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Lesson 1. Director Basics > Creating Text Cast Members

Creating Text Cast Members

In the next task, you will add another cast member to the presentation. Instead of importing a cast member, you will create it yourself using the Text window.

Choose Window > Text to open the Text window (Windows Ctrl+6, Macintosh Command+6), or click the Text window icon on the toolbar.

Figure .

In the Text window, you will create text for the presentation. You can select a font, style, size, line spacing, and letter spacing for the text.

Figure .

Select Times as the font, click the Bold style button, and choose 36 points as the text size.

The Text window's controls are similar to those of many word processors.

Enter the following text:

Ideas Come to Light

Figure .

If the text you type doesn't all fit on a single line in the Text window, enlarge the size of the text box by dragging the bar at the right edge of the text.

The text you enter in the Text window automatically becomes a cast member. Look in the Cast window to see that cast member 2 now contains text. Cast members you create within Director itself are generally placed in the first blank position in the Cast window. You could choose a different cast location by selecting an empty position before creating the new cast member. The new cast member would then be placed in the selected position.

You won't add this text to the stage yet. First you will create two more cast members that are identical to the text you just entered and assign each a different color. Then you will create an animation that uses the different-colored text to add interest to the presentation.


When you are creating a text member, Director makes available any fonts that are installed on the system. If the same font is not installed on the system on which the final version of the movie is played, however, the font will not be available and a default font will be substituted. The result may be text that looks very different than what you had designed. To avoid such a situation, stick to the most common fonts available on most systems. For less common fonts, you can provide the font within your movie by embedding the font. You can also convert your text to a bitmap graphic before you create the final version of your movie. Embedded fonts require little memory and allow the text to be edited in the Text window. Bitmapped text requires more memory and can be modified only as a graphic, not as text. Using bitmapped text, however, guarantees that the text appears exactly as you created it, and you can modify the graphic of the text on a pixel-by-pixel basis.

Highlight the text in the Text window and then choose Edit > Copy Text (Windows Ctrl+C, Macintosh Command+C).

You are going to paste this text into a new Text window.

Click the New Cast Member icon on the Text window toolbar to add a new cast member.

Figure .

An empty Text window labeled Text 3 appears. The text you enter in this window will become cast member 3.

Figure .

Choose Edit > Paste Text (Windows Ctrl+V, Macintosh Command+V).

Director pastes the text you copied into the new Text window. Check the Cast window to see the text you pasted into cast member 3.

Click New Cast Member to add another cast member. Then choose Edit > Paste Text.

Now when you look in the Cast window, you should see three identical text cast members.

Figure .

Notice that the Cast window displays information about each cast member. The graphic you imported is identified by its original file name. The cast members you just created don't have names, though you could add names to them if you wanted. You will learn how to name cast members in the next lesson.

Save your work.

You have finished creating the cast members you will use in this presentation. As you look at the cast, you're probably wondering why you have created three identical text cast members. In the next task, you will change them so that each is a different color.



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