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Expression Controls options for Source Text property of text layer

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Jeff Kay
Expression Controls options for Source Text property of text layer
on Jan 9, 2019 at 3:10:43 pm

As best I can tell all of the various property for a text element are contained in the Source Text property. This includes not only font, face, type, alignment, color, etc, but also the copy.

Is there anything documentation of how expressions work within this property or examples of syntax? Its too late for this current project and I'll have to change each text element manually, but I'd like to be able to control the font type (possibly other font values) from a master control composition which holds global values referenced by every comp (mostly colors).


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Expression Controls options for Source Text property of text layer
on Jan 9, 2019 at 3:43:04 pm
Last Edited By Kalleheikki Kannisto on Jan 9, 2019 at 3:44:57 pm

SourceText really just hold the string of characters without any formatting. You can't access any of the character properties with expressions, you'll have to settle with what is possible via text animators and expression selector. Character palette items like font, tracking, kerning, etc. are not accessible, neither are paragraph palette items like alignment. You can simulate some of these things with text animators, but it's a bit limited, and somewhat complicated.

In other words, sourceText is used for string operations, such as counting characters, splitting, concatenating and changing the text content itself.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Jeff Kay
Re: Expression Controls options for Source Text property of text layer
on Jan 9, 2019 at 5:00:18 pm
Last Edited By Jeff Kay on Jan 9, 2019 at 5:00:56 pm

I could have sworn that at one point I linked a text layer to another text layer and it changed color/font/stroke and all that jazz in the linked layer, but as you said Source Text does indeed seem to be copy only.

Considering how much can be controlled globally with expressions, lacking the ability to do with with text is rather frustrating.

Thank you though, for your help.


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Expression Controls options for Source Text property of text layer
on Jan 10, 2019 at 7:38:02 pm

If that happened, the probable explanation is that AE used the last character settings that you had used when you created the new text frame, so the font, color. etc. were already set in the text box, so it appeared to duplicate those settings when it really just added the text content.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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