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Using Flash text

Select the Flash Text button. This opens the dialog window for the Flash Text control. You’ll see in the figure below that the window is very similar to dialog windows you might see with other Object controls in Dreamweaver. The Flash Text window is broken into a series of boxes that you’ll need to fill out in order to create the Flash Text movie.

The Flash Text maintains the properties that control how the Flash Text will appear in your Web Browser.

I always start by filling in the “Text” box with the text I want to see on the page. The Flash Text feature is great for small paragraphs of text on a page, though there’s a limit of 1024 characters for the text.

The Flash Text is modified with many of the tools you might have used to editing text in the Properties Panel, such as bold, italic, alignment and text color buttons. All modifica-tions you make to the text will apply to the entire paragraph of text. You won’t see the changes in the Text window, though. They’ll only appear when you select “OK” and view the Flash Text on your page. But first, let’s look at some of the other features.

An advantage you have with Flash text over conventional HTML text is that you can use any font and any font point size. The drop down Font list displays all the fonts registered to your computer. As you choose a font, you’ll see the text in the text area change to the style of the new font (deselecting the “Show Font” check box turns this feature off).

As we all know, HTML does not allow for much Font control — this is no longer a prob-lem. In addition to selecting any font, you can also select the exact size of the font. In the example above, the “Size” is set to 30, which translates to 30 points on the Web page. Font size in HTML can only be changed with the help of Cascading Style Sheets.

A big win for me is the ability to make my Flash Text interactive. Below the Text box you can add a link to another Web page. Write in your own links, or select the Browse but-ton and choose a link from your Website. The control is very similar to the “Browse for File” feature used for text and graphics on the Properties Panel. In addition, if your Website is frame based, you can direct your link to open in a “Target Window” through the Target drop down box. This works and behaves in exactly the same way as the Tar-get window on the Properties Panel.

By default, the background color for all of the Flash movies is white, however the Bg Color option can change your background to almost any color. Select this option to open the color palate from which you can choose your desired color.

A Website is created with a collection of files. There are graphics files (GIF and JPG), Web pages (HTML) and now you have Flash Movies. Each Flash file ends with the suf-fix of .swf (pronounced SWiF). The Flash Text must be in this format for it to be view-able in a Web page. So, when you save your Flash movie, remember to select this op-tion from the Save As file options. By default, the first Flash Text you create will be called text1.swf. If you don’t change the name of the file, and decide to add a second Flash Text movie to the page, the second file will be called text2.swf. The third will be text3.swf, and so on. Re-name your file words.swf. Select “OK” and view your text on the page. To test any links you may have added, you’ll need to either preview the page in your browser, or play the movie by select the green “play” button on the Properties Panel.