Adding Buttons to Your Menu

Once you have set your background and overlay, you are ready to start adding buttons to your menu.

You can add buttons either by creating active areas in the overlay or by dragging shapes to the Menu Editor. You can then set each button’s properties, such as what the button jumps to when activated and how to navigate from it when using the DVD player’s remote control.

The number of buttons a menu can have depends on the DVD standard and its display mode.

SD Projects
  • Menus using a 4:3 display mode can have up to 36 buttons.

  • Menus using a 16:9 Pan-Scan or 16:9 Letterbox display mode can have up to 18 buttons.

  • Menus using a 16:9 Pan-Scan & Letterbox display mode can have up to 12 buttons.

HD Projects
  • Menus using a 4:3 display mode can have up to 48 buttons.

  • Menus using a 16:9 Pan-Scan or 16:9 Letterbox display mode can have up to 24 buttons.

  • Menus using a 16:9 Pan-Scan & Letterbox display mode can have up to 16 buttons.

Adding Overlay-Based Buttons

To add an overlay-based button, you must identify each button’s “active area.” The active area is where selected and activated state highlights will occur, whether the title is played on a set-top DVD player or on a computer. Additionally, when the title is played on a computer, the active areas also determine the area in which a mouse-click activates the button.

To create the active area, you use the pointer to drag over the area containing the button’s elements. See the next section for details.

Creating and Modifying Button Active Areas

While you can create a button’s active area without a background or overlay assigned, most of the time you will need to assign them first so you know where to place the button active areas. See Creating Menus Using the Standard Method and Creating Menus Using the Layered Method for details on assigning these files.

To create and modify a button’s active area
  1. Click the menu background where you want one of the button’s corners to be, then drag to the opposite corner. You see a rectangle with dashed lines.

    Figure. Shows example of a button active area.
  2. Do any of the following to modify the button’s active area:

    • To move the button by dragging: Click inside the dashed lines and drag it to the new position.
    • To move the button by dragging in one direction only (horizontal or vertical): Press the Shift key, then drag the button.
    • To move the button by dragging with snapping and the dynamic guides temporarily disabled: Press Command, then drag the button.
    • To move the button using the arrow keys: Select the button and press the arrow keys to move it one pixel at a time. Press Shift and the arrow keys to move it 10 pixels at a time, or press Shift-Option and the arrow keys to move it 20 pixels at a time.
    • To move an edge: Click the resize handle at the center of the edge and drag it to the new position. This changes the button’s size.
    • To move a corner (which moves two edges at once): Click the resize handle at the corner and drag it to the new position. This also changes the button’s size.
    • To change a button’s size while maintaining the button’s aspect ratio: Shift-drag an edge or corner. See Working with Assets in Buttons and Drop Zones for more information.
    • To change a button’s size while keeping it centered at its current location: Click an edge or corner, start dragging, then press the Option key.
    • To delete a button: Select it (resize handles appear on its dashed line), then press the Delete key.

You can also use the Coordinates & Size area in the Advanced tab in the Button Inspector to precisely set a button’s size and position.

Viewing the Selected and Activated States

You can view the highlights for all three button states when you have a button selected. This makes it easy to see how the color mapping settings interact with the overlay.

To view and set highlights for a button
  1. In the Menu Editor, choose Display Composite from the Settings pop-up menu.

    The Menu Editor displays both the background and the overlay based on the color mapping settings.

  2. Use the Menu Editor’s button state buttons to select the state (normal, selected, or activated) to display.

    Figure. Portion of the Menu Editor with normal, selected, and activated state selection buttons.
  3. With the button state set to either selected or activated, select Highlight Set 1, 2, or 3 in the Style tab in the Button Inspector to select the color mapping configuration to apply to the current button.

Note: The Set 1, 2, and 3 buttons in the Button Inspector’s Colors tab are for configuring the sets. They do not apply the sets to the current button.

Why Don’t Highlight Colors Appear Without an Overlay?

In earlier versions of DVD Studio Pro, you could see the selected and activated highlights in the active area rectangle even without an overlay. This made it easy to create a menu by just creating underlines (which were short and wide active areas) that showed the selected and activated highlights.

The shapes feature of DVD Studio Pro 4 includes a SimpleButton shape that you can use to create these same types of highlights. By applying the SimpleButton shape to the first button active area you add to a menu, and then setting that button to be the menu’s default, all subsequent buttons will automatically have the SimpleButton shape and will show the selected and activated highlights.

See the following section, Adding Shapes to a Menu, for information on applying shapes, and Setting Default Styles for information on defining a menu’s default button style.

Adding Shapes to a Menu

There are two ways to add a shape to a menu:

  • Drag it from the Shapes tab in the Palette.

  • Create a button active area, then select the shape from the Button Inspector.

When you drag a shape from the Palette, it appears at its actual size, as created in the graphics program. When you add a shape by assigning it to an active area, it is scaled to fit the area, which can make it appear squashed or stretched.

Dragging a Shape from the Palette

The Palette offers three groups of shapes and shows you thumbnails of all the shapes you have to choose from.

To drag a shape from the Palette
  1. Select the Shapes tab in the Palette.

    Figure. Shapes tab of the Palette Inspector showing the gray border around the selected shape.
  2. Select the group of shapes to display:

    • To display the shapes included with DVD Studio Pro: Click Apple.

      Note: Not all shapes supplied with DVD Studio Pro support highlights. Some are intended to be used only with drop zones and do not include the highlight layer used by buttons.

    • To display the shapes that have been imported for use by all projects: Click Custom.
    • To display shapes imported for use by this project only: Click Project.
  3. Scroll through the available shapes, then select the one you want to use.

  4. To add the shape to any empty part of the menu, drag it to the Menu Editor. If you hover over the area for a second, the Drop Palette appears, where you can choose to create a button or drop zone. See Adding Drop Zones to Your Menu for additional information about drop zones.

  5. To apply the shape to an existing button, select the button in the Menu Editor, then do one of the following:

    • Click Apply in the Palette.

    • Drag the shape to the button.

When dragged to an empty part of the menu, the shape becomes a button and appears at its actual size. You can move it and change its size by either dragging it or entering coordinate and size values in the Advanced tab in the Button Property Inspector.

When applying or dragging the shape to an existing button, the shape’s size changes to match the existing button’s size.

Assigning a Shape in the Button Inspector

In the Button Inspector, you can select from the same shapes displayed in the Palette.

To assign a shape in the Button Inspector
  1. In the Menu Editor, select the button you want to apply the shape to.

  2. Click the Style tab in the Button Inspector.

  3. Choose a shape group from the Shape pop-up menu, then choose the shape to use.

    Figure. Shape selection pop-up menu in the Button Inspector.

A thumbnail of the shape appears in the Button Inspector and the shape is applied to the button.

The shape’s size changes to fit the button’s active area. You can move the button and change its size by either dragging it or entering coordinate and size values in the Advanced tab in the Button Inspector. See Managing Shapes for information on the different types of shapes available and details on how to import your own shapes.

Copying a Button

You can make a copy of a button to use on the same menu.

To make a copy of a button
  1. Select the button to be copied in the Menu Editor.

  2. Hold down the Option key, then drag the button’s copy to its new location.

The copy is automatically given the same name as the original, with a number added to distinguish it. The copy has all the same properties as the original, including its Target and navigation settings.

Setting a Button’s Connection

The main purpose of a button is to provide a way for the viewer to jump to a new disc location. For this to work, you must assign an element from your project as the button’s connection.

There are several ways to set a button’s connection:

  • Using the Target setting in the Button Inspector

  • Using the shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click a button

  • Using the Connections tab. See Establishing Connections for more information.

In some cases, when using the dragging methods to add assets to a menu and selecting options from the Drop Palette, the connection is automatically set. See Dragging Assets to the Menu Editor for more information.

You can see a button’s current connection by placing the pointer over it and reading the tooltip that appears.

To set a button’s connection in the Button Inspector
  1. Select the button whose connection you want to set.

  2. Choose the element to connect to from the Target pop-up menu in the top section of the Button Inspector.

    Figure. Target selection pop-up menu from the Button Inspector.
To set a button’s connection using the shortcut menu
  • Control-click the button whose connection you want to set, choose Target from the shortcut menu, then choose the element to connect to from the submenus.

    Figure. Target selection shortcut menu in the Menu Editor.

A checkmark appears next to the currently selected target.

Those elements that can have a pre-script assigned to them (menus, tracks, stories, and slideshows) are listed in square brackets. Setting a button’s target to the element in brackets allows the pre-script, if one is assigned to the element, to run before the element appears. If you set the target to anything else in the list, the pre-script is not run. See Pre-Scripts for more information.

About Resume

If you jump to a menu while watching a track, for example, by pressing the remote control’s Menu button, the DVD player remembers what track you were playing and how far you were into it.

A mostly unknown feature of DVD players is that you can press the Menu button while in a menu to resume playing the track at the same place you jumped from.

Creating a button on the menu and setting its Target to Resume provides the viewer with a more obvious way to resume playing the track.

About Button Properties

When you select or create a button, the Button Inspector appears.

Note: There is a different Button Inspector for buttons on layered menus. See About Layered Menu Button Properties for more information.

There are four tabs in the Button Inspector: Style, Advanced, Colors, and Transition. See the following sections for details:

Settings at the Top of the Button Inspector

There are three settings at the top of the Button Inspector.

Figure. Top section of the Button Inspector.
  • Name: By default, buttons you manually add are named “Button _,” where “_” is the button number on that menu. To reduce confusion when viewing a list of the menu’s buttons, it is helpful to rename the buttons based on their functions.

    Note: Buttons created as a result of a Drop Palette action that creates other project elements are named after the new project elements. In the case of actions that create a new track, the button and the track are named after the video asset.

  • Button #: Next to the button’s name is its number. This number is based on the order in which the buttons are added to the menu. See About Button Numbers for information on changing this number and why it can be important.

Style Tab in the Button Inspector

The Style tab of the Button Inspector contains the most commonly used settings.

Figure. Style tab of the Button Inspector.
  • Start Frame: When the asset assigned to this button is a video clip, this area displays the video. Use the slider or timecode entry to choose the start point for motion playback (if motion is enabled) or to choose the frame to use in the button’s thumbnail if motion is not enabled.
  • Motion: Select this checkbox to enable motion in the button when the button’s asset is a video clip. See Configuring Motion Menu Settings for looping details with motion buttons.
  • Shadow: Select this checkbox to apply the menu’s drop shadow setting to this shape.
  • Selected Highlight: Choose the button’s selected state highlight color from the 16-color palette.

    Note: This does not affect the button’s normal or activated states. Use the settings in the Colors tab for those highlights.

  • Highlight Set: Select the color mapping set (1, 2, or 3) to use for this button.
  • Opacity: Use this slider or enter a numeric value to set the selected highlight’s transparency from 0 (completely transparent) to 15 (completely opaque).

    Note: The Selected Highlight and Opacity settings affect the black color mapping settings for the selected color mapping highlight set. These settings affect all buttons on this menu, including overlay buttons, that use the same color mapping set.

  • Text: You can type text directly on the button in the Menu Editor or type it in this text area, then press Return to apply it to the button. To start a new line, press Option-Return. See Adding Text to a Button for more information.
  • Shadow: Select this checkbox to apply the menu’s drop shadow setting to this button text.
  • Text Offset X and Y: Adjust the position of the text using these settings. For the horizontal (X) offset, positive numbers move the text to the right and negative numbers move it to the left. For the vertical (Y) offset, positive numbers move the text down and negative numbers move the text up.
  • Include Text in Highlight: Select this checkbox to make the button text highlight when the button is selected or activated.

Advanced Tab in the Button Inspector

The Advanced tab of the Button Inspector contains settings you can use to fine-tune a button.

Figure. Advanced tab of the Button Inspector.
  • Auto Action: If you enable Auto Action for a button, it will activate automatically as soon as it is navigated to, without the viewer needing to press Enter. This is useful in menus, such as scene selection menus, in which you use Next and Previous buttons; you can assume that if viewers navigate to the Next or Previous button, they want to activate it.

    With overlay-based buttons, if you select this option, only the activated color mapping appears when the button is navigated to, skipping the selected color mapping.

    Important: When viewed with most software-based DVD players, such as the Apple DVD Player, auto action buttons must be clicked if a mouse is used to select buttons. If you use the computer’s arrow keys, however, auto action buttons activate automatically as with set-top DVD players.

  • Invisible: Applies to overlay-based buttons. This option allows you to have a button that does not display highlights in the normal, selected, or activated state. This is useful when you want to have a menu with text and no visible buttons. The text could tell the viewer to press the Enter button to go to the next menu or start playback (or whatever the button is set to jump to).
  • Coordinates & Size: This area lets you set the location of each edge of the button’s active area, plus the area’s height and width. The upper-left corner of the menu is at pixel 0, line 0. You can enter values for each edge, allowing you to precisely position and size the button’s active area. (You can also drag the active area and each of its edges with the pointer.)

Colors Tab in the Button Inspector

The Colors tab works exactly as does the Colors tab in the Menu Inspector. See Colors Tab in the Menu Inspector with Simple Selected and Colors Tab in the Menu Inspector with Advanced Selected for information on this tab.

Figure. Colors tab of the Button Inspector.

Transition Tab in the Button Inspector

The Transition tab is used to configure a button transition for this button. See Transition Tab in the Menu and Button Inspectors for details on this tab.

Figure. Transition tab of the Button Inspector.

About Button Numbers

Each time you add a button to a menu, in addition to its name (which you can change), it is assigned a number (which you cannot directly change) based on the order in which you added it to the menu.

Figure. Top section of the Button Inspector showing the button's name and number.

The first button you manually add to a menu is named and numbered “Button 1,” the second is “Button 2,” and so on. How a button fits in the order is important for four reasons:

  • Button number 1 is the default button selected when the menu plays if no other button has been set as the menu’s default button.

  • The button order determines the priority of the buttons if they overlap. Higher numbered buttons have a higher priority and can cover up lower numbered buttons.

  • The button order affects the creation of chapter index menus (see Applying Templates or Layout Styles to a Menu with Buttons).

  • The button order affects the number pad setting for viewers directly accessing a menu’s buttons from the DVD player’s remote control.

While you cannot change this number in the Button Inspector, you can change it using the shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click a button.

When you Control-click a button, a shortcut menu appears that allows you to rearrange the button order (and also set other button properties).

Figure. Shortcut menu in the Menu Editor.

There are also four buttons along the bottom of the Menu Editor (the Arrange controls) that allow you to rearrange the button order.

Figure. Portion of the Menu Editor that contains the buttons for setting an item's priority.
  • Send To Back: Makes the selected button button 1, the lowest priority button. The existing button 1 now becomes button 2, and so on. The button names don’t change, however. You can also press Command-Shift-B to send it to the back.
  • Send Backward: Swaps the selected button’s number with the button below it, making it a lower priority than the button below it. If this is button 12, then it becomes button 11, and button 11 becomes button 12. You can also press Command–Left Bracket ([) to send it backward.
  • Send Forward: Swaps the selected button’s number with the button above it, making it a higher priority than the button above it. If this is button 12, then it becomes button 13, and button 13 becomes button 12. You can also press Command–Right Bracket (]) to send it forward.
  • Bring to Front: Makes the selected button the highest priority button on the menu. All buttons that were above it move down one number. You can also press Command-Shift-F to bring it to the front.

The priority is generally not important unless you overlap your buttons or you intend to use this layout as a style for creating chapter index menus. (Overlapping is discouraged; see About Overlapping Buttons for more information.)

Note: Drop zones, text objects, and buttons are included in the same priority list; a drop zone can have a higher priority, and thus cover up, a button.

Adding Text to a Button

You can add text to any button on a standard menu. You can even create text-only buttons by creating a button active area and then adding the text to it.

The default text font and color are set in the Text pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences.

To add text to a button
  1. Make sure the Style tab in the Button Inspector is displayed.

  2. To add the text, do one of the following:

    • Select the button in the Menu Editor, then press Return. An insertion point appears at the bottom of the button. Type your text here. Press Return to add an additional line, or press Enter to exit the text entry mode.

    • Select the button in the Menu Editor, then type the text in the Text entry area of the Button Inspector. To add an additional line, press Return or Enter.

    • Select the button in the Menu Editor, then click just below its active area. An insertion point appears. Type your text. Press Return to add an additional line, or press Enter to exit the text entry mode.

    Note: The default settings in the Button Inspector’s Text Formatting section at the bottom of the Style tab place the text at the bottom of the button. You can change these settings before typing the text, in which case the text appears at the new position.

  3. Select the Shadow checkbox (next to the text entry area) to apply the menu’s drop shadow settings to the text.

  4. Choose the text’s position (Bottom, Top, Left, Right, or Center) from the Position pop-up menu. You can use the X Offset and Y Offset entries to fine-tune the position.

  5. Select Include Text in Highlight if you want the text to highlight along with the button when selected or activated.

You can edit the text by clicking within it or by dragging the pointer over the portion of the text to be replaced, then typing the new text.

The button’s active area extends to include the text if you choose to include the text in the highlight. Use care to ensure that the active area does not inadvertently overlap other buttons on the menu.

Setting the Button Text’s Font and Color

A button’s text can use a mix of colors and fonts.

To change the text font and color
  1. Select the text you want to change.

  2. Do one of the following to open the Font panel:

    • Choose Format > Font > Show Fonts (or press Command-T).

    • Click Fonts in the toolbar.

  3. Choose the font and size to use.

  4. Do one of the following to open the Colors window:

    • Choose Format > Font > Show Colors (or press Command-Shift-C).

    • Click Colors in the toolbar.

  5. Choose the color to use.

You can also add bold, italic, and underline attributes to the text.

Note: The bold and italic attributes are available only if the current font supports them.

To apply bold, italic, and underline attributes
  1. Select the text you want to change.

  2. Choose Format > Font > Bold (or press Command-B) to add the bold attribute.

  3. Choose Format > Font > Italic (or press Command-I) to add the italic attribute.

  4. Choose Format > Font > Underline (or press Command-U) to add the underline attribute.

By selecting different parts of the button’s text, you can mix different fonts, colors, and attributes on the same button.

Creating Text-Only Buttons

You can create text-only buttons that only have the text as their graphic. This is useful if you want a simple button that says something like “Play Movie.” By centering the text in the button and configuring the button so that the selected and activated highlights apply to the text, you can create a button that works well in a DVD title.

To create a text-only button
  1. Create a button active area by dragging in the Menu Editor.

  2. Add text to the button, either in the Button Inspector or by typing directly in the Menu Editor.

  3. Set the text’s font and color.

  4. In the Style tab in the Button Inspector, choose Center for the Position, and select Include Text in Highlight.

  5. Adjust the size of the button’s active area so that it fits the text.

You can now set the button’s selected and activated highlights as you would any simple overlay graphic.

Note: If you open a DVD Studio Pro project that uses a font that is not on the computer you are opening it on (either because the font was deleted or the project was created on a different computer), any items using the missing font have a different font substituted with no warning.

About Overlapping Buttons

In general, it’s a good idea to avoid overlapping buttons. Some DVD players may behave erratically when they try to process menus with overlapping buttons. This problem is worse if you are playing the title on a computer and using a pointer to select a button.

Sometimes, however, while the button graphics do not actually overlap, their active areas do.

Figure. Example showing overlapping button active areas.

In this case, if viewers watch the title on a computer, they may get unexpected results if they click in an overlap area.

Another problem occurs when using overlay-based buttons. Because the active areas control the overlay area that is highlighted when you select or activate a button, you may end up with portions of neighboring buttons highlighting at inappropriate times. It is possible to get around this problem by using different color mapping sets on neighboring buttons. See Color Mapping Sets for more information.