Mode: Edit mode (Text)
Panel: Curve and Surface, Font and Char (Editing context, F9)
Menu: Add » Text
Text objects are exactly what they mean, they contain some text. They share the same object type as curves and surfaces, as modern fonts (OpenType, TrueType, etc.) are vectorial, made of curves (generally Béziers).
Blender uses a “Font System” to manage the mapping “letter codes → objects representing them in 3D views”. This implies that not only does the font system have its own built-in font, but it can use external fonts too, including PostScript Type 1, OpenType and TrueType fonts. And last but not least, it can use any objects existing in current .blend file as letters…
Texts in Bender allow you to create/render 2D or 3D texts, shaded as you want, with various advanced layout options (like justifying and frames), as we will see in next page. By default, letters are just flat filled surfaces, exactly as any closed 2D curve. But you can of course extrude them… And texts can follow other curves.
Of course, once you are happy with the shape of your text, you can convert it (with AltC, in Object mode), either to a curve, or directly to a mesh, allowing you to use on it all the powerful features of these objects…
(Text Examples) shows some examples of various fonts in action including the “blue” font that has been applied to a curve path.
A maximum of 50000 characters is allowed per text object, however, be forewarned that the more characters a single text object has, the slower the object will respond interactively.
As you can see when you switch between Object and Edit modes, the Font panel remains the same. This means that its settings can be applied indifferently in both modes… and this implies that you cannot apply them to just a part of the mesh. So font, size, and so on, are common to all letters in a Text object. There is just one exception: the Bold/Italic buttons control properties specific to each letter (this is a way to use up to four different fonts in a text, as we will see in editing page).
For optimum resource usage, only characters that are being used consume memory (rather than the entire character set).
In Edit mode, your text has a black cursor (Text in Edit mode), and as in any text editor, it determines where new chars will be inserted! You move this cursor with the arrow keys (→/↓/←/↑) or Page up/Page down and ↖ Home/End keys, and to select a part of the text, you maintain ⇧ Shift pressed while moving the cursor. Note that the selection is remembered even in Object mode, but unlike most text editors, you can’t use the LMB click-and-drag to select some text…
However, currently selection is not very useful with text – you can use it to specify different materials, the normal/bold/italic state, and not much more…
The “Select” menu
The Select menu for texts in Edit mode is a copy of the meshes one. But of course, no entry has any effect… so it’s completely useless!