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The asset is a file, which will be referenced from the layouts. It could be an image, stylesheet or javascript. The text assets (javascripts and stylesheets) can contain liquid tags just as layouts do. You can edit the existing assets or upload new.

To manage the theme assets go to Manage screen, then click on Themes link, find the theme you want to edit and click on it's "edit" link.

CSS Asset  

You may write your css directly into your layouts (using <style> tag):

your css

or you may create it as separate files (assets) which will be referenced from your layouts (using the liquid function 'stylesheet'):

{{ 'textile.css' | stylesheet }}

Javascript Asset  

You can write your javascript directly into your layouts (using <script> tags):

<script type='text/javascript'>

or you can use separate javascript files and add them as assets which will be referenced in your layouts by using the liquid function 'javascript':

{{ 'common.js' | javascript }} 

Image Assets  

Again you have a choice how to use images in your theme - you may use external images (not hosted in metadot) by using <img> tags:

<img src='some url to the image image file'>

or you may upload the image as theme asset and referenced it in your layout by using the liquid 'image' function:

{{ 'some_image.jpg' | image }}