ActiveText: A Method for Creating Dynamic and Interctive Texts

UIST 99 Conference Proceedings



This paper describes ActiveText, a method for creating dynamic and interactive texts. ActiveText uses an object-based hierarchy to represent texts. This hierarchy makes it easy to work with the ASCII component and pixel component of the text at the same time. Static, dynamic and interactive properties of text can be easily intermixed and layered. The user can enter and edit text, adjust static and dynamic layout, apply dynamic and interactive behaviors, and adjust their parameters with a common set of tools and a common interface. Support for continuous editing allows the user to sketch dynamically. A prototype application called It's Alive! has been implemented to explore the ActiveText functionality. The documents produced by It's Alive! can be of use in a wide-range of areas, including chat-spaces, email, web-sites, fiction and poetry writing, and low-end film & video titling.


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