The Bombing Brain Blog

Designing Teleprompt+ 3—The Script Editor

One of the first things we realized when adding rich text to the feature set of Teleprompt+ was that the look of the script editor was going to have to change. In previous versions of the app, the editor was a simple black text on light grey background, much like most plain text editors. But once we added the ability to change text colors on certain selections of the text, it became obvious that we needed to have the script editor reflect more closely what the text would actually look like during prompting. Otherwise, choosing light colored text for portions of the script would render that text illegible in the light background of the editor.

We didn’t want to mimic the prompting text characteristics completely, of course. Making the font size and margin settings the same in the editor as it is during prompting would hinder your ability to easily see entire sentences and paragraphs. For those things, we stil offer a quick preview in the text options panel.

teleprompt+ text options panel

But the text color, the background color, the font, and of course the bold, underline, italic, and indenting made sense to reflect directly in the editing view.

This presented a set of design challenges, of course. With such a large portion of the screen dedicated to the script editor, we had to be sure that the text and background color settings didn’t conflict with the other aspects of the application. The vast majority of users will likely set a dark background with light text, but we had to account for the possibility that some like to prompt with dark text on a light background. Change the the script background color to white, light grey, or any color with a very light value, and the title of the script, word count, and estimated time text will change to black, to keep it legible.

teleprompt+ text options panel

The title bars and panels of the app are all a dark grey color, to keep from conflicting too much with these editor color choices.

Another thing we realized during the build phase was that some people may not want the font face to change according to the prompting setting. Some fonts are less legible at smaller sizes, and often the person editing the script has different preferences than the person reading. Also, the person editing may prefer the consistency of always editing in a single font, no matter what the font setting is for each script. For this reason, if you do not wish to have the prompting font reflected in the editor, you can change that setting in the global preferences. Turn the Edit Using Script Font setting off, and the editor will always use Helvetica Neue, no matter the font chosen for prompting mode.