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No Underlining of Text? Why?

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David Cherniack
No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 2:51:31 pm

Can someone who is close to Adobe explain what their thinking was on this? (one has to assume they were thinking SOMETING, even if it was in the loony way that some design decisions are made over there)

Graphics elements are fine except they are not part of text animations, while, one would assume, underlined text would be.

David


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Dave LaRonde
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 2:58:12 pm

I'm just curious about this, because I don't know for sure. Can you automatically underline text in Photoshop, Illustrator, or Premiere?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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Steve Roberts
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 3:15:18 pm

Nope, AE doesn't do it. Not sure about the others.

Adobe may have avoided it because underlining is bad form, from a typography perspective. It was necessary when typewriters couldn't do italics (they still can't, come to think of it) and it was apparently a signal to the typesetter to add italics to that text.

So Adobe might have felt it necessary to adhere to typographic conventions: underlining is bad.

I'm jus' sayin'.

And just because Word & Pages do it doesn't make it right. From a typography standpoint:-)

But if the client wants it, you'll probably have to make a stroke from a two-point mask.


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 3:23:36 pm

>>So Adobe might have felt it necessary to adhere to typographic conventions: underlining is bad.

Though I'm sure they had some reason, I doubt this is it...though I could see them trying to explain away the problem with this as the reason :)

My guess?

1. May have had something to do with the difficulties posed by text animation.

2. (More likely) AE text has never had underlining. In the world of Adobe that's a good enough reason not to change things unless users clamour for it.


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Prime Mover
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 29, 2007 at 12:41:54 am

The biggest reason is: there's no reason to.

AE already has tons of ways of drawing lines, stretching them, yatta yatta, either with masks, with "write on" effects, etc. The fact is, yes, underlining is very bad form, but there are ways of using it well in animation, but those ways are typically going to need to be separate from the text itself, in order to work fully. Things like horizontal lines that jut across the screen and under text (I do that quite frequently in spots). You can't do that with simple underlines, so why even bother with them?

You'll notice that there's a lot of simple things that you can't do in AE because AE is designed to be a more robust, involved program to do more complex operation. You can do ANYTHING in AE, but simpler stuff tends to be more complex then it would be in a simpler program. You can make and manipulate underlines just as well, you just have to do it yourself.



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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 29, 2007 at 12:47:47 am

[Prime Mover] "You can make and manipulate underlines just as well, you just have to do it yourself."

Which is exactly what I did, animating a thin rectangular shape. Not the most brilliant of solutions but it works.

David


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 3:17:00 pm

Yes to Premiere, Illustrator, and Photoshop


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Dave LaRonde
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 3:44:29 pm

Hmmmm. Well, then, I think you're right: how do you animate underlined text? None of the other three have to deal with that messy little detail.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 4:04:34 pm

>>I think you're right: how do you animate underlined text? None of the other three have to deal with that messy little detail.

Actually I don't think it's that difficult. I lean towards reason #2. Inertia. You see a lot of old 'mistakes' in Adobe products that they don't bother to fix unless enough people scream at them.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 4:39:46 pm

A mistake? Hardly.

IN STUDIES THAT I HAVE READ OVER THE YEARS, BLOCKS OF ALL CAPS TYPE, AS WELL AS BLOCKS OF UNDERLINED TEXT, ARE HARDER ON THE EYE, SLOWER TO READ AND MAKE FOR A VISUAL MESS ONSCREEN. ANYONE WHO HAS EVER STUDIED TYPOGRAPHY WOULDN'T USE THEM AND IN THE WORLD OF TYPOGRAPHY, THEY ARE SEEN AKIN TO THE WAY THAT PEOPLE WHO JUST GET AN EDITING TOOL WILL USE A BUNCH OF TRANSITIONS, UNTIL, THEY TOO, LEARN THAT TRANSITIONS ARE ALSO BOZO NO-NOS.

Thanks for participating in my object lesson to illustrate the point...

Shane Ross, by the way, has a great blog entry at the COWBlogs on the subject of transitions and their overuse. It is at:

http://blogs.creativecow.net/node/269

In it, he explains the principle of "Just because you can, should you?" When it comes to both glaring transitions and underlined type, most pros would agree that the answer is an emphatic, "No!"

Ron Lindeboom


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 4:49:25 pm

Hi, Ron.

No to disagree with you in general, but:

1. Underlining judiciously has its place, especially in headings.

2. The other major Adobe apps do it.

3. The discussion is about why it's not in AE. Not why it should or shouldn't be done.

4. Why, pray, bring caps into the discussion.

David



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:56:01 pm

[David Cherniack] "1. Underlining judiciously has its place, especially in headings."

Yes, it does. But AE is an animation program and as such, I would opt to think that you can animate an underline (as mentioned elsewhere in this thread) and even use other techniques to accomplish the same thing. Newspapers, magazines, etc., have far more restrictions than does AE.


[David Cherniack] "2. The other major Adobe apps do it."

The other apps are not animation apps. Well, now that Photoshop has the Extended version, you could do it there, couldn't you???


[David Cherniack] "3. The discussion is about why it's not in AE. Not why it should or shouldn't be done."

Gee, I didn't know that you owned the site, David. And I was unaware that throwing ideas into the discussion was verboten. I just checked the policies and code of conduct page and didn't see any such thing...

Also, held to such a ludicrous limitation, this thread would be merely useless supposition and speculation. There would be absolutely NOTHING of substance in it.


[David Cherniack] "4. Why, pray, bring caps into the discussion."

It's called "illustrating a point," and it is something that people do to support ideas.


Lastly, these boards are for FAR MORE than just answering your question(s), David. There are many less experienced users here, as well as many very experienced users.

The boards are here to broaden people's perspectives and understanding of things.

If you want to hold it to a "you can only answer my question or I'll fold my arms across my chest and hold my breath" formula, feel free.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 6:08:53 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "these boards are for FAR MORE than just answering your question(s), David. There are many less experienced users here, as well as many very experienced users.

The boards are here to broaden people's perspectives and understanding of things.

If you want to hold it to a "you can only answer my question or I'll fold my arms across my chest and hold my breath" formula, feel free."


Ron,

None of that was my intent. Sorry if it came off that way. The questions were posed in the friendly spirit of debate.

David


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Todd Kopriva
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 6:04:00 pm

In case you weren't aware of it, here's a link to the feature-request form for After Effects:

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&product=57


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Prime Mover
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 29, 2007 at 12:57:10 am

1. Underlining judiciously has its place, especially in headings.

No to #1. Headings should NEVER be underlined. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make. A good looking document will always resort to using other techniques like using a different font, or larger point size with bold.

- If you want to give the document character, use a fantasy or less traditional font for headings

- If the document is in a serif font (Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.) a great practice is to use a large san-serif font for headings. San-serif fonts are slower to read in big blocks of text, but tend to call attention to themselves more, which is better for headings.

- If it's a in-house business document, just use a larger typeface, or bold, or both.

- Use you're page layout to separate the headers from the body of the text. Indent, or justfy right, if it's appropriate for your design.

- Use graphical elements from your layout. Horizontal Rules (very different from underlines), or half rules, can separate headers from body text and can be worked into the overall format.

Underlines are an almost absolute no-no. The ONLY time you would ever underline things is if you want to point out specific points in the body, and it's a completely informal document (ie: internal business memo).



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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 29, 2007 at 1:03:48 am

What's your feeling about the headings in an informal two column table? - on screen of course. I did try the options you suggest, but in the end I felt that underling the headings worked best. Call me crazy.


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Colby Fulton
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 10:11:17 pm

Your example is not effective, while mine is.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:08:24 pm

[David Cherniack] "Actually I don't think it's that difficult. "

Yeah, well, you might be right, but I think it would be a pain in the neck to use, especially with some of AE's text animation presets... okay, maybe not a pain in the neck, but a pain to the eye.

Perhaps the real pain would come when animating the tracking so the spacing between the letters of an underlined word widens. How would you deal with that?

Besides, If I'm going to underline something, I'm going to animate the underline to REALLY call attention to it.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:14:27 pm

>>Besides, If I'm going to underline something, I'm going to animate the underline to REALLY call attention to it.<<

Well now you've hit upon the salient point. I have to learn to animate shapes in the same or complimentary way the text is animating. Maybe I'll just use italics and a larger typeface. Sheesh.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:25:33 pm

[David Cherniack] "Maybe I'll just use italics and a larger typeface. Sheesh."

Aw, don't get upset, this thread is a welcome change from the usual "how to" threads explaining how to make light sabers to high schoolers. It's refershing to talk aesthetics now and again.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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Todd Kopriva
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 4:59:03 pm

This decision to not provide underlining as a built-in character formatting option was made for two reasons:

1) Animating individual characters that are underlined doesn't really work---at least not the way most people would want it to work.

2) Underlining text is usually not used when alternative like italic formatting are available. (In other words, underlined text is generally considered ugly typography.)

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:07:19 pm

>>1) Animating individual characters that are underlined doesn't really work---at least not the way most people would want it to work.

2) Underlining text is usually not used when alternative like italic formatting are available. (In other words, underlined text is generally considered ugly typography.)<<

Thanks Todd, for responding. I can accept reason 1. but as for reason 2:

Sometimes you want 'ugly' to make a stylistic point.

Why do the other Adobe apps allow it? Should After Effects alone stand as a bastion for typographical correctness? Perhaps you guys should get an internal Inquisition going at Adobe and bring the heretics into line :)


David


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mmhmichael
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:31:25 pm

if you want to play around with making animated shapes using the text animators - try making a block of text that is just the | symbol (shift+back-slash key) in a big thick font. kern them extremely close together and you get a nice banner shape. i've animated this along a wavey path to get some nice 'flying banner' type effects. and rolling the scale animator up and down the range of text gives you nice effects as well.


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David Cherniack
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:37:05 pm

Nice creative solution. I'll figure something out that works in the scene.

David


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Steve Roberts
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 28, 2007 at 6:56:47 pm

Excellent solution, one which can be applied to .... ____ ---- and others ...


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Rob Webster
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Aug 29, 2007 at 3:04:36 am

Two times when one may want to underline: 1) Making a citation of a book's title, according to MLA standards guides, and 2) If needing to make a graphical representation of a web page with hyperlinks underlined. While some web pages don't do this and many people disable this in their browsers, to much of the general populace, underlined text means "hyperlink".

There may be other examples, too, but those come immediately to mind. I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be offered in AE; I'm just noting two situations where a bigger font or italics might not be a better option.

-Rob


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Colby Fulton
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:40:47 am

The real reason is that Adobe doesn't care about wasting people's time. Creating a line to underline text takes 10x longer and doesn't move with the text. It's a stupid, thoughtless mistake, much like the haphazard choice of keyshorts across Adobe software. Inconsistent, stupid, lazy choices are made by incompetent Adobe employees everyday, and the lack of underlining is just one more example of this. I spend a lot of money on your programs, and stupid little decisions like this eat up my day and cause a great deal of wasted time... which is very valuable.

Just fix it and stop making excuses.


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Todd Kopriva
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 7:47:23 pm

Colby, if you want to request a feature, you can do so here:
http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

This specific feature has not been in the top 100 features requested in the past several years. We don't want to waste our time doing something that very few people have asked for.

Your characterization of us as lazy and incompetent doesn't agree with my personal experience of the people developing After Effects.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Colby Fulton
Re: No Underlining of Text? Why?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:18:39 pm

I joke, but you guys are doing a great job. Please don't think of your work as a waste of time! Just because something's difficult, doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Accomplishing the worthwhile goal of underlined type would help your team build confidence in yourselves, and contribute to a pattern of success that other Adobe employees might be inspired by. This small gesture may help the entire company come together and resolve, for example, the inconsistent keyboard shortcuts. The team working on Illustrator might be inspired to adopt Command-i to import files. Wouldn't that be something! Then the team over at InDesign might do the same. If both those groups do it, realizing that it makes sense to have consistency among programs that are designed to work together, maybe the team at Flash might realize that Command-r is a stupid keyboard shortcut for importing files and also adopt command-i. It could all begin by proving that the After Effects team aren't just a group of time wasters waiting for people to suggest useful features, and have some initiative. I have confidence in the After Effects team. I've been using your software for 20 years, back when it was created by CoSA. Now those guys really created something special! I know it has been slowly improved over the years, but don't stop now. After all, it could revolutionize the entire Adobe corporation... and possibly, the world.


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