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Flash Basics - Type and Text
music loops

Having text in your Flash movie is a good thing to have. You let users have the chance to read a little about yourself, or about your company. Having a Flash web site without any text would be kind of boring. You can transform text into symbols and give them effects to make it look more attractive, but you can also make it look excellent using a little Action Script. In this section, we'll learn how to create normal, input and dynamic text, as well as how to modify your text.

Inserting Basic Text:
Select the text tool, and click anywhere on the stage. You will notice a small text box, with a blinking line it it, waiting for you to type. Type in a line of text, and you will notice that your line will always remain one line. This is due to this text box NOT being word wrapped. You can type forever and it will always be one line until you hit "Enter" to start on a new line. If you want to set a specific width, select the text tool once again, and this time, instead of just clicking, click and drag a text box of your size onto the stage. You can now type, and as soon as you get to the end of your text box, it will automatically start a new line.

Creating Input boxes:
When you create input boxes, this will allow users to type in the box in the movie. You can use this to create Flash forms, or just to play around with. Open you text panel "Window> Panels> Text" and go to the Text Options tab. Select Input Text from the drop down menu, and you can now insert a text box on your movie. Click and drag a box, then go text it out by hitting CTRL+ENTER on your keyboard. You can type text into it from the movie you just created.

Creating Dynamic Text:
Dynamic text is the most important tool you can use regarding text. This allows you to add any text you want, but you need to make the text box a variable and have it load from some Action Script. From the text panel, choose Dynamic Text from the Text Options tab. (figure 2.7) Then select multiline from the second drop down menu. This is the hard part, making it a variable and adding text to it.

(figure 2.7)

Now you see how this should look from the Text Panel, call it text, and hit Enter. Now, go to frame 1 on your stage, and right click on frame 1. Go to Action, and select the Actions category from the menu. Choose "Set Variable" from the list, and in the "Variable" field, type in text, then in the "value" field, enter some lines of text. Once this is done, test your movie by hitting CTRL+ENTER, and you should see some text on the stage area in your movie.

Modifying text:
If you want to modify your text, there are a few different ways of doing it. You can change it's color, or change it's alignment, change it's size or make it Bold. Any text modifications are made through the Character panel. Go to Window> Panels> Characters. Now select your text box, and from the Character's panel, change the text to the color green, it's size to 20 and make it Italic. Now you have text the way you want it to look. You can do this until you have the results you want and then deselect your text box. Figure 2.8 is what the Character Panel looks like.

(Figure 2.8)

Now you know how to add text to your document, please proceed to the Buttons section.

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