With ProShow Version 8 came the Text Box. All captions and text layers now can specify the width and height of the region where text can appear. This is useful in limiting where the text can occur. Previously, you, the user, had to manually add hard returns and font to force the proper placement of the text (caption or text layer). Now, you can position the region in which you want the text to appear. You can specify its height and its width. With ProShow settings, as the amount of text changes, the font size can adjust too. Also, it will automatically adjust the word wrapping for that text so it will stay within the text region.

This isn’t a tutorial what you need to do to manipulate the text region. It’s a bit more than that. I’ll be making the assumption you can turn on or off the ability to change the dimensions of text box region. When you activate the text box size feature, the numbers you see represent width and height of that text box in terms of size relative to the slide frame. This can be important to know. So, let’s define that for use later. If you divide the layer’s width by its height you have found the Layer_Ratio. This same approach is used for the frame. The frame’s width divided by the height is the Show_Ratio.

Captions or the text on a text layer is provided without a background feature. Sometimes you need to provide a some kind of background to provide the necessary contrast to enable proper reading of the text. Sometimes it’s a graphic and sometimes it’s a solid or gradient layer. These items often have a specific aspect which is determined by their horizontal and vertical dimensions. They are then sized as appropriate to their specific use requirements. The implementation Photodex has provided has you doing manual adjustments to size the text box to fit that graphic or solid/gradient layer.

Sometimes, it would be helpful to know the specifics of that layer’s aspect and size to properly size the text box. For those of us where control over our resources can be extremely critical in effectively creating the right appearance of our material, this can be very useful knowledge.

So, let’s say you are using a 3:2 aspect graphic layer that was imported into ProShow using the scale of Fill Frame. The layer’s ratio is 3/2 = 1.5 (Layer_Ratio). If the frame has an aspect of 16:9, its ratio is 16/9=1.778 (Show_Ratio). The entire layer is available for use as a backdrop to the text on a text layer. If you size the layer to a zoom of 35, your 3:2 layer’s width is 35 and it’s height is 41.48.  Since imported layer has a ratio that is smaller than a 16:9 frame aspect, we know that the layer’s width is the same as its zoom setting. It’s a bit different for the height since a 3:2 aspect layer is definitely different than 16:9. So, keep that in mind for later.

Ok. To find the height, do the following: divide the width by the Layer_Ratio and then multiply it by the Show_Ratio. So, (35/1.5)*1.778 = 41.48. Multiplying by the Show_Ratio adjusts the result to the frame’s aspect. So now, you get a screen adjusted answer. Your text box can have a size of 35 by 41.48.

Now, let’s switch to the finding the width for a given height. If the given layer’s height is 32 then the following is done. It’s kind of the reverse of what we just did. In this case, we multiply the height by the layer ratio and then divide by the show ratio. So, (35*1.5)/1.778 = 27.

This is all simple ratio stuff. Let’s make the following substitutions: Let W=layer width, H=Layer Height, L=Layer Ratio, and S=Show Ratio.

• To find a layer’s Height: H = W*S/L
• To find a layer’s Width: W = H*L/S

That’s all there is to it .. for the basics of it all. I mention this because this is the simplest way to convert percents into useful ratio values that allow resizing the text box to specific aspects. I used the idea of providing a layer for the caption backdrop but that’s not always necessary or appropriate. The given relationships allow you precise control over your caption resources as necessary.

Have fun!



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