Elements disappearing when using Single Frame Mode:
A long-standing known issue with all versions of Flash and Animate is that data stored temporarily in the System Clipboard can be exposed to interference by other programs running at the same time as Flash / Animate.

If on the background you are running Macromedia Director, OpenOffice or Oracle VM VirtualBox, the command may fail in various ways, resulting in an error message or elements disappearing. These applications seem to steal or alter the clipboard. Just close Macromedia Director, OpenOffice and/or VirtualBox. You may need to restart Flash/Animate, but more likely not.
There may be other applications that do this also and the list may be incomplete.

Animate CC 2019 and newer only:
Layer Parenting information is lost during Timeline Block To Symbol nesting operation. (Read more)

Video demonstration

All our videos are 1080p. If for some reason full HD is not available here, try watching them on YouTube.

This command is part of the Flanimate Power Tools package. Download the latest version from the Downloads page.

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