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Author: Patrick Mineault

Step 1: Loading an external text file

Hard-coding your text may be easy, but it sure makes updating a pain in the buttocks. Therefore, we'll be using an external text file which we'll load into Flash at run-time. Let's get going.

Using the technique described last tutorial ( ...list variables, remember?), copy your text into an empty Notepad, or similar plain text editor. Your entire text should be on one line, unless you have word wrap turned on. Now, add "daTextBox=" right before your text. Save this file as a plain text file named text.txt in the same directory as your movie.

You'll need to make some adjustments to the text in order to load it into Flash. You see, when you hard-code text into Flash, the program uses certain encoding entities for characters, so that it won't interfere with scripting. These characters are the backslash(\), the double-quote ("), the ampersand (&), and the ever useful single-quote ('). In order to load your text file into Flash, you'll need to un-encode these characters.

You should replace all occurences of the following characters with their text-file equivalent: " into ", \" into ", \\ into \, &apos into ', \' into ' and & into &. Make sure you make these transformations in the order that they are written, otherwise you'll end up with some very screwy text. If you're feeling lazy, you can use Notepad's Replace feature, available from the Find menu. Note that this feature is not available in all versions of Notepad.

Once this is done, save your text file again. Your text should now look like this:

<%lt%>plug<%gt%> Before you ask, no, that is not Notepad, but rather an excellent Notepad replacement by the name of Metapad. It's only 70k, and its block-indenting options are perfect for coding. Best of all, it's free. You can get it at: http://welcome.to/metapad/ <%lt%>/plug<%gt%>
» Level Intermediate

Added: 2001-07-17
Rating: 8 Votes: 176
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