Starting with Flash 4, text effects became a very popular add-in to many projects, mainly due to new software. Swish, for example, is a program completely separate from Flash that creates an SWF animation of a text effect. You can then import the SWF into Flash as a series of frames.
Soon after that, step-by-step instructions were created by fellow Flash developers to demonstrate the ActionScript way of creating such text effects. But Flash 4 was too primitive to use ActionScripted text effects in an easy-to-use, modular fashion. When Flash 5 arrived, designers had more hope to build a completely modularized component that would be simple to plug in to any project. However, Flash 5 lacked control of text fields through ActionScript.
Finally, with the release of Flash MX, portable text effects are now possible. Using the new technologies of Flash MX, we can drag components to the stage and edit them only slightly to create a full-blown, quite complex text effect. The most amazing thing about this set of components is that each employs complicated mathematics and programming techniques, yet neither needs to be known to the user. In this chapter you will learn the various topics that surround text effects.
Why use component text effects?
The Text Effect component set
Shared fonts in Flash MX