Recipe 8.9 Displaying Dynamic Text at Runtime

8.9.1 Problem

You want to display text within a movie.

8.9.2 Solution

Set the text property of a text field.

8.9.3 Discussion

Aside from being used as input fields, text fields are often used to display text to the user. Setting a text field's text property causes the corresponding text to display in the field.

myTextField.text = "this will display in the field";

The Flash 5 technique of assigning a variable to a text field is still available, though not preferred. However, if exporting to Flash 5 format, you can assign a variable name to the text field using the variable property.

Special characters, such as \t for tab and \n for newline, can be used within a text string.

Displaying text programmatically in a movie is useful for many reasons. If a movie contains dynamic or frequently updated text, the values can be loaded from an external source, such as a database or XML document, and then programmatically displayed in text fields.

The trace( ) command displays text in Flash's Output window, but the window is available during authoring only. You can use a text field to display output at runtime using a custom function:

function traceText (msg) { 
  myTextField.text += msg + newline; 
traceText ("Here's my message");

8.9.4 See Also

Recipe 8.1 and Recipe 8.2. See Recipe 8.10 for information on support for HTML-formatted text.

    Part I: Local Recipes
    Part II: Remote Recipes