August 28, 2007 at 2:51 pm
Can someone who is close to Adobe explain what their thinking was on this? (one has to assume they were thinking SOMETING, even if it was in the loony way that some design decisions are made over there)
Graphics elements are fine except they are not part of text animations, while, one would assume, underlined text would be.
August 28, 2007 at 3:15 pm
Nope, AE doesn’t do it. Not sure about the others.
Adobe may have avoided it because underlining is bad form, from a typography perspective. It was necessary when typewriters couldn’t do italics (they still can’t, come to think of it) and it was apparently a signal to the typesetter to add italics to that text.
So Adobe might have felt it necessary to adhere to typographic conventions: underlining is bad.
I’m jus’ sayin’.
And just because Word & Pages do it doesn’t make it right. From a typography standpoint:-)
But if the client wants it, you’ll probably have to make a stroke from a two-point mask.
August 28, 2007 at 3:17 pm
Yes to Premiere, Illustrator, and Photoshop
August 28, 2007 at 3:23 pm
>>So Adobe might have felt it necessary to adhere to typographic conventions: underlining is bad.
Though I’m sure they had some reason, I doubt this is it…though I could see them trying to explain away the problem with this as the reason 🙂
1. May have had something to do with the difficulties posed by text animation.
2. (More likely) AE text has never had underlining. In the world of Adobe that’s a good enough reason not to change things unless users clamour for it.
August 28, 2007 at 4:04 pm
>>I think you’re right: how do you animate underlined text? None of the other three have to deal with that messy little detail.
Actually I don’t think it’s that difficult. I lean towards reason #2. Inertia. You see a lot of old ‘mistakes’ in Adobe products that they don’t bother to fix unless enough people scream at them.
August 28, 2007 at 4:39 pm
A mistake? Hardly.
IN STUDIES THAT I HAVE READ OVER THE YEARS, BLOCKS OF ALL CAPS TYPE, AS WELL AS BLOCKS OF UNDERLINED TEXT, ARE HARDER ON THE EYE, SLOWER TO READ AND MAKE FOR A VISUAL MESS ONSCREEN. ANYONE WHO HAS EVER STUDIED TYPOGRAPHY WOULDN’T USE THEM AND IN THE WORLD OF TYPOGRAPHY, THEY ARE SEEN AKIN TO THE WAY THAT PEOPLE WHO JUST GET AN EDITING TOOL WILL USE A BUNCH OF TRANSITIONS, UNTIL, THEY TOO, LEARN THAT TRANSITIONS ARE ALSO BOZO NO-NOS.
Thanks for participating in my object lesson to illustrate the point…
Shane Ross, by the way, has a great blog entry at the COWBlogs on the subject of transitions and their overuse. It is at:
In it, he explains the principle of “Just because you can, should you?” When it comes to both glaring transitions and underlined type, most pros would agree that the answer is an emphatic, “No!”
August 28, 2007 at 4:49 pm
No to disagree with you in general, but:
1. Underlining judiciously has its place, especially in headings.
2. The other major Adobe apps do it.
3. The discussion is about why it’s not in AE. Not why it should or shouldn’t be done.
4. Why, pray, bring caps into the discussion.
August 28, 2007 at 4:59 pm
This decision to not provide underlining as a built-in character formatting option was made for two reasons:
1) Animating individual characters that are underlined doesn’t really work—at least not the way most people would want it to work.
2) Underlining text is usually not used when alternative like italic formatting are available. (In other words, underlined text is generally considered ugly typography.)
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
August 28, 2007 at 5:07 pm
>>1) Animating individual characters that are underlined doesn’t really work—at least not the way most people would want it to work.
2) Underlining text is usually not used when alternative like italic formatting are available. (In other words, underlined text is generally considered ugly typography.)<< Thanks Todd, for responding. I can accept reason 1. but as for reason 2: Sometimes you want 'ugly' to make a stylistic point. Why do the other Adobe apps allow it? Should After Effects alone stand as a bastion for typographical correctness? Perhaps you guys should get an internal Inquisition going at Adobe and bring the heretics into line 🙂 David
August 28, 2007 at 5:14 pm
>>Besides, If I’m going to underline something, I’m going to animate the underline to REALLY call attention to it.<< Well now you've hit upon the salient point. I have to learn to animate shapes in the same or complimentary way the text is animating. Maybe I'll just use italics and a larger typeface. Sheesh.
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