building a slideshow with flash

Adding Text to a Slideshow

We have added a few sections on some other things you can do in your slideshow. This section will cover adding text, which is very similar to the process you went through in adding an image.

Look at the example below to see how we are going to add some text to your slideshow.

As you can see, the text "My Vacation" fades in a moment after the first image, and fades out at the same time as the first image. Take a look at what the completed timeline looks like:

Completed timeline with slideshow and text

You will see the addition of a text layer and the tween fading up the text just after the initial image fades up.

Adding a layer and a text box

Click on the top layer of your project to highlight it. Then add a new layer by clicking on the small new layer button just below the timeline on the left. (Make sure the new layer is at the very top. If it's not, you can drag it to the top by clicking on the small page-flip icon by the layer name)

Adding a layer in Flash

The new layer will automatically be given a name, in my case it was "Layer 6." Double-click on this layer name and rename it to "text."

Naming a layer in Flash

It is important to always name your layers something relevant, otherwise it will become very difficult to tell what is on a layer without these indicators.

Next, lock all of the layers except for your text layer. When you lock a layer, it prevents you from accidentally clicking on it or changing it (or in our case, messing it up).

Locking the other layers in Flash

Next, move your playhead to the first frame. The Stage will appear white at this point, since the first image is invisible. Click on the Text Tool in your tool palette and draw a text box on the Stage.

Drawing a text box on the Stage

Type in the words "My Vacation" or any other title for your project. Don't worry about the font size at this point, we will adjust that next.

For Flash 8 or CS3: You will have to highlight the text first. This isn't necessary in CS4.

Highlight text in Flash

 In the Properties Window, you can adjust the font size and all of the other text formatting options.

Formatting text in Flash

For the purposes of this tutorial, we recommend setting the font to Verdana, the Style to Italic, the font size to 24 point, and aligning the paragraph to the center. (These options are in the property inspector at the bottom of the screen in Flash CS3)

After you have formatted your text to the way you like it, you now need to convert it to a graphic symbol. But first, to do this, you must switch your tool to the black arrow Selection Tool.

Choosing the selection tool in Flash

It is a common mistake to forget to switch back to the selection tool. You cannot select items on the stage unless you are using the Selection Tool, so it is a good habit to switch back to the Selection Tool after each tool you use.

Select your text box with the black arrow, then choose Modify --> Convert To Symbol. (Remember, any object you want to fade, move, or animate, you will need to convert it to a symbol)

Convert Text to a symbol

Now, insert keyframes on the text layer at frames 12, 20, 35 and 44. You will have to do this one at a time by selecting the frame, and choosing the Insert menu and selecting Timeline --> Keyframe.

Inserting keyframe into the text layer

The keyframes at 12 and 20 will be the text fading in, and the keyframes at 35 and 44 will be the text fading out.

Click on the first keyframe, and then click on the text box on your Stage (remember, you have to click on the object on the stage to change the menu in the property window). Change the Alpha to 0%.

Change the the text symbol in frame 12 to Alpha 0% following the steps above. And lastly, change the text to Alpha 0% in frame 44.

Next, select frame 12 and Insert --> Classic Tween (Flash CS4) or choose Motion Tween in the property inspector (Flash 8 or CS3). Follow this same step to add a tween to keyframe 35.

Your timeline should appear like the following image.

Flash text timeline done