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Chapter 10. Controlling Text

You know that Flash lets you create visually engaging text elements—such as titles, labels, and descriptions—to accompany your graphics, animation, and sound. But did you know that you can do more with text than just set the style, color, and size? Flash text can be live, meaning that your viewers can enter text in the Flash movie as it plays, as well as select and edit the text. And Flash text can be dynamic, so it can update during playback. The text that viewers can enter is called input text, and the text that you can update during playback is called dynamic text. Both input and dynamic text are part of the class called the TextField class. Input and dynamic text provide a way to receive complex information from the viewer and tailor your Flash movie by using that information.

During author time, you use the Text tool and the Property Inspector to create your text fields. But you can also create text fields at run time, dynamically defining their properties (such as background color) or formatting (such as font size and style, set with the TextFormat class). This control of text fields’ content and appearance lets you animate text purely through ActionScript, making it responsive to the viewer and to different events. With the TextExtent class, you can determine the exact dimensions of your text and its formatting so your layouts appear just the way you want them.


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