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How to Use Text in Flash 8

Chapter Description

Text is an important part of most Web sites, particularly informational or commercial sites. In this lesson, you'll add and format the properties of many text fields in Flash. You'll learn how to add a Filter effect to a static text field. You'll also spell check the entire document before you finish the lesson. This lesson gives you a foundation in the way text and fonts work and a good basis for using increasingly complex methods of working with text and components.

Adding a Timeline Effect to a Text Field

Timeline Effects are used to add certain effects to assets in Flash. Flash installs with several Timeline Effects made by Macromedia, but you can also find many more on the web for download to install into Flash, in places like Macromedia Exchange.

Timeline Effects are applied from Insert > Timeline Effects. To add a Timeline Effect to something, select it first; then select Insert > Timeline Effects > Effect and choose the particular effect you want, such as Drop Shadow. When you add an effect, you will see a preview window that will show you what the effect will look like when done, and provide you with options to modify how the effect is applied.

  1. Create a new layer and layer folder for the home page on Frame 1.

    Move the playhead back to Frame 1 on the Timeline, labeled home. Select the map layer, insert a new layer, and give this layer the name home. With it selected, insert a new layer folder and name it pages. Drag the home layer (and the map layer you created in the earlier exercise as well) into this folder. The pages folder will eventually hold all the layers created for each page in the website.

    Select the home layer again. Click just to the right of the final frame on the layer, and drag the cursor back to Frame 10 and release the mouse to select the row of frames. Right-click or Control-click and select Remove Frames from the contextual menu. Because the contents of the home page will display only in the first 10 frames of the Timeline, it isn’t necessary to have this layer extend all the way out to Frame 70.

  2. Create a static text field with the words Featured Book.

    Open the Property inspector, so you can change some of the text properties. Leave the text as a static text type and Arial. Change the font color to #CCCCCC and the font size to 14. Make sure that the typeface is set to Bold and Italic, and that Anti-alias for readability is selected. You probably need to change Character Spacing back to 0 and make sure that Auto Kern is selected.

    With the home layer selected, click the Stage to create a new static text field and type FEATURED BOOK into the field. Place the text field on the upper-right side of the Stage under the Home text, similar to the following figure.

  3. Add a Timeline Effect to the text field.

    Select the text field you just created. Select Insert > Timeline Effects > Effects > Drop Shadow to add the drop shadow effect.

    In the Drop Shadow dialog box, experiment with the settings until you find something you like. After you have entered values into any of the fields, press Update to see your text field update in the preview window. Press OK to exit the Drop Shadow dialog. This creates a graphic symbol in your library called Drop Shadow 1. You will learn more about symbols in the next lesson. For now, simply be aware of the addition.

  4. Lock the home layer and save your work.
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