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Chapter 4. Working With Menus > Working with Buttons and Layer Sets

Working with Buttons and Layer Sets

So far, you've been working with discrete objects, arranging their order and position in a menu, and applying styles to them. Layer sets, however, are groups of objects on a layer, which can be moved and modified as a group. They are stored in a folder that is accessible through the Layers palette. If necessary, the layer set can be opened up and the individual components adjusted or replaced. Again, if you're a Photoshop user, this is familiar territory.

Buttons are a special type of layer set. They are the most important part of your menu, because you'll use them to link together the other parts of your DVD's content.

The prefix (+) denotes a button layer set (Figure 4.106). This prefix enables Encore DVD to assign the set button-specific attributes, such as links and button-highlight colors (a.k.a. subpictures), which are part of the layer set.

Figure 4.106. (+) is the little prefix that does so much.

As you'll see in this section, you can convert objects (layers) into buttons and vice versa. Using the Direct Select tool and the Layers palette, you can also get inside button and layer sets to make modifications.

✓ Tip

  • I'll show you the basics of what you can do in Encore DVD, but in order to have the most control over all your layers it's best to use Encore DVD's Edit in Photoshop feature to make any extensive adjustments. Photoshop's Layers palette is much more flexible. More on that in Chapter 7.

To modify objects in a layer set using the Direct Select tool:

Choose the Direct Select tool in the Tools palette.

Select an object in the Menu Editor that is part of a layer set.

The object's selection handles are displayed (Figure 4.107).

Figure 4.107. By using the Direct Select tool, the button and the text have been separated, so that…

The selection handles can be used to reposition and resize the object as described earlier in the chapter (Figure 4.108).

Figure 4.108. …the button can be resized without affecting the text.

Although the layer is modified, the other elements in its layer set are unaffected.

✓ Tip

  • To change text within a layer set, use the Toolbox's Direct Select tool to select the text and then choose one of the text tools from the Toolbox to retype the text.

To replace a layer within a layer set:

Open a layer set to display its contents (Figure 4.109).

Figure 4.109. An exploded view of a layer set.

Select a layer in the layer set.

Select an item from the Library tab and click the Replace button (Figure 4.110).

Figure 4.110. Selecting an item in the Library palette and using the Replace function.

The layer is replaced with the new item (Figure 4.111).

Figure 4.111. The button image has been replaced by this hand graphic.

✓ Tips

  • While it is possible to replace a layer by copying and pasting an image asset from the Project tab, using the Library palette's Replace function makes the process much easier. (You can add an image to the Library tab via its Add Item function.)

  • Layers within layer sets can be moved elsewhere in the Layers tab by using standard cut/copy and paste methods.

  • To rearrange the order of layers in a layer set, choose Object > Arrange and select one of the options in the submenu. The selected object moves toward the foreground or background, according to the option you choose.

To add a button from a template to a menu:

With a menu active in the Menu Editor, select the Library tab.

Select a button from the list and drag and drop it into the Menu Editor (Figure 4.112).

Figure 4.112. Dragging and dropping a button template into the Menu Editor.

By default, the button is displayed in the Menu Editor with selection handles (Figure 4.113).

Figure 4.113. The button can then be repositioned and resized.

Select a handle to reposition or resize the button as outlined in “To move and resize an object,” earlier.

To create a button from an image file:

With a menu active in the Menu Editor, do one of the following:

  • Select an image file asset from the Project tab and drag and drop it onto the Menu Editor window (Figure 4.114).

    Figure 4.114. Assets can also be dragged out of the Project tab.

  • Navigate to a folder and select an image file and drag and drop it onto the Menu Editor window.

  • Select an image from the Library tab and drag and drop it onto the Menu Editor window.

Select the image in the Menu Editor and choose Object > Convert to Button (Figure 4.115).

Figure 4.115. An object can be converted into a button with this menu selection.


  • Right-click on the image in the Menu Editor and choose Convert to Button from the contextual menu (Figure 4.116).

    Figure 4.116. A conversion can also be performed with a right-click on the object itself.

    The image has now been converted to a button layer set, with a (+) prefix denoting that it is a button. These attributes can be seen in the Layers palette (Figure 4.117).

    Figure 4.117. The item is now a button layer set.

✓ Tips

  • When an object is converted to a button, Encore DVD automatically creates a subpicture. There's more detail on subpictures later in the chapter.

  • To convert an object or layer from a button back to an object, choose Object > Convert to Object (Figure 4.118). It remains a layer set, but the (+) prefix is deleted.

    Figure 4.118. If you need to convert a button into an object, this is the place to do it.

  • Alternatively, you can use the button/object column in the Layers palette to toggle back and forth between objects and buttons (Figure 4.119).

    Figure 4.119. It's a bit subtle, but the arrow is pointing at a button icon. This turns on and off the attributes of a button layer set.

  • In order to modify a drop shadow in a layer set, you must use the Layers palette and/or the Direct Select tool to select the item within the layer set that has a drop shadow applied to it. Selecting the layer set as a whole will not allow you to modify the drop shadow.

To convert text to buttons:

Choose a selection tool from the Tools palette and select the text block. Size and position the text if necessary.

Choose Object > Convert to Button.

The text is now a button layer set with the (+) prefix added, as can be seen in the Layers palette.

To name a button:

With the Properties window open, do one of the following:

  • Use the Selection tool to select a button in the Menu Editor.

  • Select a button in the Layers tab.

  • Select a button in the bottom pane of the Menus tab (Figure 4.120).

    Figure 4.120. Here's another way to select a button: this time in the lower pane of the Menus tab.

Any of these methods will display the properties of the selected button in the Properties window.

Select the Name box and type a new name (Figure 4.121).

Figure 4.121. The button—ready to be named—in the Properties window.

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