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Tag Info
Tag Number: 
Tag Type: 
Tag Flash Version: 
Unknown SWF Tag: 
This tag is defined by the Flash documentation by Adobe
Brief Description: 

An edit text enables the end users to enter text in a Flash window.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_defineedittext {
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 37 */
	unsigned short		f_edit_id;
	swf_rect		f_rect;
	unsigned		f_edit_has_text : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_word_wrap : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_multiline : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_password : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_readonly : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_has_color : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_has_max_length : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_has_font : 1;
	if(version >= 6) {
		unsigned		f_edit_reserved : 1;
		unsigned		f_edit_auto_size : 1;
	else {
		unsigned		f_edit_reserved : 2;
	unsigned		f_edit_has_layout : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_no_select : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_border : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_reserved : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_html : 1;
	unsigned		f_edit_use_outlines : 1;
	if(f_edit_has_font) {
		unsigned short		f_edit_font_id_ref;
		unsigned short		f_edit_font_height;
	if(f_edit_has_color) {
		swf_rgba		f_edit_color;
	if(f_edit_has_max_length) {
		unsigned short		f_edit_max_length;
	if(f_edit_has_layout) {
		unsigned char		f_edit_align;
		unsigned short		f_edit_left_margin;
		unsigned short		f_edit_right_margin;
		signed short		f_edit_indent;
		signed short		f_edit_leading;
	string			f_edit_variable_name;
	if(f_edit_has_text) {
		string			f_edit_initial_text;

Additional interactivity has been added in V4.0 of the SWF format. This is given by the use of edit boxes offering the end users a way to enter text as if the SWF movie was in fact an interactive form.

The text is defined in a variable (accessible in action scripts). It can be dynamically assigned and retrieved. It is legal to have an empty string as the variable name (not dynamically accessible).

Since version 8, the text drawn by a DefineEditText tag can be tweaked by adding a CSMTextSettings tag.

The f_edit_word_wrap flag will be set to true (1) in order to have words going beyond the right side of the box appear on the next line instead. This only works if you have the f_edit_multiline flag set to true.

The f_edit_multiline flag can be used to create an edit text field that accepts new lines and can wrap lines on word boundaries (see f_edit_word_wrap).

The f_edit_readonly flag ensures that the end user cannot modify the text in the edit box (i.e. dynamic box used for display only.)

The f_edit_has_color & f_edit_color are used to indicate the color of the text. Note that it is possible to ask for a border and a background to be drawn (see the f_edit_border flag below) but these items colors cannot be defined.

The f_edit_has_max_length & f_edit_max_length can be used to ensure the user can't type more than a certain number of letters and digits.

The f_edit_password flag is used to visually transform the typed characters to asterisks. The edit text field variable has the characters as typed, obviously. You do not have control over the character used to hide the text.

The f_edit_border is used to not only draw a border, but also have a white background. Make sure you don't select a light color for your font or you won't see any text in this case. The color of the border is likely to be black. If you want to have better control of these colors you will have to draw your own background and borders with a DefineShape tag.

The f_edit_auto_size flag requests the player to automatically resize the object to the text. Thus, you do not need to know the size of the text at the time you create an edit text, plus different fonts from different platforms will always fit the edit text (but maybe not the screen...).

The f_edit_use_outlines flag will be used to tell whether the specified SWF internal font should be used. When not set, a default font is chosen by the player. Internal fonts need to include a mapping with all the characters expected to be used so it can be rendered properly. The mapping must correspond to the UCS-2 encoding to be valid. When using 8 bits, the ISO-8859-1 font encoding must be used.

The f_edit_align can be set to the following values:

Alignment Value
Left 0x00
Right 0x01
Center 0x02
Justify(1) 0x03

(1) justification doesn't seem to work yet.

The f_edit_indent is the first line indentation in a multiline box of text. This is added to the left margin. The f_edit_leading is the number of extra pixels to skip to reach the following line. It should be put to zero to have the default font leading value.

The f_edit_left/right_margin indicate how many TWIPS to not use on the sides. If you don't use a border, these are rather useless.

The f_edit_html flag, when set, means the contents of this edit text box is basic HTML. The following table shows you the tags that the Macromedia plugin understands.

Tag Accepted Attributes Comments
Open Close
<A> </A>
[ TARGET=name ]
Defines an hyperlink
<B> </B> none Write in bold
<BR> n.a. none Inserts a line break
[ FACE=name ]
[ SIZE=[+|-][0-9]+ ]
Change the font face. The face name must match a DefineFont2 name. The size is in TWIPS. The color only supports #RRGGBB triplets.
<I> </I> none Write in italic
<LI> </LI> none Defines a list item
<P> </P>
[ ALIGN=left|right|center ]
Defines a paragraph
<TAB> n.a. none Inserts a tab character (see TEXTFORMATalso)
[ BLOCKINDENT=[0-9]+ ]
[ INDENT=[0-9]+ ]
[ LEADING=[0-9]+ ]
[ LEFTMARGIN=[0-9]+ ]
[ RIGHTMARGIN=[0-9]+ ]
[ TABSTOPS=[0-9]+{,[0-9]+} ]
Change the different parameters as indicated. The sizes are all in TWIPs. There can be multiple positions for the tab stops. These are separated by commas.
<U> </U> none Write with an underline

For more information about HTML, please, refer to a full HTML documentation. You can find the complete specification at It was written by the MIT, INRIA and Keio and that's very well written! Remember that the DefineEditText HTML is limited to what is listed here.


There are several problems with the use of system fonts.

  1. When the named system font does not exist on a system, nothing appears... Note that Helvetica is not generally available on most Linux systems.
  2. A text with a system font cannot be rotated.
  3. System fonts do not support an alpha channel.
  4. The size used to render a system font is much more restricted than a Flash font.
  5. The size used for a system font is not in TWIPS (if I'm correct, it is in points instead.)