COM 205 Multimedia Applications St. Joseph’s College Fall 2004

COM 205
Multimedia Applications
St. Joseph’s College
Fall 2004
Chapter 4
• Importance of text in a multimedia
• Understanding fonts and typefaces.
• Using text elements in a multimedia
• Computers and text.
• Font editing and design tools.
• Multimedia and hypertext.
Text in History
• Text came into use about 6,000
years ago
Revolution in Communication
• Using symbols for communication
relatively recent - 6,0000 years old
• 15th Century- Johann Gutenburg
printing press revolutionized
• Recently - another revolution - the
World Wide Web and its native
language - HTML
The Power of Meaning and the
Importance of Text
•Words must be chosen carefully
•Words appear in:
Navigational aids
•Test the words you plan to use
•Keep a thesaurus handy
Using Text in Multimedia
Type terminology
Fonts and Faces
• A typeface is a family of graphic characters
that includes many type sizes and styles
(such as Times, Arial, Helvetica)
• A font is a collection of characters of a
single size and style belonging to a
typeface family (such as bold, italic)
• Font sizes are in points 1 point = 1/72 inch
(measured from top to bottom of descenders in capital letter)
• X-height is the height of the lower case
letter x
Character Metrics
Factors affecting legibility of text
– Size.
– Background and foreground color.
– Style.
– Leading (pronounced “ledding”).
• Examples of styles are boldface and italic
Leading and Kerning
Computers can
• adjust the line spacing (called
• the space between pairs of letters,
called kerning
Fonts and Faces
• PostScript, TrueType and Master
fonts can be altered
• Bitmapped fonts cannot be altered
• The computer draws or rasterizes a
letter on the screen with pixels or
• When type was set by hand, the type
for a font was kept in a drawer or case,
• The upper drawer held the capital
letters, and the lower drawer held the
smaller letters
• From this we get the terms uppercase
and lowercase
Case Sensitive
• Password, and paths in a URL are case
sensitive ( that is “home” is different from
• It is easier to read words that have a
mixture of upper and lower case letters
rather than all upper case
• Computer terms use an intercap for
readability as in PageMaker, or LastName
Serif and Sans Serif
• Type either has a little decoration at
the end of the letter - called a serif
• or it doesn’t - sans serif ( “sans”
from the French meaning without)
• Examples
( Times - serif “T” )
( Arial - sans serif “T”)
• Use what is appropriate to convey
your message
Using Text In Multimedia
• WYSIWYG - What you see is what
you get!
• Aim for a balance between too much
text and too little
• Make web pages no more than
1 to 2 screenfuls of text
• Bring the user to the destination with
as few actions as possible
Text Font Design Tips
• Use the most legible font available
• Use as few different faces as possible ( too
many called “ransom-note” typography
• Use bold and italics to convey meaning
• Adjust line spacing ( leading)
• Adjust the spacing between letters in
headings to remove gaps
• Use colors and background to make type
stand out
• Use meaningful word for links and menus
More Text Font Design Tips
• Anti-aliasing or dithering blends colors
along the edges of letters to create gentle
• Experiment with shadows
• Surround headlines with white space
• Try attention grabbing effect with color,
word art or large drop letters at the
beginning of text
Menus For Navigation
• A Multimedia project or web site
should include:
– content or information
– navigation tools such as menus, mouse
clicks, key presses or touch screen
– some indication or map of where the
user is in the presentation
Buttons for Interaction
• Buttons are objects that make things
happen when they are clicked
• Use common button shapes and
• Label them clearly
Fields for Reading
• Reading from a computer screen is
slower than from a book
• People blink 3-5 times/minute, using
a computer and 20-25 times/minute
reading a book
• This reduced eye movement causes
fatigue, dryness
• Try to present only a few paragraphs
per page
Portrait vs. Landscape
• Monitor use wider-than-tall aspect
ratios called landscape
• Most books use taller-than- wide
orientation, called portrait
• Don’t try to shrink a full page onto a
HTML Documents
• Standard document format on the web is
called Hypertext Markup Language (
• Originally designed for text not multimedia
- now being redesigned as Dynamic HTML
( DHTML), which uses CSS (Cascading
Style sheets) and permits defining text
• Specify typefaces, sizes colors and
properties by “marking up” the text with
tags (such as <B>, </B>)
HTML Documents
• The Font tag is used to specify the
font to be displayed (if present)
• <font face = “Verdana, Arial, Times”>
• If those fonts are not on the system,
the default is used ( see p. 55-57 for
common fonts)
Symbols and Icons
• Symbols act like “visual words” to
convey meaning, (called icons)
– MAC - trash can
– Windows - hourglass
• Icons and sound are more easily
remembered than words
• It is useful to label icons for clarity
• See “smileys” in textbook (p. 61)
Animating Text
• To grab a viewer’s attention:
– let text “fly” onto screen
– rotate or spin text, etc.
• Use special effects sparingly or they
become boring
Computers and Text
• Mac standard - 72 pixels/ inch
• PC - VGA - 96 pixels/inch
• Screen ( 640 pixels across x 480
down, called 640 x480 resolution)
• Today much higher resolution
Fonts “Wars”
• Apple - Adobe PostScript page description
font language
– describes an image in terms of
mathematical constructs (Bezier curves)
– Can be scaled larger or smaller
– Currently > 6,000 typefaces available
• Apple & Microsoft created TrueType
Computers and Text
Allow text to be drawn at any size without
“jaggies”, by anti-aliasing the edges of the
Fonts and Characters
• Fonts smaller than 12 point are not
very legible on a monitor
• Never assume the fonts installed on your
computer are on all computers
• Stay with TrueType fonts ordinarily
• ASCII character set - most common
• Extended Character set - used for HTML
• UNICODE –supports characters for all
known languages
• Developed in 1989 for multilingual text
• Contains 65,000 characters form all known
languages and alphabets
• Where several languages share a set of
symbols, they are grouped into a
collection called scripts ( eg. Latin,
Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Tibetan, etc.)
• Shared symbols are unified into
collections called scripts
Mathematical symbols
Arrows, blocks and drawing shapes
Technical symbols
Mapping Text Across Platforms
• Viewing a presentation on either
MAC and PC reveals differences
• Fonts must be mapped from one
machine to another
• If same font doesn’t exist on the
other machine, one is substituted
( called font substitution)
• To avoid this, convert to bitmaps
Representing Languages
• Some contain different symbols
• Others represent an entire concept
with a single symbol (as in some
Asian languages)
• Translating into another language is
called localization
Font Editing and Design Tools
• Allow you to create your own fonts
– ResEdit for MAC
– Fontographer (from Macromedia) caan
be used to create Postscript, TrueType
and bitmapped fonts for MAC, PB, SUN
includes a freehand drawing tool
– 3D programs, such as COOL 3D and
HotTEXT, create special effects
– See text for descriptions
Font Editing and Design Tools
– Fontographer (from Macromedia)
Editing and Design Tools
Hypermedia and Hypertext
• Hyper media provides a structure of links
• Hypertext words are linked to other
• Hypertext is usually searchable by
software robots
Hypermedia and Hypertext
• Multimedia - combines text, graphics
and audio
• Interactive multimedia - gives user
control over what and when content
is viewed (non-linear)
• Hypermedia -provides a structure of
linked elements through which user
navigates and interacts
Hypermedia Structures
 Hypermedia elements are called
 Nodes are connected using links
 A linked point is called an anchor
Hypermedia Structures
• Link - connections between
conceptual elements (navigation
pathways and menus)
• Node - contains text, graphics sounds
• Anchor - the reference from one
document to another document,
image, sound or file on the web
• Link anchor - where you came from
Hypermedia and Hypertext
• Doug Englebart - inventor of mouse
• 1965 Ted Nelson coined the word
• Computer-based hypertext systems
will fundamentally alter the way
humans think, approach literature
and the expression of ideas
• Hotlinks - lead user from one
reference to another
Using Hypertext
• Searching for words
– boolean search using AND, OR, NOT
– truncation - using only part of word,
such as geo might yield result with
geology, geography, George, etc.
• Search engines employ “robots” to
visit web pages and create indexes.
Hypertext Tools
• Building or authoring
– builder creates links, identifies nodes,
generates an index of words
• Reading
– both linear and increasingly non-linear
• Becoming more comfortable with
non-linear hypertext systems will
change the way we think….