I am having a problem with my text alignment and I can't figure out a way to correct this. Unfortunately, I'm using a mac with CS3 and a Windows computer with CS4, so it could either be an OS difference, a version difference, or a software bug which I can't figure out.
Update: I downloaded a trial CS4 and the problem persists. This seems to be a mac issue.
For some reason, the text on my Mac with CS3 are not in the vertical center of the text fields. This causes a problem with my "align vertical centers" alignments, meaning I've had to do the alignment by hand to get it to look right. When I moved my file to my laptop to keep working on my project at home, I noticed that the text alignment was correct on my laptop, causing all of the text placement throughout my document to be off. This means that I can only work on the one computer and can't bring the project home to work through the weekends.
I have made an image showing the difference of how the text is aligned on the two versions, and a sample of how it affects my project when i bring it between computers.
I made the file on the mac (CS3) first, and so the alignment is designed to look correct on there. When i bring it to the PC (CS4) the text shifts down, placing it back in the center of the text boxes and ruining the alignment.
When I publish the file it keeps the formatting of each system. IE - publishing on the mac makes the final product look like it does on the mac, and publishing on the windows computer makes it look like it looks on the windows computer. The file published from the mac has the mac alignment on both computers, and the file published from the pc has the alignment of the pc on both computers.
Just to clarify, the way flash handles text fields on windows / cs4 is how I imagine it should be. I made the file on mac/CS3 however, and so when i said "ruins the alignment" I should have said "fixes the alignment problem, but breaks my alignment which was made to compensate for the problem I was experiencing."
I hope that someone will be able to help me with this issue, and thank you in advance for your feedback!
Am I asking this question in the wrong place? It's been over a month with zero replies.
I KNOW somebody here has used text in flash. If you have, how does your text align in your field? Take a look at the image I posted earlier. Does it align like my "windows" example or the "mac" example?
Is it just not possible to bring flash files from mac to PC or vice versa?
Yes, I have the same problem (you are not alone!). Seems like the fonts have a really huge vertical baseline shift. When I set a hyphen as Superscript (it's to do with a chemical structure project I'm working on), it aligns itself to the middle of the text... quite annoying. I haven't found a solution as of yet. Flash doesn't seem to allow much in terms of preference settings for this.
It seems to be with all fonts too.
Use a Mac all the time. The text aligns where it aligns. That is how it works. There is no other way than the way it is.
Yes, it isn't ideal that it doesn't like up the same way and, yes, there will always be font problems going between different platforms.
So what is your question?
Thank you all for the replies!
This isn't really just a "fonts being displayed differently" issue. That does happen going between platforms in all programs, and is (for the most part) unavoidable. When moving something like illustrator between platforms you may get a bit of a text display change, but the basic positioning of the text within the text box stays the same, the vertical alignment stays the same, and the alignment options work on both platforms.
The text is just being positioned incorrectly on my (and other people's?) mac. This makes the "Align vertical centers" alignment option useless, as it doesn't actually align text and other objects properly on mac. This doesn't happen in any other program that I've seen, other than Flash. This happens in CS3 and CS4 (I downloaded a trial to test this).
This cannot be the intended alignment functionality on a mac, because, as i mentioned, it makes the alignment options completely fail.
So the question is: How does everyone experiencing this issue fix this problem? If it cannot be fixed, are develpers aware of this issue? Are they working on a solution? Is flash just unusable on macs, for some reason (if you want to align text, at least)?
I don't think actionscript is the answer, as this is a problem at authortime, not runtime, and so AS would not affect it.
Again, the way it works is the way it works. I work on both Mac and PC versions. (and have since pretty much Flash MX days.) And when it comes to lining up text fields I guess I've never counted on them lining up by using the align buttons.
I'm still not really seeing what the "problem" is or how it requires any "solution" or "fix" other than just visually line them up -- a pretty low tech and easy solution. Additionally I like to get my textfields on whole integers so I've always placed them by hand and adjusted them to where they need to be.
Likewise with other programs (like InDesign or Quark before that) where there where object aligning tools. I've never found them to provide actual correct visual reference for "centering" and have ever only used them to get in the ballpark and then adjusted by hand for what I needed.
I would hardly say that because of this little thing that Flash on a Mac is unusable. It just is what it is.
I can understand wondering if this is how it is working for everyone -- and the answer seems to be yes to that, but you seem to have so much energy and drama around it. Let it go.
And as far as the cross-platform thing goes it does mean that you can't just take the same file and publish it from a Mac, edit and then publish file output from a PC, and vice versa. Annoying yes, but the end of the world, not so much.
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm getting excited over this. The issue is frusrating me, and I'm just trying to explain it as clearly as I can in the hopes of getting the best possible response.
In all my time on computers I have never seen this sort of issue (as I said before, different from the normal text differences), and so it has completely stumped me.
Based on your and other people's responses, it seems like this is just a bug with Flash on Macs, which, for someone who goes between platforms a few times per project, is frustrating. Hopefully Adobe will be able to fix this issue and make transitioning between operating systems a bit easier.
Does anyone know of a good way to get in contact with them, or show this thread to them? Does Adobe have community managers who read these forums?
I agree with you, it's not really good enough to say "oh well, it's just the way it is" especially since a large percentage of Adobe's market use Macs and it is pretty common to work across platforms. I've had to redo all my templates in my current project (originally done on a PC) to fix this bug, which took up a lot of hours.
Have you tried 'reporting a bug' on Adobe's contact page?
They might not know/care about it.
I guess I'm still confused. You seem to suggest that the problem is that going back and forth between PCs and Macs causes alignment problems, but then you acknowledge that that is a problem pretty much with every program that deals with fonts. And you seem to be willing to extend the "that is just how it is" to every other program, but for some reason not to Flash...
But then it seems that that is not the real issue. The real issue seems to be that the text isn't aligned in the vertical middle of the text field. Which is a totally different thing. And isn't related at all the the switching between platforms, because...
Even if they fixed the vertical centering issue, then the regular issue would still be a problem -- and one that is likely never to be solved since Apple and Microsoft have very different ideas about font handling and screen display. So in the end the issue of jumping back and forth between platforms would still remain. So what is the point of getting all worked up about it? The alignment of text is likely to always be at least a little different between platforms -- whether it is just because the fonts differ or because the first baseline is placed differently by Flash.
And I'm not sure how you can be stumped. The solution is to not deal with the final alignment of fonts on one or the other platforms.
There are so many other cross-platform font issues -- embedded fonts not having the proper name, kearning, handling of higher unicode characters, etc. -- that will cause even bigger problems that it is really unwise to have final publishes from different platforms in any event.
If you do figure out something like, "on my Mac I need to bump all the textfields down by 4 points" or some such rule like that you could probably make a JSFL file that will go through and do that and then the inverse version form going back the other way. Of course that also really has the possibility of really messing up your project, but if it is really that big of an issue for you you might want to do it.
On the contacting Adobe side, this is a mostly user-to-user forum. Occasionally an Adobe employee will come through and/or respond. But the best thing to do is to file a bug report. This has been around a long time and I'm sure that others have reported it and yet Adobe has never fixed it. So I wouldn't hold my breath until it is fixed.
In the end I"m not saying that it isn't a little annoying, but is it really nearly the end of the world? Does it really make Flash on the Mac almost unusable and worthless?
Yeah man, you don't understand what he's getting at. We've all seen little differences in text rendering in various apps when moving from Windows to Mac or vice versa, but this is something different, and far more serious. At my shop here, we've got tons of FLA files that were produced on Windows a couple years back, and now that we're on MacOS, even with all the right fonts, the FLA files can't be published because every single text field appears to have shifted several pixels one way or another. In my case, I've got an older Windows FLA with hundreds and hundreds of text fields in it... and every field now has to be manually adjusted to compensate for the shift... in most cases it also seems to have really mucked up the line-height in the field, as well.
So it doesn't make Flash "worthless" on MacOS, but it does mean that any FLAs created on Windows cannot be published from a Mac without requiring a great deal of manual intervention, which in a mixed-OS environment, working with huge Flash projects, while trying to make money in a business, is a show-stopper. Not the "end of the world", but pretty ******* bad. I mean, literally, this problem has hit us so hard here that in my case we're kind of screwed... I've spent literally days correcting this problem in one of our larger projects, and it's all just so that I can use my supposedly cross-platform FLA file on MacOS now that our team has moved away from Windows.
I mean, compare the situation to Photoshop. PSDs are supposed to be cross-platform, and they really are. We share PSDs between Windows and Mac every day, with only minor variations in the way fonts are rendered. FLAs are a whole other story, it looks like an insane developer opened 'em up and started randomly bumping things around...
So hey Smef! You're not alone dude, there are others who feel your pain, and I'm one of them. This problem is serious, it's put me in a horrible position. If you happen to read this and if you've managed to find any solutions that might help, I would be *very* interested to hear about them... otherwise I'm going to just keep doing some more searches and see if I can find someone who found a way around the problem...
Hey Smef. Your description and screenshots are perfectly clear, I can see that without a doubt I'm facing exactly the same problem as you are. So far you're the only person I've found complaining about the problem, which seems odd... I would guess there are lots of developers out there who port FLA files back and forth between Windows and Mac. Perhaps there is something about your machine and mine that make us more vulnerable? Perhaps most people just suck it up and correct all their stuff manually? Perhaps I just have to do more searches to find people talking about it...
Anyway, if you've learned anything about solutions to this problem, please please let me know, I've got a lot of work to get caught up on after I get this **** sorted out...
Best wishes, and thanks in advance
Btw, there used to be a script someone wrote that would automatically shift all the textfields in an FLA by a certain amount. I can't seem to find the link anymore, but it wasnt a very good fix anyway as the shift isn't consistent. It seems to be based on the size the textfield is set to. Doing it manually is the only way to get it right, or just make sure the machine you initially designed it on will always be the machine you use to compile the SWF. It sucks, but these seem to be the only options till it gets fixed (if ever).
I'm fairly certain it's a Flash bug, even other Adobe software behaves perfectly from Mac to PC. I've brought this issue up a bunch of times, even when our company had a chance to provide in person feedback to the Flash team on the various betas from the past years (even before Adobe was in the picture).
The problem is that not a lot of people acknowledge it as an issue, they just brush it off as a platform inconsistency. Which we know isn't true, because
we'd be seeing this issue in other software as well. Yes, some inconsistency is common, but it's never this bad.
For now, best thing to do is make sure you always compile the SWF on the same platform that the designers initially prepared the assets in.
I'm also baffled as to why this hasn't been fixed. The problem isn't so much that Flash for Mac has buggy vertical font alignment: both Mac and PC versions have that problem! It's just that they're wrong in different ways.
For example, lay down a piece of dynamic text in Flash IDE (Mac or PC) and put a border on it. Make the text something showing ascenders and descenders, like "ÃÃÃÃÃÃjjjjjjj." Then draw a thin horizontal line under the text, so it butts up against the bottom of the Ãs. This is the baseline. Now change the font. As you change into different fonts, both the Mac and PC versions will show the text jumping up and down around the baseline. Some fonts will be spot on. Some fonts even have the gall to poke the text up and outside the border! This happens even with fonts from Adobe's library. The misalignment generally looks worse on the Mac side, but they're both off.
This baseline miscalculation, by itself, is an issue that should be resolved, and fixing this problem would also solve the secondary issue, which is what we're ultimately complaining about: the baseline miscalculation in question varies between platforms. If the miscalculation was at least consistent for a given font between platforms, that solves the most continually annoying issue I've had with this product for years. But it's not. The baseline is wrong on all versions.
Perform a comparative test on Photoshop and it reveals a consistent baseline as the font changes. The Flash team needs to learn something from the Photoshop crew.
So why don't they change it? My guess is because Flash TextFields have an upper left registration mark, instead of a baseline left registration mark. Different fonts with the same pitch have different heights. This means as the font changes, they'd have to move the TextField vertically to keep the baselines in alignment, giving it a new position, and I don't think they like that consequence. So why don't they use baseline registration instead of upper left? That's what essentially Photoshop uses. Similarly, it would affect backward compatibility, alignment with other stage items, etc.
I have few suggestions for Adobe. 1. Within a TextField, give us vertical alignment options: top, bottom center,and baseline. Then those who are dying from these issues can at least maintain cross compatibility. 2. Store the baseline offset with each TextField in the FLA, so if the FLA is opened on another system, it uses the stored baseline offset to determine where to vertically place the font, instead of calculating it from font information. This means the fonts will lay out consistently across platforms. 3. Write baseline calculation code that doesn't rely on system calls, so vertical alignment is at least consistent between platforms.
If Adobe implemented any of these suggestions, I'd be happy. Actually I'd like 1 and 3, but I'll take any.
I found this thread while searching for help on a similar (or the same?) problem. I am using CS4 at school on Windows and at home on a Mac. I brought my Flash files home to work on them over the weekend. As someone noted already, if a swf is made on the machine that created the file, it looks like the original Flash file, and the swf works fine on either platform. If I open the Flash file on my Mac, the text is raised up several pixels and the height of the text box is actually 4 pixels less than on the PC. Even if I save the Mac Flash file and take it in to school, the instructor can't troubleshoot this, as it reverts back to the original PC layout for the text box. In some cases this doesn't make much difference, but inside of buttons where the alignment of the up, over, and down states are critical, this is a deal-breaker. When I finish the school program shortly, I will not be able to maintain my websites without having to completely re-align the type everywhere, including inside all buttons and symbols. I have checked the details in the property inspector, and the height of the box is the only data that changes. This really does make Flash unusable for cross platform work.
I would appreciate any suggestions.
This issue should not be brushed off as minor, or simply the usual cross-platform oddity. This issue is specific to Flash. It also is specific to certain fonts. I have found it only happens with Adobe fonts - but I haven't tested that enough to assert that it's Adobe's fonts vs. OTF/TTF fonts in general.
Open Flash CS4 or CS3 in both Windows and Leopard (if you have that ability). Make a new Flash file in WIndows and create text using Myriad Pro or Adobe Caslon Pro (those are the 2 I've tested). Make a guide that shows where the baseline of the font is. Save and then open this file in Flash on Mac - you'll see the shift right away. The font "field" itself is the same, but the position of the text relative to the box it's in is different.
If you do the same basic test in Photoshop there is no problem. That's the only other adobe app I've tested but I've read enough to say comfortably this is basically a Flash bug.
And it's a big one in my opinion. My team is currently taking a huge hit in productivity because of this.
PS - If we had realized this up front, we would have chosen fonts that don't have this issue (they exist). But it seems that this issue has been ignored or considered unimportant, and so not many people are aware until it kills their workflow.
That's helpful, thegoodgroup, but it would be much better if there was a real fix for this! having to run a script fixes the issue if you go across platform one time, but going back and forth it's a pain to have to do all the time. Thank you for taking the time to put that together.
Adobe IS diggin it's own grave by ignoring bugs....this is just insane. This particular bug was there for 4 years now, and NOTHING has been done, except marketing and advertisements of new cool features, that were meant to rise the sales, while real bugs ignored.
I have just been informed by Adobe that this font alignment bug is not fixed
in CS5 for the Mac. For anyone using both Windows and Mac platforms, this
makes Flash unusable. I cannot maintain the site that I created on a PC at
school without changing all the fonts and re-aligning all the elements on my
The only thing I can think is that they just don't care that much about the Flash IDE anymore - they're nursing it along, but their focus is on Flex, Catalyst, Builder, etc. Which I get, but this seems like it could be fixed since it doesn't happen in any other Adobe app (that I'm aware of).
One thing I'll pass along - if you use Windows TrueType fonts, they will run on both Mac and Windows boxes and not give you a problem. It's just hard to find them these days. Recently we switched from Myriad Pro OTF to Frutiger Windows TrueType and were able maintain the overall look and not have this issue. It's a lot of work just to get Flash to behave!
Took me a while to find this post, but I too have this same issue!
I'm new to flash and just started to work on it recently when I came across this text layout problem. We work on a lot of different FLAs from different companies so they can be developed on Mac or PC.
After reading this post its clear to me that Flash FLA files are NOT Platform independent. I thought it was just me, or my machine or font setup, but now I know its a Flash Mac Bug, so I don't have to waste my time trying to figure out a solution.
Now I know I must have 2 PCs with Windows and Mac. both with Flash, and I have to make sure I know which platform the FLA was developed on.
Thanks guys for clearing this up and saving me hours and hours of research to solve an unsolveable Bug in the Mac Flash Software!
By the way, still not fixed in CS5.5 either!
To help other people with their searches I am mentioning the following words again, Flash, Bug, Text Layout Bug, Mac and PC cross platform bug, fail, text layout issues, text alignment with Mac and PC using Flash. Hopefully it might help other people in their searches ;-)
Just chiming in to say this is still a problem. Glad this thread exists. Hopefully if it ever gets cleared up they'll let us know in here.
Until then I guess I get to buy a 2nd computer just so I can publish certain PC FLAs at home. yippee.
Just helping to keep this thread and issue alive. Amazing that Adobe hasn't addressed this issue yet. What I find particually frustrating isn't as much the cross-platform font alignment issues but the inability to align text properly at all in Flash. For instance I'm making many, many buttons for an interactive CD, the client likes the text inside of rectangular box centered - I can't center the text vertically due to this text field vertical alignment bug. I have to go in and manually adjust them everytime, total pain. Why they can't fix something like this is a total mystery to me. (using CS 5)
Thanks for following up on this. I'm still seeing this issue on Flash CC (18.104.22.1688).
I have created a FLA which shows the problem. I created it on a Mac and sized all Textfields to match exactly the size of the red box behind them. Then I opened the same FLA in Windows. All the heights of the Textfields have changed! They all have random heights and the vertical alignment is different.
I tried embedding the fonts. I tried static and dynamic text fields. But these don't affect the issue.
I have attached screenshots of what we see on Mac and Windows.
Created on a Mac:
And then opened on Windows:
The FLA is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sxpflqy4flbaxwf/font%20align%20issue.fla
Note: I also reported this bug to Adobe. I received a response from O. J. Jose.