New And Updated TLF Samples

New and updated samples are posted:

These samples include the complete source to the TextLayout editor that was posted in on Adobe labs over one year ago. The editor and samples are all updated to the latest TLF version.

The samples include instructions for building them.

TLF Showcase: Readefine

Anirudh Sasikumar of the Adobe Flex Evangelism team created an amazing app called “Readefine” that demonstrates the power of the Text Layout Framework. Readefine imports any HTML, RSS feed, or plain text data and displays it as organized multi-column TLF text adjusted for readability.

URL here:

Be sure to check it out. Great work, Anirudh!

TLF Markup Overview


The goal of this post is to give some information on TLF Markup. There is no DTD or other schema available at this time.

TLF Markup is converted to and from TextFlows using the TextConverter class. See the examples.

The attributes for TLF Markup are documented online and in the TextLayoutFormat class page bundled with the Flex 4 documentation. Get the documentation appropriate to the build you downloaded gumbo from here. Select the download from the “Language Reference Download” column.


The elements in TLF markup are all in the flashx.textLayout.elements package. This table maps elements to TLF classes and lists their allowed children.

XML Tag AS3 Class Allowed Children Elements/Notes
TextFlow TextFlow div, p, tcy, a, img, span, br, tab, format, linkNormalFormat, linkHoverFormat, linkActiveFormat, and raw text
div DivElement div, p, tcy, a, img, span, br, tab, linkNormalFormat, linkHoverFormat, linkActiveFormat, and raw text
p ParagraphElement tcy, a, img, span, br, tab, linkNormalFormat, linkHoverFormat, linkActiveFormat, and raw text
a LinkElement tcy, img, span, br, tab, linkNormalFormat, linkHoverFormat, linkActiveFormat, and raw text
linkNormalFormat TextLayoutFormat attributes overrides for link in normal state.
linkActiveFormat TextLayoutFormat attributes overrides for link in active state.
linkHoverFormat TextLayoutFormat attributes overrides for link in hover state.
tcy TCYElement a, img, span, br, tab, linkNormalFormat, linkHoverFormat, linkActiveFormat, and raw text
img InlineGraphicElement none allowed. see docs for additional attributes
span SpanElement br, tab and raw text
br BreakElement none allowed. Is normalized into a newline character by importer.
tab TabElement none allowed. Is normalized into a tab character by importer.

The Text Layout Framework is now Open Source!

Today we’re making the announcement that the Text Layout Framework is being released as open source technology. We’re very excited about opening our hard work to the world and can’t wait to see your feedback and contributions!

We’re releasing the source code and accepting new code as part of the Flex bugbase with a specific TLF tag. More information on the Flex bugbase and contributing to TLF can be found on our new open source web page at:

Find out more on the announcement from the following sources:

Tom Barclay wrote on the Flash Platform blog about TLF and Open Source Media Framework announcement, including highlighting some of the excellent technology already powered by TLF:

Dave McAllister describes the Open@Adobe strategy:

Using TLF with MXML Tutorial on InsideRIA

An excellent tutorial on how to use the Text Layout Framwork with MXML tags was written by Elad Elrom on InsideRIA. This is great info for anyone looking to use TLF in Flex! Check it out here:

Utilizing Flash Text Layout Framework using MXML tags Presentations Text Powered by TLF

Adobe just released a preview of Presentations, a new online service that lets people easily create and collaborate on presentations. The Text Layout Framework is used for all the text objects in the slides. Here is what Norman Stratton of the Presentations team had to say about his experience with TLF:

“The Text Layout Framework saved me a boat load of time and allowed for features I wouldn’t have had time to write using the older text technology. I started writing the text objects using regular TextArea and switched to the Text Layout Framework as soon as it was stable enough, and I could get consensus to switch to Player 10. Switching to the Text Layout Framework let me get rid of over half my old code and made text support much more stable. I can only imagine what I would have had to do to get the same functionality the old way (and I try not to think of it).”

Be sure to check out the preview on Adobe Labs:

The New York Times Reader – Powered by AIR & TLF

Be sure to check out today’s release of the AIR-based New York Times Reader:

The NYT Reader was built using Adobe AIR and the Text Layout Framework. It is one of the most innovative uses of TLF we have seen and we’re proud to have it as the largest showcase of TLF and text in Flash Player 10 to date! It is an excellent demonstration of TLF’s reflowing text, multiple columns/containers, and top notch typography features.

Want a peek inside the development of the Reader application? Check out issue #4 of Adobe XD’s Inspire publication:

Update on Support for Flash Professional

For those wondering why an updated Text Layout Component for Flash Professional CS4 is not being posted with our new weekly builds, here is some info:

We no longer plan on updating the Text Layout Component for Adobe Flash CS4 Professional on Adobe Labs. Instead future versions of Adobe Flash Professional will integrate many of the Text Layout Framework features.

Feel free to comment with any questions on this update!

Weekly TLF Builds Now Available on Adobe Labs

Our Adobe Labs page has been updated to include weekly builds. A new build will be posted every Friday containing the latest and greatest in Text Layout Framework features and bug fixes. See the new download page here.

Some notes on the builds:

  • We encourage you to report bugs and leave feedback on our Adobe Labs Forum. Remember to include which build # you are using!
  • Up to date API Documentation is included in each build.
  • The 3 separate SWCs (core, edit, conversion) have been merged into a single SWC (textlayout.swc). Feedback on this new SWC would be appreciated!
  • The Flash Professional CS4 component is not being released in the weekly builds.
  • An RSS feed is available that can notify you as soon as a new build is posted: Feed Link
  • Release/change notes are provided on both the Labs download page and as part of each build.
  • Up to date ActionScript and Flex example apps are included in each build.

While we will be vetting builds before we post them, please remember that they are development builds. They have not been thoroughly tested and should be regarded as unstable. As these builds are being released separately from Flex Gumbo, they are not guaranteed to integrate correctly with Gumbo.

Enjoy! We look forward to your contributions and feedback in our development process!

InsideRIA on the Flash Text Engine

Veronique Brossier has posted an article on the Flash Text Engine over on InsideRIA. The Text Layout Framework is built on top of the Flash Text Engine. This is an excellent read for anyone interested in text in Flash Player 10!

Check it out here: