Adding Text

In Motion, you create text directly in the Canvas using the Text tool, enter text in the Inspector, or bring in a text file. Once text is added to your project, you can easily apply filters to the text or animate the text using behaviors or keyframes.

Adding Basic Text in the Canvas

This section describes adding text to your project in the Canvas.

For information on adding text using the Text tool, see Adding Paragraph Text in the Canvas.

For information on adding text using the Text Editor, see Adding Text with the Text Editor.

For information on adding text to your project from a text file, see Adding a Text File to a Project.

When Create Layers At is set to “Start of project” in the Project Preferences pane, text is created at the first frame of the project. For example, if you are working in a 900-frame project and you add text, the duration of the text is 900 frames. To shorten the duration of the text, shorten the text layer duration in the Timeline or mini-Timeline. For more information, see Using the Timeline.

To add text in the Canvas
  1. In the Layers tab, select the group to which you want to add the text layer.

    Note: If no group is explicitly selected, the text is added to the last selected group (the group with the underline beneath its name).

  2. In the Toolbar, click the Text tool (or press T).

    Figure. Text tool in the Toolbar.
  3. Click in the Canvas.

    The cursor flashes in the Canvas at the insertion point. Before you enter any text, an empty text layer is added to the project and the Text HUD appears.

    Figure. Canvas showing text insertion point and Layers tab showing newly created empty text layer.
  4. Type the text you want.

    Once text is added, the following occurs:

    • The text appears in the Canvas.

    • The text layer in the Layers tab is named with the entered text.

    • The entered text appears in the mini-Timeline.

      Figure. Mini-Timeline showing visible text.
    • The entered text appears in the track bars of the group and layer in the Timeline.

      Figure. Timeline showing visible text.

    Note: By default, the text Layout Method (adjustable in the Layout pane of the Text tab) is set to Type. The Type layout option creates no right-hand margin, so if you enter a long string of text, it extends on a single line beyond the Canvas until you create a manual line break (press Return). This mode is useful for working with short text and panning text across the Canvas. For information on changing text layout and setting margins, see Non-Path Text Controls in the Layout Pane. To see items that extend beyond the edge of the Canvas, choose View > Show Full View Area.

  5. When you are done typing, press Esc or click the Select/Transform tool in the Toolbar.

    The text is selected and appears with a bounding box in the Canvas.

    Important: Once you have finished typing your text, be sure to press Esc or select another tool on the Toolbar—do not use a keyboard shortcut. When the Text tool is selected, you are in text-entry mode, so if you press S to select the Select/Transform tool, an “S” is added to your text rather than the tool being changed.

To select text characters
Do one of the following:
  • Select the Text tool, then drag to select text in the Canvas.

  • Click in between two characters in the Canvas, press Shift, then press the Right Arrow key to select characters to the right of the insertion point. Press the Left Arrow key to select characters to the left of the insertion point.

  • Click the Select/Transform tool, then double-click the text.

To move the cursor between words
  • Press Option–Right Arrow to move the cursor forward between words; press Option–Left Arrow to move the cursor backward between words.

To delete an entire word
  • Position the cursor at the end of the word you want to delete, then press Option-Delete.

Adding Paragraph Text in the Canvas

Whereas clicking in the Canvas with the Text tool prompts basic text entry, dragging the cursor in the Canvas prompts paragraph-style text entry. Paragraph text is contained within margins that cause the text you type to wrap automatically to the next line. You can adjust the margins of the paragraph to create a column of text as narrow or as wide as you like.

To add paragraph text to your project
  • With the Text tool selected, drag in the Canvas to draw a custom text entry field.

    Note: You can create a text entry field with margins that extend beyond the edge of the Canvas.

When you release the mouse button, the paragraph text entry field appears in the Canvas. You can begin typing at the flashing insertion point. A ruler appears above the text field, and an empty rectangular column appears on the right side. In the Layout pane of the Text Inspector, the Layout Method pop-up menu is automatically set to Paragraph.

Figure. Canvas window showing paragraph text entry field.

When text extends beyond the upper and lower edges of the text entry box, the empty rectangular column becomes a scroll control.

Figure. Canvas showing paragraph text entry field with scroll control.

Note: You can also type new paragraph text in the Text editor field of the Format pane (in the Text Inspector). For more information, see Adding Text with the Text Editor.

Working in the Canvas, you can adjust the margins of the text entry field without affecting the scale of the text.

To adjust the width or height of the text margins without scaling the text itself
Do one of the following:
  • With the Text tool selected, drag one of the text entry field’s onscreen scale handles.

    Note: Do not use the Select/Transform tool to resize text margins. When you exit text-entry mode (by pressing Esc or selecting a new tool from the Toolbar), a standard object bounding box appears around the text. If you resize a text bounding box (by dragging one of its scale handles), the text itself is resized, not just the width of the bounding box.

    Figure. Canvas window showing text entry field resized with Text tool.
  • In the Text Inspector, click the Layout pane and adjust the Left Margin, Right Margin, Top Margin, or Bottom Margin values.

    Figure. Layout pane of the Text tab showing Margin controls.

    Note: When text is deleted from a paragraph, the paragraph margins remain in their original locations.

Paragraphs and 3D Space

Text can be modified when working in 3D space. As a camera rotates, the onscreen text entry controls rotate with the text. Although the controls (the ruler, text entry field, and scroll control) may appear to change in scale, this is only a perspective shift caused by the movement of the camera.

Figure. Canvas showing paragraph entry controls in 3D space.

Adding Text with the Text Editor

Once you have added a blank text layer to your project (clicked the Text tool in the Canvas), you can enter and edit text in the Text editor rather than the Canvas. The Text editor is useful when working with large amounts of text.

To enter text in the Text editor
  1. Click the Text tool (or press T), then click or drag in the Canvas to create a blank text layer.

    • If you click in the Canvas, you activate the default layout method (Type), which requires that you insert manual line breaks (by pressing Return) to make text wrap to a new line.

    • If you drag in the Canvas, you activate the Paragraph layout method, which automatically wraps text into a column.

  2. In the Text Inspector, open the Format pane.

  3. Click in the Text editor and begin typing.

    Figure. Format pane of the Text tab showing text editor.

You can also edit existing text in the Text editor and use the Mac OS X spelling checker.

To edit existing text using the Text editor
  1. In the Layers tab, select the text to be edited.

    Note: You can also select the Text tool (in the Toolbar) and click the text you want to edit in the Canvas

    The selected text appears in the Text editor.

  2. Make your changes in the Text editor.

    Changes are immediately reflected in the Canvas.

To use the spelling checker in the Text editor
Do one of the following:
  • Click in the Text editor, then choose an option from the Edit > Spelling submenu.

  • Control-click in the Text editor, then choose an item from the shortcut menu.

    When a spelling error is found, the text is highlighted in the Text editor. If the Text tool is active when the spelling is checked, the text is selected in the Canvas.

Note: The spelling checker is not available when working with text in the Canvas.

Adding a Text File to a Project

Plain text (TXT) or Rich Text Format (RTF) files can be added to your project. Once the text is added to your project, it can be edited in the same manner as text created within the project. The appearance (font, size, layout, and so on) of the text imported from an RTF file is preserved; the text appearance in a TXT file is based on the settings in the Text Inspector.

Important: Text behaviors such as Tracking, Type On, and the sequence behaviors can be added to text from an imported a text file. Keep in mind, however, that the more text characters a behavior must animate, the more performance slows.

Note: Some formatting options available in RTF files, such as text wrapping, are not supported in Motion.

To add a text file to a project from the File Browser
  1. In the File Browser, select the TXT or RTF file you want to use.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Drag the file to the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline layers list.

    • Click the Import button in the Preview area of the File Browser.

      The text is added to the project and can now be modified.

To add a text file to a project using the Import command
  1. Choose File > Import.

  2. In the Import Files dialog, select the TXT or RTF file you want to import, then click Import.

    The text is added to the project and can now be modified.

About Plain Text Files

When a plain text file is added to a project, the following occurs:

  • The text is formatted based on the settings in the Text Inspector.

  • The Layout Method (in the Layout tab of the Text Inspector) is set to Paragraph.

    Note: To change the layout of the text, choose another option from the Layout Method pop-up menu. The ruler and scroll controls are available with the Paragraph and Scroll layouts. The scroll control is available with the Crawl layout.

  • The paragraph margins are set to the Safe Zones (press the apostrophe key) of the project.

About Rich Text Format Files

When a Rich Text Format (RTF) file is added to a project, the following occurs:

  • The formatting (font, style, line spacing, outline [set in the Styles pop-up menu in the TextEdit document], and so on) of the text is preserved in the project.

  • Double-clicking in the text in the Canvas activates the text entry field, which includes a horizontal ruler at the top of the text and a scroll control at the right of the text.

  • The Layout Method (in the Layout tab of the Text Inspector) is set to Paragraph.

  • Margins in the original text file are preserved in the project. The size of the onscreen text entry field is determined by the margins set in the application in which the text was created. In Motion, the margins can be edited onscreen or in the Layout pane of the Text Inspector.

    For more information on modifying margins, see Editing Margins and Tabs from Rich Text Format Files.

    For more information on the Layout pane, see Editing Text Layout.

  • Tabs in the original text file are preserved in the project. The tabs appear as white triangles in the ruler above the text entry field. Tabs can be moved or deleted.

    For more information on modifying tabs, see Editing Margins and Tabs from Rich Text Format Files.

Editing Margins and Tabs from Rich Text Format Files

Margins and tabs defined in the application in which the RTF text was created can be modified in Motion.

For more information about the general use of tabs, see Working with Tabs.

To adjust a margin
  1. Double-click the text to display the onscreen text entry field, ruler, and scroll control.

    Note: The Text tool must be selected. If you adjust the text box using the Select/Transform tool, the text is scaled.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • With the Text tool selected, drag one of the scale handles on the text entry field.

    • In the Layout pane of the Text Inspector, adjust the Left Margin, Right Margin, Top Margin, or Bottom Margin values.

To move the tabs
  1. Double-click the text to display the onscreen text entry field, ruler, and scroll control.

    Note: The Text tool must be selected in order for the ruler and tabs to appear in the Canvas.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the Canvas, drag a tab (the small white triangle) in the ruler.

    • In the Layout pane of the Text Inspector, use the Tabs controls to adjust the position and layout of the tabs.

To remove a tab
  1. Double-click in the text to display the onscreen text entry field, ruler, and scroll control.

    Note: The Text tool must be selected in order for the ruler and tabs to appear in the Canvas.

  2. Drag the tab (the small white triangle) off the ruler and release the mouse button.

    The tab is removed from the ruler with a “poof,” and removed from the Tabs controls in the Layout pane of the Text Inspector with less fanfare.

Copying and Pasting Text from Another Application

Text can be copied from another document or browser and pasted into a project.

Use the following guidelines when pasting text from another application into Motion:

  • Pasted RTF text retains the original font attributes, including family and typeface, size, color, outline, and drop shadow.

  • When pasted, pure black text is converted to white text.

  • White text copied from Motion is pasted to the clipboard as black text.

  • Text pasted into an empty text entry field retains the paragraph format, including alignment, justification, and tabs.

  • Text pasted into an existing text entry field does not retain its original paragraph format.

  • Paragraphs pasted into a text entry field retain the paragraph format, including alignment, justification, and tabs.

    Note: Keep in mind that a paragraph is defined as a block of text preceded by a carriage return. Text pasted into an existing text entry field does not retain its original paragraph format, but a paragraph pasted into a text entry field does retain its original paragraph format.

  • If an image is copied with the text, the image is not included when the text is pasted in Motion.

  • Dynamically numbered lists are not supported. Lists become standard text when pasted.

To copy and paste text into a project
  1. In the document (RTF, TXT, Pages, and so on), copy the text.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the Motion Toolbar, select the Text tool, click in the Canvas, and choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).

    • In the Format pane of the Text Inspector, click in the text editor and choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).

Text as a Layer

Once created, text becomes a layer in your project. Because text layers share most of the characteristics of other layers in Motion, you can use the transform tools—Select/Transform, Adjust Anchor Point, Adjust Shear, Adjust Drop Shadow, Adjust Four Corner, and Adjust Crop—to transform a selected text layer when the Flatten checkbox is selected in the Layout pane of the Text Inspector. These onscreen tools are shortcuts to the Transform controls in the Properties tab of the Inspector. To set specific values, or fine-tune any of the transforms, use the Properties tab in the Inspector.

Important: Many of the transform tools are unavailable for text transforms until you select the Flatten checkbox in the Text tab. Similarly, before you can apply a mask to text, you must select the Flatten checkbox in the Text tab.

For more information on the Properties tab and onscreen transform tools, see Parameters in the Properties Tab. For more information on the Flatten checkbox, see Non-Path Text Controls in the Layout Pane.

Important: Some operations, as well the application of certain filters or a mask, cause a group to become rasterized. When a group is rasterized, it is converted into a bitmap image. Because all text layers live in groups, rasterization affects how text interacts with other objects within your project. For more information, see About Rasterization.

When you make changes to text using the transform tools or the parameters in the Properties tab of the Inspector, modifications are applied to the text as a layer, not as editable text. The controls for editing the text itself are located in the Text tab of the Inspector. Although some layer properties are similar to some text Style and Format controls, such as Shear (in the Properties tab) and Slant (in the Format pane of the Text tab), the layer properties are independent of the text format controls, and vice versa. For example, if you apply a Slant value of 20 in the Format pane of the Text Inspector, a Slant value of 20 is applied to each character in the word, simulating italics. If you apply a Shear value of 20 in the Properties tab of the Inspector (or using the onscreen controls), a Shear value of 20 is applied to the layer as a whole, not the individual text characters.

For information on transforming text using the onscreen transform tools, see Using the Text Tools. For general information on using the onscreen controls, see 2D Transform Tools.

In addition to moving text with the transform tools, you can move text up and down in the composite in the Layers tab and Timeline. Just like all other layers in Motion, text can also be copied, pasted, duplicated, and deleted. For more information, see Managing Layers in Your Project.