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Optimizing Text Fields LiveMotion 2ˆ Difficulty: Beginner Download
  By: Jon Thompson Email: URL: 03.09.2002  

This tutorial will show you how to optimize your text fields to give you the results you want.

note: When trying to add a % or & sign to your text file. All text after either of these symbols will not be displayed. This is because the loadVariables uses URL format for the string. In URL format, % is the same
as a space character, and & represents a delimiter between variables. To display these characters using the following codes.

% = %25
= %26

Special thanks to Joe Bowden and Mary Obelnicki from Adobe Systems Incorporated for researching this issue for us.


None Partial AB Partial AB, ab
Partial AB, ab, # Partial AB, ab, #, Pun Full Set
  Partial / Extra  



Optimizing Text Fields

Adobe LiveMotion 2.0 has taken full advantage of Optimization for Text Fields. You can see this when you open your Export Palette ( window -> export ) and click on the T tab, as seen below.

Export Palette

You may be looking at all of these buttons and fields and saying, What the heck is all of this! I know I did. But when you take a moment, I think you will start to understand what everything is, and how powerful this palette here is all by itself. If you take the time to consider the text that will be in your Text Fields, you can greatly reduce the file size of your exported SWF just by simply clicking a few of these buttons. Lets get started!

Part I

There are Seven ways we are going to cover on how to export your text. Now you might be saying, um that's a lot to consider Jon, well, actually its not. Here is what we are going to consider.

1. Do I even want to embed a font in my text fields.
2. Will I be using any Uppercase Letters.
3. Will I be using any Lower Case Letters.
4. Will I be using any Punctuation.
5. Will I be using any special characters.
6. Will I be using the entire Font set for my selected font.
7. Can I just use the Extra's box.

Now when you have considered each of these Seven ideas, you will notice there is a selection for each idea. Normally, LiveMotion will not embed any fonts for your composition. This is a system default to save file size on your exported SWF file. Now if you know for a FACT, that the Text Field will only be using Upper and Lower case letters, you can click on the AB, ab buttons and change your Embedded Font's selection to Partial Set.

What this means is that only the Upper and Lowercase letters of your selected font set will be used. This will help keep your file size down if your not using any punctuation, special characters, etc... As you can see below, depending on what your text is, if you do not embed something, say, Lower Case, or Special Characters, those characters will not be displayed in your Text Fields SWF file.

None Partial AB Partial AB, ab
Partial AB, ab, # Partial AB, ab, #, Pun Full Set
  Partial / Extra  

Looking at the above examples you can see how certain selections will effect your Text Fields display. One thing you may want to consider is this. Notice Selection 6, ( Full Set ) and Selection 7, ( Partial / Extra ). They look exactly the same, but the file size is MUCH different.

Many font sets will contain empty characters, some will also contain characters like our (R) and TM Symbols as well as all other symbols. You can use the extra field to embed your symbols like Register, Copy, Trademark, etc... Now the reason Selection 7 is smaller then selection 6 is, that Selection 6 is a fully embed font set, Selection 6 is a Partial Set embed, and I took the exact text and pasted it into the Extra text box. So, only the characters in the extra box are being embedded. The Partial / Extra looks the same and is a smaller export then all seven examples. Again, that is because it is only using the characters listed in the Extra text field.

One last note, you may be wondering how I got the Register Mark and the Trademark in the Extra's text field. I used a standard rich text editor, and made the registration and TM marks. In Microsoft word you can simply type in (R) for ® or (TM) for ™, (C) for © and so on. Now when I had my text ( Adobe® LiveMotion™ 2.0 ) I just copy and paste into the Extra's text field, set the Embed Fonts selection list to Partial.

That's it! I hope that this short tutorial will help you get the most out of using the new Text Field tool and making your text look its best for your visitors, while keeping there download experience pleasant.

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