First of all, you may wish to set up a background on which your cool text will be drawn. In Magic Mode, there are two main options for the background:
- a coloured or transparent rectangle,
- or an image from your computer, e. g. a photo.
If you would like to draw the text on a rectangle, set its width and height, or turn on "Auto fit" option instead to have the dimensions determined automatically based on the width and height of your text. Please note that this option may be not absolutely precise in some cases, so there could appear a certain margin, especially when Magic Effects are applied to the text (Step 7).
After setting up the dimensions, select a color for the background or turn on "Transparent" option to use a transparent box. When setting a color, you can either enter a 6-digit color value into the color input field or use the color picker, first choosing a color hue point with a crosshair cursor, then setting desired brightness value with a slider on the right side of the color picker. This technique applies to all color-related input fields of the application, either in Magic Mode or Simple Mode.
If you wish to place your fancy text onto an image from your computer, leave the background color setting unchanged and click the button located to the right from the text "OR custom background image". A dialog box will appear, so you can browse to the necessary folder on your computer and select the desired background image file there. Accepted file formats for are PNG, JPG and GIF. After you have chosen the file and closed the dialog box, the file's name will appear on the form. When you don't need the background file anymore, click the red "X" sign to the left from the file name to remove the background file. You should also remove it prior to selecting another file as background.
If you turn on the "Use this image as texture" option, the background image will be repeated multiple times in both directions, and values from "Width" and "Height" input fields will be used for the overall width and height of the resulting image in this case. If you leave this option turned off, the original dimensions of the image from your computer will be used for the resulting image of your cool text.
This is the simplest step (or probably the most difficult, in terms of choosing the right words?). Simply enter the text that you wish to turn into fancy text.
Choose a font that fits your needs best from a drop-down box labeled "Font name". Every font's name in this box is written using the font itself, so that you could immediately take note of the font's appearance. You can see small images instead of letters for some fonts in the drop-down list – these are the so-called "dingbats" fonts. The proper name of such a font is indicated as a tooltip for the corresponding item in the drop-down box.
To the right from this box there's a color picker where you can set the color of the text.
The four buttons below the font selection box are font style and font decoration options. The "Bold" and "Italic" buttons may be disabled for many fonts, as there are no appropriate font variants for these options. On the same line with the four buttons there's another drop-down box which controls the size of the font.
The next line contains a slider to set width of a text outline, and a color picker for the outline. By default the slider is set to 0 pixels, which means no coloured outline at all. The maximum for this setting is 20 pixels, but in most practical cases you probably won't need a value more than 5 pixels for the outline. Please note that setting a non-zero outline could cause unexpected effects for some "unconventional" fonts, but you might like those effects, so feel free to experiment!
The last option in this step, "Image to be used as texture", is provided for the case when you would like to use an image from your computer as texture for the text. It is similar to the custom background image with "Use this image as texture" checkbox turned on (as described in Step 1), the difference is that here in Step 3 the image file from your computer is used as texture for the text itself, not for the background.
After finishing this step you may wish to see the intermediate result of the three completed steps. To do that, click "Generate!" button at the bottom of the form. The resulting image with your text will appear to the right from the form.
Assuming that you have clicked "Generate!" button to obtain the intermediate result at the end of the previous step, you can drag-and-drop your text over the background image. If you to indend to use cool text effects in the next steps, such as shadows and/or Magic Effects, it is recommended that you set an approximate position here in Step 4, and "fine-tune" this position only after applying all the desired effects (Step 8).
Another aspect of positioning is rotation. If you want your text to turn clockwise, move the "Rotation" slider to the right from its default (zero) position, or enter a positive value of the desired angle of rotation into an input field near the slider. If you want your text to turn counter-clockwise, move the "Rotation" slider to the left from the zero position, or enter a negative value of the angle.
Here you can change your text's shape to an arc, or a circle, or a spiral. If you don't need this, just proceed to the next step, leaving the "Shape" setting at "Normal". If you choose "Arc Up" or "Arc Down" , an additional slider will appear, allowing you to set a specific angle for the arc. If you choose "Spiral", the slider will be labeled "Initial angle" and will determine the initial angle of the text's rotation before the shape transformation is applied. This angle will affect the shape of the resulting spiral.
If you want your fancy text to have a shadow, select one of the shadow types from the "Shadow type" drop-down list. The possible values are: "Fuzzy", "Sharp", "Soft" and "Fully customized". When you select one of these values, additional controls will appear on the form, allowing you to adjust the shadow's look.
For the first three shadow types, a color picker and two input fields will appear. The color picker has the usual purpose to set the color – the shadow's color in this case. The values in "Horizontal offset" and "Vertical offset" input fields determine the location of the shadow, relative to the text itself. Both values are in pixels and can be negative.
The "Fully customized" shadow type gives you full control over the shadow's appearance. In addition to the offsets and color, you can also adjust opacity and fuzziness level of the shadow, using two additional sliders that will appear on the form when you select this type. Opacity parameter controls the level of the shadow's transparency, and can range from zero (fully transparent, invisible shadow which practical value is doubtful) to 100 (no tranparency, fully opaque shadow). Fuzziness level can vary from zero (no fuzziness, very sharp shadow) to 4 (maximum fuzziness).
Here it comes to magic! A Magic Effect is simply a selected item from the drop-down list, but it can make your text look really cool! For the moment, two such effects are available: "Neon Glow" and "Metallic Text", both were used to design the header of this site. Here are some tips regarding these effects:
- "Neon Glow" looks best when it is applied to a bright-coloured text on a dark background, as it is in the main menu of our site. Furthermore, you can make your text resemble a neon sign even closer by adding a fuzzy and less bright shadow in the previous step ("Fuzzy" option or "Fully customized" with fuzziness level set to 1.5 or more).
- "Metallic Text" provides best results for large font sizes (48 pt and more) and for those fonts which lines are thick enough. If a font contains thin lines and elements, they may get distorted or completely lost in some cases.
Adding shadows and Magic Effects may significantly affect the initial position of your cool text, so you may wish to "fine-tune" the position after applying all the desired effects. You can do this, as in Step 4, via drag-and-drop.
Each time you change any parameters on the form, you can click "Generate!" button afterwards to assess the current result. When you consider the result final, you can download the generated fancy text image via a download link above the image. Prior to downloading, choose the desired file type from the drop-down list in the "Result" section of the form. The best image quality in most cases is provided by PNG format, that's why it's the default setting.