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Specifying fonts

From: Interactive Data Visualization with Processing

Video: Specifying fonts

Up to this point I've shown you how to include shapes and colors into your sketches in Processing. On the other hand, there may be times that you'll actually want to include text. To this point we most have been showing text in the console beneath, but I want to show you how to actually include it in the sketch window itself. I'll start by just putting a little comment here at the top. And what I'm going to do is create a window, 600 x 200; I'm going to give it a black background; then I'm going to type in a string for the text that I want to include.

Specifying fonts

Up to this point I've shown you how to include shapes and colors into your sketches in Processing. On the other hand, there may be times that you'll actually want to include text. To this point we most have been showing text in the console beneath, but I want to show you how to actually include it in the sketch window itself. I'll start by just putting a little comment here at the top. And what I'm going to do is create a window, 600 x 200; I'm going to give it a black background; then I'm going to type in a string for the text that I want to include.

I put string with a capital S, because it is actually an object. Then I give the String variable a name. I'm going to call it wordText. It could be anything you want. And equals and then I put it in double quotes. Strings go in double quotes, char variables go in single quotes. I'll put here "A word is worth 1/1000th of a picture." So that's my text, and I finish with a semicolon. And then all I need to do is position the text, and I use that with the text function.

So, first I need to tell Processing what text it is that I want to position, because I may have more than one string. So I say I'm going to use in a wordText. Then I give it the X and the Y for the baseline of the first line of the text. In this case I'll just do 50 pixels over and I'll put it halfway down, and that is sufficient to put some text in. And what you have here is the default font and size. Now, it may be that there are times when you want to be able to change that stuff, and so I'm going to show you how to do a slightly more elaborate version that allows you to customize the font, the color, the size, as well as some options on placement.

And in fact, what I'm going to do is I'm going to save this one right here as the basic version, and then we will copy that, put it down here, and I'm just going to comment that out so it doesn't run right now. We'll have the elaborate version right beneath. Again, we're going to keep a lot of this stuff the same. I'm going to give this one a different color. I'm actually going to put in a little hex code here 302F2F. Great! And then what I'm going to do is I'm going to choose a font to use.

Now fonts work a little differently in Processing than in other programs you use, so you just kind of pick them and use the GUI dropdown. You actually have to create the font, or rather, you had to create a font file to be used with this. And so what we do is we need to come up here to Tools, and the first choice there is Create Font, and these are the choices that we have on this particular computer. Your choices may be different. So you just select one and you'll get some sample text. So for instance, here is GilSansMT, and I think what I'm going to do is I'm going to make this one not 48 point, but 20 point. Here we go.

And what it is going to do is it is going to create a file called GillSansMT-20.vlw, and that's going to be a font file for Processing. So, I'm going to hit OK, and where that's going to show up is in the Processing data folder. So now, for instance, if I go back to the desktop and I go to the folder for 08_01, you see I now have a data folder. And when I click open that data folder, there's my font file. And actually, I'm going to need that fonts name.

So I'm going to copy all of that with the extension, and I am going to go back to the Processing sketch, because what I am going to do here is I'm now going to create another object, or a composite variable PFont. Please note the capital P, capital F. Again, where Processing is case-specific, these things matter. Now this is going to be a variable. It's actually not--it's like a variable. And what we need to do is I'm declaring the variable and I need to give it a name, and I'm going to give it sampleFont. You can call whatever you want.

You could call it GilSans20. Now using fonts is a several-step process in Processing. You saw for instance that I had to create a font. I've created my PFont object, or composite variable here, but that simply declared it. Now I need to initialize it by loading the font. And so what I do is I put in sampleFont is equal to loadFont, so I'm going to load a font into that, and then I put in quotes the full name of the font with the extension that I got earlier, and that's "GilSansMT-20.vlw." And I think it's always easy is to simply copy and paste these things, so you get all the capitalization and the spacing correct. And it has to be in quotes, in parentheses, and then I finish from the semicolon.

After that I can then specify that I want to use that particular font in my next piece of text, so now I'm calling it. I also want to change the color of the font, and for that you use fill. I'm going to use a hex code FFE224, and then I'm going to place the text itself. The way we do that it's the way we did here early. I'm just going to copy that and bring it back down, and that should be sufficient to show it with a font and the colors. Perfect! So I'm in GilSans. It's in yellow on a dark gray background.

I've changed the size. I want to show you a few other things that you can do at the same time. Let's say I want to have a slightly longer text. I can put it here. I could position it as a separate line, but I can also use the little sneaky Java commands. I can do a blackslash that's right above the Enter key and then an n, and I can put a second line of text. And then let's also say that I want to change the alignment slightly. What I can do then is I can enter the text align function, so textAlign.

Now, textAlign gives you a number of options. You can type in left, which is the default, or center or right. I may just type in left. And the reason I would do that, even though it's the default, is because that's the horizontal line. You can also modify the vertical alignment, but there has to be a second argument, and that one gets to be either centered, top to bottom; or it can be along the baseline, which is the default; or it can be top or bottom. This one, I'm going to do CENTER, and you'll notice that these are in all caps. That's necessary. You can also change the leading, which is like the line spacing.

If I wanted to, I could do that like this. Now I'll put like 50 points in there and I can run that all now. And you see now I have two lines. They're spaced out. They're centered vertically, and this is a way to give you some of the options that you have for working with text in Processing to integrate them--especially useful for labels and axes when you start doing data visualizations. But there is another element to add some information and some interest here on sketches.

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This video is part of

Image for Interactive Data Visualization with Processing
Interactive Data Visualization with Processing

72 video lessons · 13900 viewers

Barton Poulson
Author

 
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  1. 3m 16s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. What you should know
      1m 22s
    3. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 11m 51s
    1. Overview of data visualization
      11m 51s
  3. 11m 53s
    1. Installing Processing
      3m 38s
    2. Overview of Processing
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring libraries
      4m 10s
  4. 1h 1m
    1. Basic setup
      7m 31s
    2. Drawing points
      4m 37s
    3. Drawing lines
      5m 6s
    4. Drawing ellipses and circles
      5m 24s
    5. Drawing arcs
      6m 54s
    6. Drawing rectangles and squares
      4m 58s
    7. Drawing quadrangles
      3m 25s
    8. Drawing triangles
      2m 55s
    9. Drawing polygons
      3m 37s
    10. Drawing simple curves
      4m 54s
    11. Drawing complex curves
      6m 46s
    12. Drawing Bézier curves
      5m 38s
  5. 54m 3s
    1. Introduction to variables
      10m 44s
    2. Understanding variable scope
      6m 53s
    3. Modifying variables
      9m 8s
    4. Creating arrays
      9m 53s
    5. Modifying arrays
      6m 37s
    6. Creating strings
      7m 3s
    7. Modifying strings
      3m 45s
  6. 1h 2m
    1. Incorporating randomness
      7m 59s
    2. Using Perlin noise
      4m 24s
    3. Shuffling with Java
      3m 30s
    4. Specifying line attributes
      8m 2s
    5. Changing placement modes
      5m 45s
    6. Understanding color attributes and functions
      4m 16s
    7. Exploring color spaces
      7m 44s
    8. Using color palettes
      7m 5s
    9. Transforming the grid
      8m 38s
    10. Exploring the attribute matrix
      5m 33s
  7. 52m 7s
    1. Building code blocks
      5m 57s
    2. Writing a while loop
      3m 52s
    3. Using for loops
      5m 35s
    4. Creating conditionals
      14m 50s
    5. Working with easing
      10m 51s
    6. Creating spirals
      11m 2s
  8. 18m 55s
    1. Mouse tracking
      3m 54s
    2. Hovering and clicking
      11m 16s
    3. Understanding keyboard interaction
      3m 45s
  9. 27m 32s
    1. Specifying fonts
      6m 43s
    2. Using images
      5m 51s
    3. Playing a video loop
      6m 20s
    4. Exporting video
      3m 47s
    5. Adding sound
      4m 51s
  10. 20m 49s
    1. Creating functions
      11m 48s
    2. Creating classes and objects
      9m 1s
  11. 31m 10s
    1. Using embedded data
      5m 26s
    2. Working with appended text data
      6m 4s
    3. Working with appended tabular data
      10m 26s
    4. Reading XML data
      9m 14s
  12. 48m 17s
    1. Generating dot plots
      11m 11s
    2. Building scatter plots
      10m 0s
    3. Making line plots
      9m 55s
    4. Creating bar charts
      9m 12s
    5. Checking out examples of maps, hierarchies, and networks
      7m 59s
  13. 20m 57s
    1. Introducing some principles of 2D design
      13m 44s
    2. Understanding color theory
      7m 13s
  14. 24m 46s
    1. Interacting with zooming, rotating, and sliding
      6m 26s
    2. Implementing slicing
      6m 47s
    3. Using rollovers
      5m 58s
    4. Introducing the GUI libraries
      5m 35s
  15. 10m 35s
    1. Sharing via OpenProcessing and other sites
      3m 19s
    2. Saving as a desktop application
      2m 42s
    3. Saving as JavaScript
      1m 47s
    4. Saving as an Android application
      2m 47s
  16. 2m 38s
    1. Where to go from here
      2m 38s

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