About classic text

Classic text is the name for the older text engine in Animate. The classic text engine is still available in CS5 and later. Classic text may be preferable for certain types of content, such as for mobile devices, where SWF file size must be kept to a minimum. However, in some cases, such as those requiring fine control over text layout, you will want to use the new TLF text. For information about TLF text, see Working with Text Layout Framework (TLF) text.

You specify whether an individual text object on the Stage uses the Classic or TLF text engine by selecting the text object and then choosing the desired text engine in the Text Property inspector.

Note:

You can change the text engine used by a text object at any time. For infomration about converting Classic text to TLF text, see Converting between Classic and TLF text.

You can include classic text in your Animate applications in a variety of ways. You can create text fields containing static text, which you create when you author the document. You can also create dynamic text fields, which display updating text, such as stock quotes or news headlines, and input text fields, which allow users to enter text for forms or surveys.

Animate provides many ways to work with text. For example, you can orient text horizontally or vertically; set attributes such as font, size, style, color, and line spacing; check spelling; transform text by rotating, skewing, or flipping; link text; make text selectable; animate text; control font substitution; and use a font as part of a shared library. Animate documents can use Type 1 PostScript® fonts, TrueType®, and bitmap fonts (Macintosh only).

You can preserve rich text formatting in text fields, using HTML tags and attributes. When you use HTML text for the content of a dynamic or input text field, the text can flow around an image, such as a SWF or JPEG file or a movie clip. See Using HTML-formatted text in Learning ActionScript 2.0.

Like movie clip instances, text field instances are ActionScript® objects that have properties and methods. By giving a text field an instance name, you can manipulate it with ActionScript. However, you cannot write ActionScript code inside a text instance, because text instances don’t have Timelines.

You can use ActionScript to format input and dynamic text, and to create scrolling text fields. ActionScript has events for dynamic and input text fields that you can capture and use to trigger scripts. For information on using ActionScript to control text, see Working with Text and Strings in Learning ActionScript 2.0.

About classic text fields

You can create three types of classic text fields: static, dynamic, and input.

  • Static text fields display text that doesn’t change characters dynamically.

  • Dynamic text fields display dynamically updating text, such as stock quotes or weather reports.

  • Input text fields allow users to enter text in forms or surveys.

    You can create horizontal text (with a left-to-right flow) or static vertical text (with either a right-to-left or left-to-right flow). Note that the use of horizontal bidirectional languages (Hebrew, Arabic etc.) in classic text fields is not supported.

    When creating static text, you can place text on a single line that expands as you type, or in a fixed-width field (for horizontal text) or fixed-height field (for vertical text) that expands and wraps words automatically. When creating dynamic or input text, you can place text on a single line, or create a text field with a fixed width and height.

    note: When working with Static Vertical Text, the width field is disabled in the Properties Inspector. Modifying the height automatically adjusts the width value. Similarly, when working with Static Horizontal Text, the height field is disabled in the Properties Inspector. Modifying the width automatically adjusts the height value.

     

    All classic text fields support Unicode.

    Animate displays a handle on the corner of each text field to identify the type of text field:

  • For static horizontal text that extends, a round handle appears at the upper-right corner of the text field.

  • For static horizontal text that has a fixed width, a square handle appears at the upper-right corner of the text field.

  • For static vertical text that has right-to-left flow and extends, a round handle appears at the lower-left corner of the text field.

  • For static vertical text that has right-to-left flow and a fixed height, a square handle appears at the lower-left corner of the text field.

  • For static vertical text that has left-to-right flow and extends, a round handle appears at the lower-right corner of the text field.

  • For static vertical text that has left-to-right flow and a fixed height, a square handle appears at the lower-right corner of the text field.

  • For dynamic or input text fields that extend, a round handle appears at the lower-right corner of the text field.

  • For dynamic or input text that has a defined height and width, a square handle appears at the lower-right corner of the text field.

  • For dynamic scrollable classic text fields, the round or square handle becomes solid black instead of hollow.

    Shift-double-click the handle of dynamic and input text fields to create text fields that don’t expand when you enter text on the Stage. This allows you to create a text field of a fixed size and fill it with more text than it can display to create scrolling text.

    After you use the Text tool to create a text field, use the Property inspector to specify the type of text field, and to set values that control how the text field and its contents appear in the SWF file.

Create and edit text fields

Text is horizontal by default. However, static text can also be aligned vertically.

You can use most common word-processing techniques to edit text in Animate. Use the Cut, Copy, and Paste commands to move text in a Animate file as well as between Animate and other applications.

Add text to the Stage

  1. Select the Text tool .
  2. Select Classic Text from the Text Engine menu at the top of the Text Property inspector.
  3. In the Property inspector (Window > Properties), select a text type from the pop‑up menu to specify the type of text field:

    Dynamic Text

    Creates a field that displays dynamically updating text.

    Input Text

    Creates a field in which users can enter text.

    Static Text

    Creates a field that cannot update dynamically.

  4. For static text only: In the Text Property inspector, select a direction for text orientation and flow from the Orientation Of Text menu. (Horizontal is the default setting.)
  5. On the Stage, do one of the following:
    • To create a text field that displays text in a single line, click where you want the text to start.

    • To create a text field with a fixed width (for horizontal text) or fixed height (for vertical text), position the pointer where you want the text to start and drag to the desired width or height.

    Note:

    If you create a text field that extends past the edge of the Stage as you type, the text isn’t lost. To make the handle accessible again, add line breaks, move the text field, or select View > Pasteboard.

  6. Select text attributes in the Property inspector.

Change the size of a text field

  • Drag the text field’s resize handle.

    When text is selected, a blue bounding box lets you resize the text field by dragging one of its handles. Static text fields have four handles that let you resize the text field horizontally. Dynamic text fields have eight handles that let you resize the text field vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

Switch a text field between fixed-width (or fixed-height) and extending

  • Double-click a resize handle.

Select characters in a text field

  1. Select the Text tool .
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Drag to select characters.

    • Double-click to select a word.

    • Click to specify the beginning of the selection, and Shift-click to specify the end of the selection.

    • Press Control+A (Windows) or Command+A (Macintosh) to select all the text in the field.

Select text fields

  • Using the Selection tool , click a text field. Shift-click to select multiple text fields.

Set dynamic and input text options

  1. Click in an existing dynamic text field.
  2. In the Property inspector, make sure Dynamic or Input is displayed in the pop‑up menu.
  3. Enter an instance name for the text field.
  4. Specify the height, width, and location of text.
  5. Select the font and style.
  6. In the Paragraph section of the Property inspector, specify one of the following options from the Behavior menu:

    Single line

    Displays the text as one line.

    Multiline

    Displays the text in multiple lines.

    Multiline No Wrap

    Displays text in multiple lines that break only if the last character is a breaking character, such as Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh).

  7. To enable users to select dynamic text, click Selectable . Deselect this option to prevent users from selecting dynamic text.
  8. To preserve rich text formatting (such as fonts and hyperlinks) with the appropriate HTML tags, click Render Text As HTML .
  9. To display a black border and white background for the text field, click Show Border Around Text .
  10. (Optional) In the Var box, enter the variable name for the text field. (Use this option only when authoring for Macromedia Flash Player 5 from Adobe or earlier.)

    Beginning with Macromedia Flash MX (version 6), you assign the text field an instance name using the Property inspector. Although you can use the variable name method with dynamic text fields for backwards compatibility to Macromedia Flash 5 and earlier versions, Adobe doesn't recommend this, because you can't control other text field properties, or apply style sheet settings.

  11. (Optional) Click Embed to open the Font Embedding dialog box. for more information, see Embed fonts for consistent text appearance.

Set preferences for vertical text

  1. Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Animate > Preferences (Macintosh) and click the Text category in the Preferences dialog box.

  2. Under Vertical Text, set any of these options:

    Default Text Orientation

    Automatically gives new text fields vertical orientation.

    Right to Left Text Flow

    Makes lines of vertical text fill the page from right to left.

    No Kerning

    Prevents kerning from being applied to vertical text. (Kerning remains enabled for horizontal text.)

Setting classic text attributes

About classic text attributes

Note:

To use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), use ActionScript to apply a stylesheet. For more information, see Applying cascading style sheets in the ActionScript 3.0 Developer’s Guide.

You can set the font and paragraph attributes of text. Font attributes include font family, point size, style, color, letter spacing, autokerning, and character position. Paragraph attributes include alignment, margins, indents, and line spacing.

For static text, font outlines are exported in a published SWF file. For horizontal static text, you can use device fonts instead of exporting font outlines.

For dynamic or input text, Animate stores the names of the fonts, and Flash Player locates identical or similar fonts on the user’s system. You can also embed font outlines in dynamic or input text fields. Embedding font outlines can increase file size, but it ensures that users have the correct font information.

When creating new text, Animate uses the text attributes that are currently set in the Property inspector. When you select existing text, use the Property inspector to change font or paragraph attributes, and to direct Animate to use device fonts rather than embedding font outline information.

Set a font, point size, style, and color

  1. Using the Selection tool , select one or more text fields on the Stage.
  2. In the Property inspector (Window > Properties), select a font from the Family pop‑up menu, or enter a font name.

    Note:

    The _sans, _serif, _typewriter, and device fonts can be used only with static horizontal text.

  3. Enter a value for the font size.

    Font size is set in points, regardless of the current ruler units.

  4. To apply bold or italic style, select the style from the Style menu.

    If the selected font does not include a bold or italic style, the style does not appear in the menu. You can select the Faux Bold or Faux Italic styles from the Text menu (Text > Style > Faux Bold or Faux Italic). Faux Bold and Faux Italic styles are added to the Regular style by the operating system. The faux styles may not look as good as fonts that include a true bold or italic style.

  5. Select a font rendering method from the Anti-Aliasing pop‑up menu (directly below the Color control) to optimize text.
  6. To select a fill color for text, click the Color control and do one of the following:
    • Select a color from the Color menu.

    • Type a color’s hexadecimal value in the box in the upper-left corner.

    • Click Color Picker  and select a color from the system color picker. (When setting the text color, use only solid colors, not gradients. To apply a gradient to text, break the text apart and convert the text to its component lines and fills.)

Set letter spacing, kerning, and character position

Letter spacing inserts a uniform amount of space between characters. Use letter spacing to adjust the spacing of selected characters or entire blocks of text.

Kerning controls the spacing between pairs of characters. Many fonts have built-in kerning information. For example, A and V are often closer together than A and D. Animate provides horizontal tracking and kerning (for horizontal text) and vertical tracking and kerning (for vertical text).

For vertical text, you can disable kerning by default in Animate Preferences. If you do this and leave the kerning option selected in the Property inspector, kerning is applied to horizontal text only.

  1. Using the Text tool , select one or more sentences, phrases, or text fields on the Stage.
  2. In the Property inspector (Window > Properties), set the following options:
    • To specify letter spacing (tracking and kerning), enter a value in the Letter Spacing field.

    • To use a font’s built-in kerning information, select Auto-Kern.

    • To specify superscript or subscript character position, click the Toggle Superscript or Toggle Subscript button. The default position is Normal. Normal places text on the baseline, Superscript places text above the baseline (horizontal text) or to the right of the baseline (vertical text), and Subscript places text below the baseline (horizontal text) or to the left of the baseline (vertical text).

Set alignment, margins, indents, and line spacing

Alignment determines the position of each line of text in a paragraph relative to edges of the text field. Horizontal text is aligned relative to the left and right edges of the text field, and vertical text is aligned relative to the top and bottom edges of the text field. Text can be aligned to one edge of the text field, centered in the text field, or aligned to both edges of the text field (full justification).

Margins determine the amount of space between the border of a text field and its text. Indents determine the distance between the margin of a paragraph and the beginning of the first line.

Line spacing determines the distance between adjacent lines in a paragraph. For vertical text, line spacing adjusts the space between vertical columns.

Work with horizontal text

  1. Using the Text tool , select one or more text fields on the Stage.
  2. In the Property inspector (Window > Properties), set the following options:
    • To set alignment, click Left, Center, Right, or Full Justification.

    • To set the left or right margin, enter values in the Margins text fields in the Paragraph section of the Property inspector.

    • To specify indents, enter a value in the Indentation text field in the Paragraph section of the Property inspector.

    • To specify line spacing, enter a value in the Line Spacing text field in the Paragraph section of the Property inspector.

Work with vertical text

  1. Using the Text tool , select one or more text fields on the Stage.
  2. In the Property inspector (Window > Properties), set the following options:
    • To set alignment, click Top, Center, Bottom, or Full Justification.

    • To set the top or bottom margin, enter values in the Margins fields in the Paragraph section of the Property inspector.

    • To specify indents, enter a value in the Indentation text field in the Paragraph section of the Property inspector.

    • To specify line spacing, enter a value in the Line Spacing text field in the Paragraph section of the Property inspector.

Classic text anti-aliasing

Anti-aliasing lets you smooth the edges of onscreen text. The anti-aliasing options are particularly effective for rendering smaller font sizes. When anti-aliasing is enabled, all text in the current selection is affected. Anti-aliasing operates with text of all point sizes in the same way.

Anti-aliasing is supported for static, dynamic, and input text if the user has Flash® Player 7 or later. It is supported only for static text if the user has an earlier version of Flash Player.

When using small text in a Animate document, keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Sans serif text, such as Helvetica or Arial, appears clearer at small sizes than serif text.

  • Some type styles, such as bold and italic, can make text less legible at small sizes.

  • In some cases, text appears somewhat smaller than text of the same point size in other applications.

The Animate text rendering engine provides clear, high-quality text rendering in Animate (FLA) documents and published SWF files. The Anti-alias for Readability setting makes text more legible, particularly at small font sizes. Custom anti-aliasing lets you specify the thickness and sharpness of fonts used in individual text fields.

High quality anti-aliasing is automatically enabled whenever you publish to Flash Player 8 or later and Anti-Alias For Readability or Custom Anti-Alias is selected. Anti-Alias For Readability may cause a slight delay when you load Animate SWF files, especially if you are using four or five different character sets in the first frame of a Animate document. High-quality anti-aliasing may also increase Flash Player’s memory usage. Using four or five fonts, for example, can increase memory usage by approximately 4 MB.

When the publish setting of your file is Adobe® Flash® Player 8 or later, and Anti-Alias For Readability or Custom Anti-Alias is your chosen anti-aliasing option, high-quality anti-aliasing applies to the following:

  • Untransformed text that is scaled or rotated

    note: Although the text can be scaled or rotated, it must remain flat (that is, untransformed). For example, if you skew the fonts or otherwise manipulate the font shapes, Anti-Alias for Readability is automatically disabled.

  • All font families (including bold, italic, and so on)

  • Display sizes of up to 255 points

  • Exporting to most non-Animate file formats (GIF or JPEG)

High-quality anti-aliasing is disabled under the following conditions:

  • Flash Player 7 or earlier is the selected version of Flash Player.

  • An anti-aliasing option other than Anti-Alias for Readability or Custom Anti-Alias is selected.

  • Text is skewed or flipped.

  • The FLA file is exported to a PNG file.

Work with text anti-aliasing

Animate provides improved font rasterization that lets you specify the anti-aliasing properties for fonts. The improved anti-aliasing capabilities are available only for SWF files published for Flash Player 8 or later. If you are publishing files for earlier versions of Flash Player, you can only use the Anti-Alias For Animation feature.

Note:

Anti-aliasing requires that the fonts used by a text field are embedded. If you do not embed the fonts, then the text field may appear blank for classic text. If changing the Anti-Alias setting to Use Device Fonts causes the text to appear incorrectly, then you need to embed the fonts. Animate automatically embeds the fonts for text that already exists in a text field created on the Stage. However, if you plan to allow the text to change at runtime, you should embed the fonts manually. For instructions, see Embed fonts for consistent text appearance.

Choose an anti-aliasing option for selected text

  • In the Property inspector, choose one of the following options from the Anti-Aliasing pop‑up menu:

    Use Device Fonts

    Specifies that the SWF file use the fonts installed on the local computer to display the fonts. Typically, device fonts are legible at most font sizes. Although this option doesn’t increase the size of the SWF file, it forces you to rely on the fonts installed on the user’s computer for font display. When using device fonts, choose only commonly installed font families.

    You cannot use device fonts with rotated or vertical classic text. If you want to use rotated or vertical classic text, select another anti-alias mode and embed the fonts used by the text field.

    Bitmap Text (No Anti-Alias)

    Turns off anti-aliasing and provides no text smoothing. The text is displayed using sharp edges, and the resulting SWF file size is increased because the font outlines are embedded in the file. Bitmap text is sharp at the exported size, but scales poorly.

    Anti-Alias For Animation

    Creates a smoother animation by ignoring alignment and kerning information. This option creates a larger SWF file because font outlines are embedded. For legibility, use 10-point or larger type when specifying this option.

    Anti-Alias For Readability

    Uses the Animate text rendering engine to improve the legibility of fonts, particularly at small sizes. This option creates a larger SWF file because font outlines are embedded. To use this option, you must publish to Flash Player 8 or later. (Do not use this option if you intend to animate text; instead, use Anti-Alias For Animation.)

    Custom Anti-Alias

    Lets you modify the font’s properties. Use Sharpness to specify the smoothness of the transition between the text edges and the background. Use Thickness to specify how thick the font anti-aliasing transition appears. (Larger values cause the characters to look thicker.) Specifying Custom Anti-Alias creates a larger SWF file because font outlines are embedded. To use this option, you must publish to Flash Player 8 or later.

Upgrade content for Flash 8 or later anti-aliasing

  1. Open a FLA file created for use with Flash Player 7 or earlier.
  2. In the Publish Settings dialog box (File > Publish Settings), select Flash Player 8 or Flash Player 9 from the Version pop‑up menu.
  3. Select the text field to apply the Anti-Alias For Readability or Custom Anti-Alias option to.
  4. In the Property inspector, select Anti-Alias For Readability or Custom Anti-Alias from the Font Rendering Method pop‑up menu.

Make classic text selectable

Static horizontal text or dynamic text can be selectable by users viewing your Animate application. (Input text is selectable by default.) After selecting text, the user can copy, cut, and then paste the text into a separate document.

  1. Using the Text tool , select the horizontal text that you want to make selectable.
  2. In the Property inspector (Window > Properties), select Static Text or Dynamic Text.
  3. Click Selectable .

Transforming text

You can create text effects by transforming text fields. For example, you can rotate, skew, flip, and scale text fields. (When you scale a text field as an object, the Property inspector does not reflect increases or decreases in point size.) The text in a transformed text field can still be edited, although severe transformations may make it difficult to read.

You can also animate text by using Timeline effects. For example, you can make text bounce, fade in or out, or explode.

Break Classic text apart

You can break apart Classic text to place each character in a separate text field. Then you can quickly distribute the text fields to separate layers and animate each field. However, you cannot break apart text in scrollable classic text fields.

You can also convert the text to its component lines and fills to reshape, erase, and otherwise manipulate it as a graphic. As with any other shape, you can individually group these converted characters, or change them to symbols and animate them. After you convert text to graphic lines and fills, you can no longer edit the text.

Note:

The Break Apart command for Classic text applies only to outline fonts such as TrueType fonts. Bitmap fonts disappear from the screen when you break them apart. PostScript fonts can be broken apart only on Macintosh systems.

  1. Using the Selection tool , click a text field.
  2. Select Modify > Break Apart.

    Each character in the selected text is placed in a separate text field. The text remains in the same position on the Stage.

  3. Select Modify > Break Apart again to convert the characters to shapes on the Stage.
  1. Select text or a text field:
    • Use the Text tool  to select text in a text field.

    • To link all the text in a text field, use the Selection tool  to select a text field.

  2. In the Link text field in the Options section of the Property inspector (Window > Properties), enter the URL to which you want to link the text field.

Note:

To create a link to an e-mail address, use the mailto: URL. For example, enter mailto:adamsmith@example.com.

Create scrolling classic text

There are several ways to create scrolling text in Animate:

  • Make dynamic or input text fields scrollable by using menu commands or the text field handle. This does not add a scrollbar to the text field, but instead allows the user to scroll the text with the arrow keys (for text fields also set to Selectable) or the mouse wheel. The user must first click the text field to give it focus.

  • Add an ActionScript 3.0 UIScrollbar component to a text field to make it scroll. For more information, see “Use the UIScrollBar component” in Using ActionScript 3.0 Components.

  • In ActionScript 3.0, use the scrollH and scrollV properties of the TextField class.

  • Add an ActionScript 2.0 ScrollBar component to a text field to make it scroll. For more information, see “UIScrollBar Component” in the ActionScript 2.0 Components Language Reference.

  • In ActionScript 2.0, use the TextField object’s scroll and maxscroll properties to control vertical scrolling and the hscroll and maxhscroll properties to control horizontal scrolling in a text field. See Example: Creating scrolling text in Learning ActionScript 2.0.

 

Make dynamic text scrollable

  • Do one of the following:
    • Shift-double-click the lower-right handle on the dynamic text field. The handle will turn from an unfilled square (non-scrollable) to a filled square (scrollable).

    • Using the Selection tool , select the dynamic text field and then select Text > Scrollable.

    • Select the dynamic text field with the Selection tool. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the dynamic text field and select Scrollable from the context menu.

Masking device font text

You can use a movie clip to mask device font text in another movie clip. (You cannot mask device fonts by using a mask layer on the Stage.) For this movie clip mask to function, the user must have Flash Player 6 (6.0.40.0) or later.

When you use a movie clip to mask device font text, Animate uses the rectangular bounding box of the mask as the masking shape. That is, if you create a nonrectangular movie clip mask for device font text in the Animate authoring environment, the mask that appears in the SWF file takes the shape of the rectangular bounding box of the mask, not the shape of the mask itself.

For more information on using a movie clip as a mask, see Using movie clips as masks in Learning ActionScript 2.0.

For a sample of device font masking, see the Animate Samples web page at www.adobe.com/go/learn_fl_samples. Download and decompress the Samples zip file and navigate to the Masking\DeviceFontMasking folder to access the sample.

Unicode text encoding in SWF applications

Flash Player 7 and later support Unicode text encoding for SWF files in Flash Player format. This support greatly enhances your ability to use multilanguage text in your SWF files, such as two languages within a single text field. Any user with Flash Player 7 or later can view multilanguage text in a Flash Player 7 or later application, regardless of the language used by the operating system running the player.

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