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1018 - Will a piece import graphics from a library that it doesn’t use?

by - Joseph Ganci

I have 2 AW pieces sharing one library, which contains 90 icons. When viewing piece 1, the library shows 60 icons linked, and the same library in piece 2 shows 30 icons linked... (I understand why, of course)... does that mean that when you package the piece only the linked icons for each piece (say, 60 for piece 1) will be packaged with it, or will AW package all 90 icons for both pieces? Would it be better to make a separate library for each piece? When it comes to libraries, what is best practice for reducing file size for web delivery?

I have to package the library internally because all AW files are going to the web... (that's the web=packaging rule, right?).

So, If I have:


And lets say the Library contains:

AWFIle1 uses Graphics A, B and C
AWFile2 only uses Graphics A and D.

By using your rule: "If you are packaging your libraries internally, only the linked icons in the library will be packaged in your file."

That would mean that the library, when packaging AWFile2 and packaging the Library internally, would only package with Graphics A and D internally, and not A,B,C and D, right? So I don't understand your comment:

"Of course, if those same library icons are being packaged internally in all of your lessons, then there are lots of copies being made."

How are copies being made?

If you are packaging your libraries externally, then you only will have one copy of the packaged file. If you are packaging your libraries internally, only the linked icons in the library will be packaged in your file. Of course, if those same library icons are being packaged internally in all of your lessons, then there are lots of copies being made.

If you are sharing a library among lots of different files, it's best to make it external. Otherwise, internalizing the linked library icons is fine.

Yes, if you're doing it for the web, you CAN still have your libraries be external, but you'll have to download them to the user's machine before they can be used. Usually, it's easier to package the libraries internally.

What I mean by copies being made is that the library is that in your example below, if you had multiple separate Authorware lesson files, each of which uses Graphics A and D in the library, then package the library internally for each of those lesson files, then you’re basically making copies of the A and D graphic in each of the packaged files.

In short, if you package internally your file will not include library elements that are not needed in the piece.

In the libraries, you'll see on each line that there are several columns - Link, Icon, Title, Date, and Link Name. It doesn't matter if you change the icon name, but it is very important that you never change the link name, because that is the name under which Authorware has linked to the library icon.

Try this.
1. Create a new Authorware file and a new Authorware library.
2. On the Authorware flow line, create a Display icon called "apple".
3. Once you've done that, drag it to the library.4. Notice that the icon and the link name are both set to "apple".
5. Change the icon's name in the library (not the link name) to "orange". Notice Authorware has no complaints.
6. Change the icon's link name in the library to "orange". When you try to do that, notice Authorware will pop up a dialog box telling you that the link name is in use and asks if you want to relink the icons that are currently linked to the link name "apple", break the links, or cancel. You can see why the link name is important.

Now you get the warning because your main file name is open. What if you opened the library with a different Authorware file name, even an empty one?

1. Save your library.
2. Save your Authorware file.
3. Create a new Authorware file.
4. Open your saved library.
5. Change the link name from apple to orange. Authorware does not complain because it sees no links in the current file.
6. Save the library again.
7. Open your previously saved Authorware file.
8. Your link is broken! This is true though you haven't changed the icon name (but you have changed the link).

This may or may not be your problem. Do check the link names, though. I bet that's what are getting messed up. To double-check what Authorware thinks is being linked, click on any of the links in your main Authorware file and choose the Modify pulldown menu, then Icon, then Library Links. You'll see there what it thinks the library link name should be. If you can find that library link in your library, then you have a problem (why isn't it finding it?). If you cannot find it in the library, then you also have a problem - the library links are being changed (either by you, another human being, or by some strange quirk of Authorware). If it's an Authorware quirk, you may have corrupt files, in which case - ouch - you may have to recreate files.

You mention that you have not moved anything from any directory, however you may encounter this type of problem if the folder containing the files was move around resulting in a total path that is longer than Authorware can handle. This is a very easy trap to fall into in Windows 2000. Many files will not work if placed on the desktop, due to the long path assigned, something like, “C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\project folder” as you can see this is a very long path, which can cause major problems with libraries.

I hope this has helped.

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