When you add a regular text or field text cast member to a movie, Director uses the fonts installed on your computer. When you distribute your movie, Director will look for those same fonts on the computer it's being played on. If those fonts aren't available, Director will substitute a different font generally Arial (on a PC) or Geneva (on a Mac)greatly diminishing the artistic quality of your movie ( Figure 12.42 ).
Figure 12.42. A text sprite using an exotic font (above), and the same spritedisplayed with a substitute fonton a computer that doesn't have the specified font installed (below).
One way to prevent such substitutions is to use only common fonts in your movie (such as Times, Arial, and Courier) that are likely to be found on every computer. However, that may cramp your style. A more palatable solution is to embed fonts in the movie. When you embed a font, Director compresses the font outline that's used to display characters in the font and stores it as a cast member. Thereafter, Director can always use it to display text in the movie, even if the font isn't installed on the user 's computer. Embedded fonts work equally well on Macs and PCs, regardless of which platform the fonts originated on.
The drawback to embedding fonts is that each font you embed adds significantly to your movie's file size , often adding as much as 25K. Therefore, when possible, it's a good idea to embed only a part of a font. (For example, if you don't use any numbers , don't embed the font's numerals.) If you want to be really parsimonious, you can embed only the characters that are used in your movie.
Flash Talk: Font Embedding
When you publish a movie in Flash, Flash automatically embeds all the fonts used in the movie in the SWF fileand does so in a "smart" way, embedding only the characters that are used in the movie. By contrast, Director requires that you embed fonts manually and that you manually specify which characters to embed.
Though Director's way is obviously less convenient than Flash's, it has a significant advantage. Flash allows fonts to be embedded only in the SWF file, not in the authoring (FLA) file. If you pass your FLA file to someone else, you have to supply the fonts as well. Director allows fonts to be embedded in the authoring (DIR) file, so they they're always available when you're working on a movie, even if the file is passed from one computer to another. When you create a Shockwave or projector file to distribute your movie, any fonts embedded in the DIR file are automatically passed on to the distribution files.
To embed a font:
Choose Insert > Media Element > Font.
The Font Cast Member Properties dialog box opens ( Figure 12.43 ).
Figure 12.43. The Font Cast Member Properties dialog box is used to embed fonts.
From the Original Font pop-up menuwhich lists all the fonts available on your computerchoose the font you want to embed ( Figure 12.44 ).
Figure 12.44. Choose the font you want to embed from the Original Font pop-up menu, which lists all the fonts on your computer.
The font you select appears in the New Font Name field at the top of the dialog box, followed by an asterisk. (The asterisk after the font name is Director's standard way to indicate an embedded font.)
If the selected font has custom styles, such as Bold, Italic, or Bold Italic, choose the specific style you want to embed from the pop-up menu below the Original Font menu ( Figure 12.45 ). (The regular, roman version of a font is listed as Plain.)
Figure 12.45. Choose the specific style of the font you want to embed.
If you choose a style other than Plain, it appears after the font name in the New Font Name field ( Figure 12.46 ).
Figure 12.46. The font and style that you've chosen to embed are displayed in the New Font Name field, followed by an asterisk.
If you want to give the embedded font a new name, edit the name in the New Font Name field. (Unless you have a good reason to rename the font, it's a good idea to leave the name as is, to help you identify the embedded font in the future.)
If you want to embed bitmapped versions of the font (in addition to the normal font outline), select the Sizes option under Bitmaps and list the sizes for which you want to embed bitmaps ( Figure 12.47 ).
Figure 12.47. If you want Director to embed bitmaps, type the desired point sizes, separated by commas.
Embedding bitmaps sometimes improves the readability of a font at small sizes, but it adds significantly to the file size. In most cases, you'll want to choose None.
Indicate whether you want to embed the entire font or only part of the font by clicking either Entire Set or Partial Set.
If you chose Partial Set in step 6, indicate which parts of the font you want to embed by selecting Punctuation, Numbers, Roman Characters, or Other. (You can select any number of these options.)
If you select Other, list the specific characters you want to embed ( Figure 12.48 ). List each character only once, no matter how many times it appears on your movie. If your text cast members include spaces, be sure to include a space here (unless you've also selected Punctuation).
Figure 12.48. Selecting the Other option gives you the opportunity to embed only the characters that are used in the movie.
Click OK to close the dialog box.
The embedded font appears in the Cast window ( Figure 12.49 ).
Figure 12.49. Embedded fonts in the Cast window.
Once you've embedded a font, be sure to choose the embedded font from the Font menu when you create text cast members ( Figure 12.50 ). If you created text cast members before you embedded the font, go back and change them to use the embedded font.
Figure 12.50. Once you've embedded a font, make sure your text cast members use the font by selecting it from the Font menu.
To edit the properties of an embedded font:
Double-click the embedded font in the Cast window.
The Font Cast Member Properties dialog box opens.
Change any of the settings you made when you embedded the font.
Click OK to close the dialog box.
It's usually a good idea to embed an entire font while you're working on a movie, so you'll have all the characters at your disposal. Then, when the movie is finished, edit the embedded font, choose the Other option, and list only the characters you ended up using in your movie.