Chapter 11: Using Text Layers

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Using Text Layers

Use a text layer to create, edit, and format text within the Motion Book Tool. The text in the layer is vector-based so you can present it at any size without pixilation. The text layer controls provide a variety of fonts and formatting to give text the impact you want.

Creating a New Text Layer

To Add a New Text Layer to a Page

1.      Click + on the Add New Layer button at the top of the page’s layer stack.

A dialog box appears asking what kind of layer you’d like to create.

2.      Click Text then click Done or double-click Text.

The dialog box closes and a new text layer box appears at the top of the layer stack. The text layer box is open and presents image layer controls. A bounding box appears for the layer on the canvas, and the placeholder text “text” appears in the center of the bounding box.

3.      Click in the layer box heading to select the name “Text” and replace it with a name that describes the intended content.

Entering, Selecting, Editing, and Bounding Text

You enter and select text on the canvas. Once the text is in place, you can edit the text on the canvas and set its bounding box to define margins and set orientation.

Selecting and Entering Text

The text layer appears on the canvas with placeholder text (“Text”) in the middle of the layer. This is where you enter and edit text. The text layer controls have a content box at the top that displays the text in the layer, but the content box is read-only. You can only make text changes in the workspace.

The Motion Book Tool provides standard word-processing procedures in the text layer:

l  Click in text to place a cursor.

l  Click-drag over text to select a text block.

l  Double-click on a word to select the word.

l  Click once to place the cursor, then shift-click in a second text location to extend-select a text block from the first click to the second click. (If you start extended selection by double-clicking to select a word, the extended selection extends by full words.)

l  Press Ctrl-A to select all the text in the text layer.

l  When you type, you insert characters at the location of the cursor. If you’ve selected text and then type, you replace the selected text and insert new text between remaining characters. (Note that if you press the Insert key, you toggle between inserting text and overwriting text as you type.)

Editing Text

The Motion Book Tool provides standard editing command shortcuts:

l  Ctrl-X cuts the selected text block and places it in the clipboard.

l  Ctrl-C copies the selected text block and places it in the clipboard.

l  Ctrl-V pastes the contents of the clipboard into  the cursor location.

The clipboard cuts, copies, and pastes text between the Motion Book Tool and other programs running on your computer.

Bounding Text

The text layer’s bounding box sets the top, bottom, left, and right margins of entered text. It can also, if you wish, set the orientation of the text by rotating it to a slant, setting it sideways, or even upside down. As you change the bounding box size, the text within retains its character size, but changes the text flow to match the left and right margins.

If there’s too much text to display in the bounding box, the bounding box clips either the bottom of the text flow, the top of the text flow, or both depending on the text’s vertical alignment setting in the text layer controls.

Text Layer Controls

An open text layer box displays controls to set the properties of your image. Many of these controls are standard layer controls described in the chapter Layer Basics on page 67. Others are specific to text.

p69-fig21

Figure 1:    The text layer controls include a number of controls specific to formatting text.

When you use the text layer controls to format text, they work on whatever text you have selected in the workspace. This allows you to apply different formatting to different sections of text in the layer. The exceptions are the text alignment buttons (described later) that affect all the text in the bounding box.

Setting Font and Style

To Choose a Font and Character Style

1.      In the canvas, select the text whose font you want to change.

2.      In the text layer controls, choose a font from the Font pull-down.

The Motion Book Tool offers a variety of fonts useful for graphic narratives. If you have a font you’d like to add, upload your font as an asset as described in “Uploading Assets” on page 39. The Motion Book Tool converts your font to a format compatible with text layers and offers your font in the Font pull-down.

Note that if you want to format text using character styles such as bold or italic, choose them as font variants in the Font pull-down. If, for example, you want to italicize your Blambot Pro text, set it to the Blambot Pro Italic font.

Setting Color and Size

To Specify Text Color

1.      In the canvas, select the text to color.

2.      In the text layer controls, click the Color button and choose a color in the color dialog box.

Note that you can’t specify a color gradient for text, only solid colors.

To Specify Character Size

1.      In the canvas, select the text to resize.

2.      In the text controls, set the Font size value to the point size you want for the text.

Setting Letter and Line Spacing

To Specify Letter Spacing

1.      In the canvas, select the text for which you want to change spacing.

2.      In the text layer controls, set the Letter spacing value to the number of points you want to add to spacing between characters.

The higher the value, the more your characters are spaced apart. If you enter a negative value, you squeeze the characters together.

To Specify Line Spacing

1.      In the canvas, select the text for which you want to change line spacing.

2.      In the text layer controls, set the Leading value to the number of points you want to add to spacing between lines.

The higher the value, the more your lines are spaced apart. If you enter a negative value, you squeeze the lines together.

Setting Text Alignment

To Specify Horizontal Text Alignment

l  In the text layer controls, click the horizontal Text alignment button for the alignment you want.

p71-fig22

Figure 2:    Horizontal text alignment options: left alignment, centered alignment, right alignment, and justified alignment.

l   sets left alignment.

l   sets centered alignment.

l   sets right alignment.

l   sets justified alignment.

Note that when you set text horizontal text alignment, you set it for all the text in the text layer no matter what text is selected.

To Specify Vertical Text Alignment

l  In the text layer controls, click the vertical Text alignment button for the alignment you want.

p71-fig23

Figure 3:    Vertical text alignment options: top alignment, centered alignment, bottom alignment.

l   sets top alignment.

l   sets centered alignment.

l   sets bottom alignment.

Using Standard Layer Controls

The other controls in the text layer box work the same way they do in other types of layers. Use the standard controls to change the size, position, and rotation of the text layer, which changes the size, position, and rotation of the text flow—but not the size of the characters in the flow. Setting a border accents the text’s bounding box, and setting a background fills in the bounding box.

Working With Text Layers

Motion book builders typically use text layers for dialog in word balloons: one text layer per word balloon. Splitting dialog up into separate text layers allows the dialog to appear and disappear at appropriate times. “Creating Word Balloons” on page 122 describes the process of creating word balloons with text in detail.

You can also use text layers for adding narrative in narration boxes or against panel backgrounds. It’s important to choose an easily legible font and a color that stands out against the background.

There are times when the text supplied in a text layer looks too regular. If you’re going for a more calligraphic look, you may want to create your text outside the Motion Book Tool—inked by hand and scanned, for example—and import it into a page as an image layer. Image text isn’t easy to revise or format, but it can bring a hand-drawn look to a story that a text layer can’t duplicate.

When you publish a project as a motion book, the Motion Book Tool converts all the text in text layers into bitmap images. The text images are at Retina screen resolution (quadruple the standard iPad canvas resolution) to look their best in all devices where the Madefire Reader runs.

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