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Useful SDL_Library for download- Text Formating and rendering

3 posts in this topic

Hello! This is my first post here, hi all!
I was in need of a basic text formater for my project. So I searched the internet. I stumbled upon this post:
Sadly, there was no solution for a pure SDL text formating. The solution offered involved the use of OpenGL:

So I made my own library for text formatting.

What it does? It takes as an argument, among other things, a SDL_rect and renders text in that rect.
The text is left aligned. It's quite a raw thing but it works ( it works only with 32bit surfaces). Also, acts as a basic text formatter, removing all spaces if they are at the begining of a line and all but one space if it is between words.
Here's the declaration:

bool TR_render_text(char * font,char * file,SDL_Color font_color,int font_size, SDL_Rect * rect,SDL_Surface * screen, SDL_Surface * destination)

font-font to be loaded. it uses SDL_ttf library
file-text file to be rendered
Color-color of the text
font_size-desired font size
rect-rendering box
screen-this is your main screen SDL_surface(the one you obtained with SDL_SetVideoMode
destination-sdl_surface where you want your text rendered(you can also put screen here). This surface should be create with SDL_CreateRGBSurface like so:
destination=SDL_CreateRGBSurface(SDL_HWSURFACE, screen->w,screen->h,32,screen->format->Rmask,screen->format->Gmask, screen->format->Bmask, screen->format->Amask);

Here's a screenshot of the TR_render_text in action.

Known bugs(so far):
-if the width of the rect is smaller than the actual size of the largest word(rendered word that is) program crashes
-not a bug per se but I noticed that SDL_ttf does not render well some characters, namely an apostroph with a ASCII code 0x92

Also to use this library you will have to install both SDL and SDL_ttf libraries.

If you don't know how to install a library check out Lazy foo tutorial here:

Let me know how it works for you! Edited by guadrians

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Congratulations on distributing your library!

Unfortunately, it shouldn't be used because it has some glaring issues:
1. The [tt]font[/tt] parameter is a [tt]char*[/tt]. Does this mean the font is loaded (and hopefully unloaded!) after every call? A game cannot afford load and unload fonts every frame. What if I wanted to render the different text with the same font? Is the font loaded twice? (And do you free the surfaces allocated by SDL_TTF after rendering?)
2. The function expects a file. Does this mean that the text file is loaded after every call? What if I just have a string I want to render? Would I need to write it to a file and then pass that filename to the function?
3. There are two [tt]SDL_Surface*[/tt] parameters to render to. Which one do I use? Why should the function care whether or not it is drawing to the screen or the surface I created for it?

Possible solutions:
1. Change the font parameter from a string to a TTF font. In order to have minimal impact on performance, all resource loading should be handled separately of rendering and by a more appropriate manager -- let the user manage the resources.
2. Change the filename parameter to a plain string. Let the user worry about loading the text from disk. By doing so, you stop thrasing the harddrive by constantly writing/loading text to and fro.
3. Remove the screen parameter, just write to the [tt]destination[/tt] parameter. Is there really any difference between writing to the screen and a surface created by a user?

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It's a quick and dirty library which gets the job done for my project and I thought of sharing it...True, it could use with some improvements, but I ain't going to spend any more time on it now.Maybe in future. I focused on my specific needs instead of a more larger view so that's way the issues you highlighted above are present.
1.This is correct, a font is better than char*. Maybe I'll change it.
2.This issue has two faces really. I mean, yeah, to render a string could be useful. Probably will change that too.
3.I need the screen surface to pass parameters to SDL_CreateRGBSurface function. And was useful for debugging.

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