7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2006 7:30 AM by Parma_Ed

    Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional

    Parma_Ed
      Hello all,

      I am experiencing some very strange behavior with my static text in Flash Pro 8. First off, I'm having some reports from my client that on some of their machines running IE6, none of the text shows up on the flash website I've created. They see blank buttons everywhere. To make sure I properly embedded the font I'm using, I created a local set of folders that held all the necessary files for the website and transferred it to a secondary computer. Then, I uninstalled the font I am using on the site from that computer and ran the site locally. Everything showed up perfectly. So, the font is properly embedded.

      To be on the extra cautious side, I wanted to test if using a system font would work. So, I went back to my .FLA and into my library, found the embedded font, and changed the font to _sans (it was originally pointing at Comic Sans MS). Then, in Flash, I tested the movie. Most of the text showed up just fine in the new _sans font. But browsing the swf a bit more, I found that a good portion of buttons showed no text at all...and this is in Flash, not a browser.

      I tried several things to get text to show up on these buttons. First, I assigned the font of the static text to just be _sans, and not use the embedded version. It wouldn't show up. Then I thought maybe Flash was confused since I changed an already established embedded font to point at a different font, and proceeded to embed a second font that pointed at _sans. I assigned this new embedded font to the static text of my button and tested the movie. The text still wouldn't show. So, just to make sure I wasn't going crazy, I chose a completely different font that was neither _sans nor an embedded font...(I believe it was called Poornut). The text showed up fine when using this 3rd font. Remember, this is all in Macromedia Flash...not in a web browser.

      To make sure I wasn't extra, extra crazy, I chose one of the buttons I was having problems with and completely deleted it from the stage and my library. I then built a new button from scratch and assigned the static text on that button to be the original embedded font that was changed to point at _sans instead of Comic Sans MS. I ran the movie, and the text STILL won't show up. Then I thought, maybe this is just a local problem with Flash, and proceeded to upload the site and try it live. The text still didn't show.

      I'm not sure what to do next. I am quite confused as to why static text on some things still show up with the change in the embedded font, but not show up with other things. Plus, everything shows up fine on my stage while I'm working in Flash...it just doesn't show up correctly at run-time. Would any of you out there happen to see where my problem lies? Any offered advice is greatly appreciated.

      Thank you in advance!
        • 1. Re: Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional
          Parma_Ed Level 1
          I've made a little more progress...on one of the sections of the flash site, anyways...

          About half of my buttons that aren't showing up are comprised of text only...no background. These particular buttons are on a masked layer. Now, before I made my change to the embedded font from Comic Sans MS to _sans, these buttons showed up just fine. However, now using the embedded font changed to _sans, or when the text of these buttons is set to just _sans directly, they don't want to be revealed when the mask moves into place. And I know my mask is moving into place (I tested the animation with the "mask" layer set as a normal layer). Does _sans have a problem being in a masked layer?

          This does not explain my other missing text in other sections, however, as my other buttons with text are not located on a masked layer. This is all quite bizarre. Any thoughts out there?
          • 2. Re: Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional
            Level 7
            Parma_Ed;
            You need to embed character outlines to use text with a timeline
            mask--this is a very common question here. Of course _sans is a device font
            option and character outlines are not included for device fonts by
            design. -Tom Unger


            • 3. Re: Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional
              Parma_Ed Level 1
              Tom,

              Thank you very much. That makes perfect sense to me now. I know what to do to make the missing text appear. Thank you.

              However, now I have the problem of text not showing up in IE even though my original font was embedded properly (as tested on a computer that did not have the embedded font installed). I will try using the device font of _sans first to see if that makes any difference. But if my original font was embedded properly, I don't see why it's not working for them in IE. I will post whether using the device font instead makes any difference

              On top of that, my client is reporting that IE gets hung up on my loading screens. The site is very sound-heavy and I'm loading in external .mp3 files. In browsers like Firefox and Netscape, all is well. The section loads up and the site continues on its way. In IE, it gets to the loading screen and shows 24% complete and just hangs... Curiouser and curiouser...
              • 4. Re: Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional
                Level 7
                Parma_Ed;
                Not sure we are understanding one another... Device fonts should only be
                used where you _do not_ want the font embedded. _sans as an example will
                display as ariel on pc or helvetica on mac, or the closest sans serif font
                (the character outlines are not embedded in the swf). You want your
                character outlines to be embedded, so choose ariel or helvetica and elect to
                embed the characters being used via the properties panel if the text needs
                to be dynamic. If the text field is static, you need do nothing more than
                choose a non-device font. -Tom Unger


                • 5. Re: Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional
                  Parma_Ed Level 1
                  Hey Tom,

                  No, I understand what you're saying. Originally, I did embed the non-system font and used it on all of my static text. It worked great for me in both IE and Firefox, both local and live. However, my clients weren't getting any text at all and I have no idea why (they tried it on both IE and Firefox). I'm not sure what the differences in our browsers are as they are the same versions. Maybe they have special settings set up?

                  As an experiment, I'm going through and changing my static text from the embedded font to a system font. I did one section of the site, made it live, and asked the client to test and see if they could see text. They said they could. So, for some reason their browsers aren't liking the original embedded font I used. As I said in an earlier post, I know my original font embed worked because I tested it on a computer that didn't have the font installed. So, I don't know where the problem lies for the client.

                  The client has an important meeting in 2 weeks and needs to present what I've made so far. So, until I can figure out what's going on with the client's browsers, I'm opting to change the font over to a system font and do away with the embedded font for the time being.

                  However, you said:

                  quote:

                  If the text field is static, you need do nothing more than choose a non-device font.


                  Do you mean I don't need to embed a font for static text?
                  • 6. Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional
                    Parma_Ed Level 1
                    Oh yeah...one more thing.

                    As for the mask layer problem. I simply moved my text buttons that were using _sans out of the mask. Now they just appear instead of sliding into view...not a big deal. I just want my clients to see the text for now. I'll get fancy with revealing once I figure out what's going on with their browsers. Your explanation for device fonts and masked layers was great. Thank you.
                    • 7. Re: Disappearing Text in Flash 8 Professional
                      Parma_Ed Level 1
                      Ok...well, it looks like using the default system font worked...although I am a bit limited as to animations/fades that can now be done with the text. It still doesn't make much sense to me why using the embedded font works for everyone else I've had test it except for my clients. But alas, now I have a new problem which I must now put in a new post as it is not text related.