One of the major shortcomings of Flash (imho) is the way it handles text. If you want to animate text, change its transparency or do any of the other things that Flash is so good at, you need to embed font characters into your movie. This is usually not so bad, if you know the target language your movie will be used to display.
My WP-Cumulus WordPress plugin however can be used to display tags in any language. Embedding all available characters would render the plugin unusable, as even the relatively simple Latin character set adds almost 30 kilobytes to the movie’s file size. This is why in order to use the plugin for other languages, you’ll need to add the appropriate characters yourself (or find someone who already has). Here’s how. It’s really quite easy.
In order to be able to recompile the movie you’ll need a working version of Flash 9 (CS2/3) or better. A trial version should do nicely. Once you’ve installed the application, follow these steps.
1. Download the source files.
The regular download does not include the Flash movie’s source files. You’ll need the development version, available here.
2. Open up tagcloud.fla.
Once you’ve extracted the downloaded zip file, you should have a folder called ‘wp-cumulus’, which contains a folder called ‘flash sources’. In that folder there’s a file called ‘tagcloud.fla’. Open that file in Flash.
3. Find the textfield.
This shouldn’t be too difficult. There’s nothing in the movie but a single text field, placed above, and to the right of the stage. Make sure you’re using the pasteboard setting (‘View’->’Pasteboard’). Select the text field, the ‘properties’ panel (usually docked at the bottom of the screen) should look somewhat like this.
4. Embed the characters.
Click the ’embed’ button. This opens a dialog that lets you select which languages you’ll need. Use CTRL-clicking to select them. Then press OK.
5. Compile the movie.
Press CTRL-Enter to run the movie. This will overwrite the ‘tagcloud.swf’ file in you ‘flash sources’ folder. This file is now your own, customized tag cloud for use with WP-Cumulus. Simply use it overwrite the ‘tagcloud.swf’ currently in your blog’s wp-content/plugins/wp-cumulus folder.
Optional: Change the font.
If you’d like to use a different font with WP-Cumulus, there’s a few extra steps you’ll need to take.
- Change the text field’s font setting on the properties panel.
- Open the ‘Tag.as’ file located in ‘com/roytanck/wpcumulus’.
- Find the line that says ‘format.font = “Arial”;’.
- Change ‘Arial’ to the name of your font.
- Save the files and compile the movie.
There’s a distinct possibility that this will not work for languages like Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Even the simplest form of Chinese consists of over 5600 characters. Ten times the amount of Latin, and most of them are made up of complex shapes that require lots of curves. This will probably cause the movie’s size to become over 300 kilobytes, which I feel makes it unusable. If anyone attempts this, please let me know the results.
- Russian (Cyrillic): http://www.wordpressplugins.ru/look/wp-cumulus.html
- Hebrew: http://www.emposha.com/wordpress/wp-cumulus-hebrew-edition.html
- Turkish: http://yazilan.org/turkce-wp-cumulus-etiket-bulutu-eklentisi/
- Polish: http://wpninja.pl/flashowa-chmura-tagow-ilub-kategorii-w-3d/
UPDATE: More info on Chinese and unicode support is here.