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Hour 2. Drawing and Painting Original Ar... > Task: Create and Style Text

Task: Create and Style Text

In this task you'll explore using text in Flash. Here are the steps:

Select the Text tool, click on the Stage, and then type Hello.

This “click-and-type” technique expands the margin for the block of text to the exact width of whatever you type. The circle that appears at the top-right corner of your text block indicates that the margin will adjust in this automatic way (see Figure 2.15). When you click and drag this circle (to adjust the width), it turns into a square (indicating that the margins are fixed). You can double-click the square margin control to restore the automatic margin adjustment.

Figure 2.15. Creating text is easy. The subtle circle that appears is used to set the margins.

While editing the text block, you can set the margin. (Make sure the I-beam is blinking in the block—click inside the block of text, if necessary.) Grab the little circle at the top-right corner of the text block and widen or narrow this block of text. The circle margin handle changes to a square, which indicates that, from now on, any text you paste or type into this block will wrap when it reaches this margin. Go ahead and type a couple lines of text. You should see the text wrap without using the Enter key. By the way, if you had clicked and dragged with the Text tool to the right before typing (instead of clicking and then typing), you would have created a margin in one step. It doesn't matter which technique you use—just remember that grabbing the circle or square is the only way to change the margin.

Now that you have some text in the block and have set the margins, it's time to modify some attributes of the text. Click the Arrow tool to stop editing the text. Your text block should become selected. (If it isn't, just click it once, and you'll see a rectangle around it.)

With the block selected, observe the Properties panel to make modifications. For now, just modify the text's color, font, and font height, as shown in Figure 2.16. You'll find these options easy to understand and use. The font preview that flies out from the drop-down list is especially nice when you scroll through all your fonts.

Figure 2.16. The Properties panel allows you to change such text attributes as font size and color.

Now you'll change the text style of just part of your text block to bold or italic. You need to first select just the characters you want to change. Double-clicking the text block automatically selects the Text tool. You can select the characters as you would in any word processor (just click and drag). While some text is selected, use the Properties panel's settings to change just that text. If you want to change the font, the preview will include the text you have selected. Within any block of text you can change the properties of individual characters this way.

Select the Arrow tool and then select the block of text. Using the Properties panel, you can change the alignment to Center Justify, as shown in Figure 2.17. Explore the other settings, which control such attributes as the margin padding and line spacing, by clicking the Format… button.



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