Chapter 12. Adding Text


A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes you really need those thousand words. Fortunately, Director makes it easy to add words to your movies, either by importing text from other programs or by creating text within Director.

You can use three kinds of text in Director:

  • Regular text (sometimes called vector text, or just plain text ) is exactly like the text you use in word-processing programs. You can edit and format it easily, and anti-alias it for a smoother appearance ( Figure 12.1 ). You can create regular text in Director or import it from ASCII, RTF, or HTML files.

    Figure 12.1. Regular text can be anti-aliased for a smoother appearance; field text can't.


  • Field text requires less memory and downloads more quickly than regular text, but it offers few formatting options, can't be anti-aliased, and can't be imported.

  • Bitmapped text is technically not text at all, but rather a bitmapped image that looks like text. It can be warped , distorted , filled with a gradient, and enhanced in numerous other ways ( Figure 12.2 ). Bitmapped text created within Director can't be anti-aliased and is generally less readable than other kinds of text, but bitmapped text imported from programs such as Photoshop is often quite presentable. (The process of creating bitmapped text in Director's Paint window is explained in Chapter 6, "Using Paint Tools," and won't be covered in this chapter.)

    Figure 12.2. You can create bitmapped text directly in Director's Paint window. And you can treat bitmapped text just like any other bitmapped image, rotating it or adding effects.


To decide which kind of text to use for a particular purpose, see the sidebar "Choosing the Right Text for the Job," or look at the feature-by-feature comparison in Table 12.1 .

Table 12.1. Comparing Director's varieties of text




Cast member size




Animation speed




Word processing tools


Author can revise easily



Can set for users to edit during playback



Where it's created

Text window, Stage

Field window, Stage

Paint window

May need embedded fonts



Supports hyperlinks


Can be anti-aliased


Movie viewers see the same font as author, even without embedding fonts


Modifiable with paint tools/effects


Choosing the Right Text for the Job

To decide which kind of text to use in a particular situation, ask yourself these questions:

Will the text need to be formatted?

Regular text is the only kind of text that gives you control over tabs, indents, kerning, and line spacing.

Will I need to edit the text later?

Regular text and field text are editable; bitmapped text isn't.

Will I be using large- sized characters ?

Text at large point sizes needs anti-aliasing to look presentable, and only regular text can be anti-aliased in Director. (However, you can create anti-aliased bitmapped text in an image-editing program such as Photoshop and then import it as an image file.)

How much text will there be?

Bitmapped text is practical for only small amounts of text. Field text and regular text work well at any length.

Will my movie be played on older, slower computers?

Field text requires the least amount of disk space, memory, and processing power.

Does the text require special effects?

Field text can be given a rudimentary drop shadow. Other than that, if you need to color text with a gradient or pattern, rotate or skew the text, or do anything else out of the ordinary, bitmapped text is your only option.

Do I plan to use the text as a hyperlink?

Only regular text can be used as a link to a Web page.

The Fourth Way: Flash

As an alternative to the three types of text Director handles, consider creating your text in Macromedia Flash and importing it as a Flash cast member. (See Chapter 11, "Using Flash Movies in Director.") Like regular text, Flash text is anti-aliased and perpetually editable. And like bitmapped text, Flash text can be rotated , skewed, stretched , and squeezed with no loss in quality ( Figure 12.3 ).

Figure 12.3. As an alternative, you can create text in Flash and import it into Director. Here, this Flash text has been rotated, skewed, and stretched.



Macromedia Director MX for Windows and Macintosh. Visual QuickStart Guide
Macromedia Director MX for Windows and Macintosh. Visual QuickStart Guide
ISBN: 1847193439
Year: 2003
Pages: 139 © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: