By: Jack Hoxley
Written: May 2000
Download: DD_Text.Zip (10kb)
This section goes hand-in-hand
with the primatives section; they both involve drawing graphics without any
pre-drawn textures or pictures. This is a very simple method, but extremely
Step 1: Setting the Font attributes
This is the most important part
of drawing text on the screen, you must set the font that is to be used and
any other options (such as Bold, Italic and Underline).
You use a built in class that holds all the information, you then pass the name
of this class to directX and it will apply it to the surface for when you draw
As New StdFont 'Note the use of "New" - This is
backbuffer.SetForeColor RGB(0, 0, 200)
FontInfo.Bold = True
FontInfo.Size = 20
FontInfo.Name = "Verdana"
The StdFont variable is similiar
to the surface descriptions that are used when creating descriptions. You fill
them out with all the details and apply it to the surface.
The SetForeColor method was used in the Primatives tutorial - if you
haven't looked at that I suggest that you do. The SetFontTransparency value
can be useful at times, but by default it's better not to use it. If it is enabled,
every letter is square shaped with the letter drawn in the middle of it - looks
very ugly (like a really, really old computer), but i'm sure that there's a
use for it somewhere... Should you want to use it though, you can set the colour
of the background using SetFontBackColor.
A note on the choice of fonts.
The fonts that are used are true-type fonts from the windows\fonts\ folder.
If you use an "exotic" font - ie, not one that everyone has, you'll
need to supply it with your application when you distribute it. If the font
is not available on the computer when the application is run directdraw will
use the default system font.
Step 2: Drawing some text
Okay, you can now set up the
attributes for some text, now you'll need to draw it to the screen. This is
an extremely simple thing to do, just use this line:
Surface.DrawText(x As Long,
y As Long, text As String, b As Boolean)
The X and Y parameters
are fairly easy - they indicate the top-left of the text. The text paremeter
can either be a precompiled string or can be normal text entered "Inside
quotation marks". the b value tells Directdraw to append this text
to the previous text. If the X and Y values are 0 and b
is set to true directdraw will add the text to the end of what was last drawn
to the screen.
Variable is: " & SomeVariable, false)
Above is the best way of drawing
text to the screen, although you don't need the Call....(...) parts they seem
to stop some errors with variable declaration.
That is all there is to drawing
text on the screen, you can download a project demonstrating (in code) how
to draw text from the downloads page, or the
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