The TXT node is taking the ‘titler’ concept to a new level. Basically, as the name implies, it’s for showing text. However, with TrueType fonts that have pictures (like wing dings) you can really have a lot of fun doing all kinds of new things.

Unlike other nodes that utilize OpenGL, TXT uses a 2D backend that is driven by actual compiled code. So there is no shaders to be written. We will be periodically dropping new TXT programs as we write them, into the firmware.

TXT node uses three different file types:

PGM: This is the compiled program that does the text effects.

TEXT: These are files on the SDCARD that end in .txt. They MUST be standard ASCII text files or STRUCTURE cannot use them. Text files are limited to 20k max size and lines will be truncated at 80 characters.

Default text files:

code: lines of code from an open source video game. Use section mode and ‘sec’ shaders to get the most use of this file
mixWords: random words. Great for all char, word or line mode.
sample: Lorem Ipsum text, great for anything.

FONT: These are TrueType fonts that must end in .ttf, and STRUCTURE will only load the first 25 that are in the directory. These files are cached in memory which is why we limit the number.

NOTE: If you have text or font files on the front SDCARD, then STRUCTURE will not load up the default sets installed in the firmware. This is so you can customize the selection and not have those internal versions sticking around.

By default when you use RANDOM or NEXT, LAST, only the PGM will change. You can change this behavior by setting ‘Rand/Walk Font’ and ‘Rand/Walk Text’ to Yes in the Parameter settings. (NOTE, if you change these settings and change the NODESET they will go back to the default values. You can either save the changes you made using SAVE MODSET in the PERF menu to make those the default for that NODESET, or, use the MOD SOURCES menu and go to override mode for the TXT node and set them. When OVERRIDES are active for a node, they NEVER change from changing NODESETS or loading presets. )

Let’s go through each setting in Parameters, Actions and State:


Advance Mode/Timer Count: Is the method for when to move to the next item of text. HINT is the default and it’s up to the shader program to decide went to switch. Note that ‘sec’ programs will not emit a HINT so TIMER or MANUAL will have to be used. TIMER counts each frame, and when you reach the number in TIMER COUNT, the next text item will be used. MANUAL will never change and requires a trigger to change.

Transport Mode: This determines which way to go when grabbing a new text item; NEXT, PREV or RANDOM.

Text Mode: This determine how you text will be used from your text file. WORD is the default. The text file will be split on spaces and new lines. CHAR just goes letter by letter. LINE is split by new lines only. SECTION looks for a blank line to separate difference sections. The PGM that start with ‘sec’ should be used with these. RANDCHAR ignores the text file and just generates a random character within the TrueType font set.

End of Text: is what to do when you reach the end of a set of text items. LOOP is the default which just goes back to the beginning (or end if you are in PREV mode). HOLD will just show the last value and leave that animation through the PGM. BLANK will just send a blank string to the display algorithm. You can use the RESET action to restart the sequence.


There are two new node actions for the TXT node:

Trigger: Is used when in MANUAL advance mode. A trigger will cause the TXT PGM to move to the next text item.

Reset: I used to reset back to the beginning of the text items for the selected mode. This is very useful for when you are NOT using LOOP mode .


There is one new STATE you can use, called ACCENT. All the PGM will change what they are doing when holding ACCENT down to give you variety in what is happening on the screen.


STRUCTURE currently doesn’t have text entry from the unit yet, but we are working on introducing that in the future. It will work with a USB keyboard when we have that done!

If you have any questions on the use of TXT, just send us an email or find us on Facebook.