Displaying Text

To display text on a label, create a text object. You can do this by clicking the "new text" button on Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker's main toolbar or by selecting the "Create a new text object" item from the Text menu. 

One of the biggest quandaries we faced when we were designing the text object control was how to tell whether you clicked on the text control because you wanted to edit the text or because you wanted to move the whole blooming object somewhere. It's a sticky issue. We didn't want to make you go through a series of contortions to switch between object-moving and text-editing modes. We wanted text editing and object moving and resizing to be available at the same time. Here's how we dealt with it:

When you left-click on an unselected text object, it will select the object. The object will grow a title bar, a frame, and a set of resizing bars. If you only wanted to move the object, don't release the mouse button - you can drag the object anywhere you like until you release the mouse button. Once you release the mouse button, the program will insert a text editing caret next to the text you clicked on.

Once a text object is selected (it's got the title bar and resize bars), clicking on the text will no longer let you move the object; instead, it will place the text-editing caret next to the text you clicked on. If you want to move the object once it's selected, you can do so by clicking on the text object's title bar and dragging it around.

Clicking on a text object's title bar will not just let you move it; it will also cause the object to go into "object mode." The editing caret will disappear, and any keystrokes you make will apply to the object itself instead of the text inside it. If you press the Delete key while you're in object mode, the entire text object will disappear. If you press Ctrl-x or Ctrl-c, the object will get cut or copied, respectively. Pressing the arrow keys will move the object. Clicking anywhere inside the text object will take you out of object mode and back into the normal text-editing mode.

Regardless of what mode a text object's in, once it's selected, you can resize it by clicking on any of the little red resize bars scattered around its border and then dragging them. 

The Text Object Toolbar


When you click on a text object, a toolbar should appear directly underneath it. The buttons on the toolbar serve these functions, from left to right:

* Setting the typeface
* Setting the font size
* Setting the horizontal alignment (left justified, centered, or right justified)
* Setting whether the text should be straight, curved, or spiral
* Setting the text color
* Toggling the bold text effect on and off.
* Toggling the italics text effect on and off.
* Launching the Text Properties dialog, which lets you edit a veritable encyclopedia's worth of text properties.
* Editing the object's text (only shows up on the toolbars of  text objects with curved text or text angles other than 0 degrees - text that can't be edited in place).

(If you've clicked on a tracks text object, some of these buttons will be replaced by a combo box with tracks formatting presets instead.)

Most of these buttons apply to whatever text you've currently got selected. If you don't have any text selected, changes you make with these buttons will apply to all the text in the text object. This is a different behavior from the majority of text editing programs, which assume that if you don't have any text selected, changes you make don't apply to any text at all - a behavior that, quite frankly, baffles us. If you put a CD into the stereo and press the play button without selecting a particular track to play, your CD player doesn't ignore you - it starts at the beginning and plays the whole CD. If you walk into a bar and ask for a beer, the bartender won't pretend he didn't hear you just because you didn't tell him how full you wanted the glass. And if you click the bold button without any text selected, we're pretty sure you don't mean, "act as if I don't exist." You mean to change text to bold. And that's what we do for you.

Special Stuff You Can Do With Tracks/Contents Text Objects

Track lists (lists of the track names, artist names, etc. on your CD) are a special type of text object. You don't need to create new text objects to display them. Instead, either select a layout that has a tracks list, or open the tracks dialog (by clicking the "tracks" button on the toolbar) and check the "Display tracks on current label" button.

When you edit the text in a tracks list object, the changes will get relayed to all the other label faces in your current file. So if you've got tracks list text objects on all your labels, editing the disc label to change the title of song 1 from "Let the Good Times Ambulate" to "Let the Good Times Roll" will cause the title to change on the front, inside, and back labels as well. Changes you make to the text by editing it in the Tracks Dialog will also get sent to all the labels.

Formatting changes - fonts, italics, etc. - will not get sent to other labels. Only changes to the actual text will get passed on to the other labels. In addition, changes to the track number field won't get sent to the other labels. If you make a mistake and mess up one or more of the track number fields, hiding and showing the tracks objects field (which you can do from the Tracks Dialog will cause the tracks to get renumbered.

The Tracks List Header Bar

When you select a tracks text object, you should see, in addition to the traditional title bar, sizing frame, resize bars, and toolbar, a columns header bar. The header bar has these functions:

* Left-clicking on a header bar column will select all the text in that column, so that you can apply whatever column-wide effects strike your fancy.

* Left-clicking on the border between columns and dragging it will allow you to resize columns (in fixed-width columns mode) or the space between columns (if you're in variable-width columns mode).

* Right-clicking on the header bar will pop up a menu that lets you hide and show individual columns and toggle between fixed-width columns and variable-width columns modes.

Fixed Width vs. Variable Width Fields

In fixed-width mode, all rows of a field will be the same width. If you set the "track name" field to be 2.5 centimeters wide, every track will have a 2.5-centimeter-wide track name. All rows will line up exactly underneath each other, like the rows in a spreadsheet or a table in a word processor.

In variable-width mode, each column of each row will be exactly as wide as required to display the amount of text. The title for "You've Certainly Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" will be wider than the title for "Louie Louie." The rows in the text object will not line up directly underneath each other, unless all their text fields happen to be exactly the same length.

However, in variable-width columns mode, there will be a fixed amount of space between columns. If you specify 1.2 centimeters after the track number column, every row will have 1.2 centimeters of blank space between its track number and the field that follows it, no matter how wide individual track numbers may be. When you're in variable-width columns mode and you drag the column borders in the header bar, you're actually editing the width between the columns rather than the widths of the columns themselves.

Fixed width columns work well for left-justified text or cases where you've got more than two columns visible. The variable width columns setting can have a nice effect on centered or right-justified tracks listings.

If the header bar has a blank section before the first column, it's nothing to worry about. It just means that you've got the text object in centered or right-justified mode.

The Text Properties Dialog

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