Unit 5. Working with Texts (II)

Types of Texts


How we've already commented, Flash distinguishes between different types of texts and handles them specifically according to the type.

All the types of texts correspond to the properties commented in the previous items, and they differ just in the Text Type. We can modify the text type from the Properties Panel by nothing more than clicking on the tab "Text Type":

Static Text

The Static Text is characterized by not presenting any change during the animation. It is important that we do not confuse the word "static" with text not moving.

What we would like to say is that the contents of the text frame does not change. The text can be animated (rotated, changed of color...) and still be static. In this way, a text frame in which "Learn Flash MX 2004 " is written during all the movie is static, although you can apply to it the above mentioned text changes: position, shape, color... However, if we go on and write "With this Tutorial” in the same text box, this text box is NOT static. At this point, we strongly recommend doing the course exercises.

The static texts have only 2 extra properties:

Use Device Fonts: This option let the movie Flash to use the Fonts installed by the user who watches the movie on his computer. If this user has the fonts that we used in the movie, one will see it exactly as we want to show, but if someone does not have them, Flash will use the most similar ones. This often causes that the final result (that the user sees) does not fit in the desired output, because of that it is usually convenient to maintain this option without selecting, though this entails a greater size of the final movie.

Selectable: With this option activated the user can select the texts that are in the movie (copy them...) Activate this option, if you find it is convenient.

Dynamic Text


The Dynamic Text, in contrast to the static one, can change its contents (besides of being animated as the later). Its use is rather more complex than the Static, since every frame of Dynamic text can be a variable, which is modified by ActionScript. Programming can modify the values and properties of this type of texts. A common use is to represent texts introduced by Input Text (see following item).

They have many properties, accessible from the Properties Panel, it is possible to set the number of lines that they going to take, to introduce HTML text, to add easily a border to the text or the one to give name to the variable that represents the Dynamic text.


Input Text


The Input Text basically has the same properties as the Dynamic Text, and some others of the kind of a data type introduction text oriented to the user, as for example the maximal number of lines that can be introduced the field or if we want that what is written appears as asterisks (for the passwords).

Obviously this type of text will be reflected in our movie as a text frame WITHOUT contents, since the user has to introduce it.

How we've mentioned before, this type of text can be combined with the Dynamic Text .

In this (advanced) animation you can see how:

And that is the final result:

To learn how to change the text type, we advice you to do Exercise Changing text type

Flash lets create text animations so interactive as those that can be created with images (we've already seen how easy it is to convert a text in a link to another web page).

Even so, create animations with texts, can end in many hours of work and great patience. The results are incredible, but in these cases it could be reasonable to use some programs designed for this objective. Among others the Swish, the FlaX or the MiX-Fx make stand out, you will be able to create astonishing text effects in few minutes, although you will not be able neither to enjoy the Flash 8 environment nor to use the rest of tools disposed by it.

You can test your knowledge making the:

  Unit 5 Test.

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