Writing a Processing Sketch to Print Text to the Screen

In order to display text in a processing applet or sketch, one needs to first create a font to use with your sketch. Select

Tools > Create Font...

from the menu.

The dialogue box shown below will appear (Mac OS X version of IDE) select the font and font size and specify the name of the font file to create and use with your Processing sketch. I use the default characters and the smooth option too.

In my example, the font is saved as Helvetica-48.vlw. Now you are ready to create a sketch that displays text to the screen. The following code is a simple sketch that writes “Lorem ipsum” to the screen in black in a gray box. It shows the basic steps necessary to accomplish any simple text display (read the comments).

PFont myFont; 
String myText = "Lorem ipsum"; 

void setup() 
size(400,200); // size of output window in pxels (width, height)
background(100); // grayscale, 255 is white 0 is black 
myFont = loadFont("Helvetica-48.vlw"); // create a font object 
// using a specified font
textFont(myFont, 48); // the first argument is the font to use 
// the second argument is the font size 
noLoop(); // no loop; only executs the draw function once 

void draw() 
fill (0); // specify the font color in grayscale, 255 is white and 
// 0 is black
text(myText,30,110); // the first argument is a string specifying 
// the text to display
// the second and third arguments are the x and y positions in pixels 
// from top left to bottom right specifying where to start typing 

That’s it. Hopefully this simple example has taught you the basics and gets you started writing text to the screen with Processing.

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