Expanding & Scrolling IM Letters - Tutorial 9

Scrolling Letter #1


By LismibaebisCreations
5 December 2010
Revised 1 July 2011 - To go with new code, which is used with written permission from IMSOM.
Revised again in June 2013 and August 2014 with some slight adjustments to the code.

Tutorial image: © Collin Bogle
Used according to Terms

Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced


Paint Shop Pro - I used X2
Letter Creator
HTML kit
Power Archiver

Tube or Mist
(Height should be greater than width)

ScrollingLBAug2014.txt, available here

Performance Notes
This tutorial is in 11 parts:
- Preparation
- Background for LC
- Tile
- Slicing
- Change Coding
- Padding with Scrolling Letters
- Width
- Top of the Code
- Middle Slice Coding
- Footer
- Make new .imf

The settings for different Tools and Effects will stay the same throughout the tutorial, unless new setting instructions are given

Don't forget to save your work often

arrow Click on the arrow and drag it to mark the progress on this page.


1) Download, unzip and save ScrollingLBAug2014.txt to your Lesson Folder

2) Open ScrollingLBAug2014.txt
Personalize the footer section of the code according to Lesson 5
You can simply copy/paste the personalized footer section from your expanding letter code.

3) File > Save As
Give it a name you can easily identify later
You will use this adjusted code for all future Scrolling Letters

4) Start > My Documents

5) Open your Scrolling Letters Folder

6) Make a folder for your new letter
Save all the images and files you will create to this folder

7) Paint Shop Pro:
File > Open
Open image of choice

8) Window > Duplicate (Shift + D)
Close original

9) Dropper Tool (E)
Left click to choose a light Foreground color
(I chose #d3d8db)
Right click to choose a dark Background color
(I chose #636c73)

10) Edit > Copy


11) File > New
Width = 250 Pixels
Height = 250
Resolution = 72.000 Pixels / Inch
Raster Background = Checked
Transparent = Checked

12) Flood Fill Tool (F)
Match mode = None
Use all layers = Not checked
Blend mode = Normal
Opacity = 100

13) Left click to flood fill new layer with Foreground color

14) Adjust > Add/Remove Noise > Add Noise
Uniform = Checked
Noise = 9%
Monochrome = Checked

15) Effects > Texture Effects > Blinds
Width = 5, Opacity = 50
Color = Background Color
Horizontal = Not checked
Light from left/top = Checked


16) File > Export > JPEG Optimizer
Set compression value to = 20
Chroma subsampling = YCbCr 1x1 1x1 1x1 (None)
Save Exif data = Not checked
File name = bgLC


17) File > New
Width = 900 Pixels
Height = 600

18) Flood Fill Tool
Left click to flood fill new layer with Foreground Color

19) Selections > Select All

20) Selections > Modify > Contract
Number of pixels = 20

21) Selections > Invert

22) Right click to flood fill selection with Background Color

23) Effects > Texture Effects > Blinds
Color = Foreground Color

24) Effects > 3D Effects > Inner Bevel
Bevel = #2, Width = 8
Smoothness = 40, Depth = 4
Ambience = 30, Shininess = 30
Color = Background Color
Angle = 315
Intensity = 50, Elevation = 30

25) Selections > Invert

26) Layers > New Raster Layer

27) Effects > 3D Effects > Cutout
Vertical & Horizontal = 0
Opacity = 75, Blur = 12.00
Color = Black
Fill interior with color = Not checked

28) Selection Tool (S) > Custom selection
Top = 30
Left = 450, Right = 870
Bottom = 570
(This is the textbox)

29) Selections > Modify > Select Selection Borders
Inside = Checked
Border width = 6
Anti-alias = Checked

30) Layers > New Raster Layer

31) Right click to flood fill selection with Background Color

32) Effects > Texture Effects > Blinds
Horizontal = Checked
Light from left/top = Not checked

33) Effects > 3D Effects > Inner Bevel

34) Effects > 3D Effects > Drop Shadow
Vertical & Horizontal = 0
Opacity = 100, Blur = 0
Color = Black
Shadow on new layer = Not checked

35) Selections > Select None

36) Edit > Paste As New Layer
(the tube or mist)

37) Move Tool (M)
Move tube to the left of the textbox


If necessary:

38) Image > Resize
Resample using = Bicubic
Lock aspect ratio = Checked
Resize all layers = Not checked
Width = 90 %
Height = 90

39) Edit > Repeat Resize
until tube looks right in the space


40) Drop Shadow of your choice
With a misted tube you might prefer not to use a Drop Shadow

41) Layers > New Raster Layer

42) Add © of Artist and any other info according to artist TOU

43) Layers > New Raster Layer

44) Add your watermark

45) File > Save As
Save as type = .PSPIMAGE
Save in layers, so that you can make changes later if necessary

46) Window > Duplicate

47) Close the file you just saved


48) Layers > Merge > Merge Visible

49) Follow Instructions in Lesson 4 on how to find the inside of your Textbox on the Left, Top, Right and Bottom and write down

50) Make your top.jpg, middle.jpg and bottom.jpg files according to Lesson 4
With scrolling letters, the scrollbars (determined on the right by padding-right, on the bottom by slicing) should almost touch the border.
My personal preference is that the scrollbar is the same distance away from the bottom and the right, only about 2px.

Change Coding

51) Make your LC file according to instructions in Lesson 5

52) Extract the files according to instructions in Lesson Lesson 5

53) Delete all code starting with the first Screenshot
(The text below the pink line)


Leave the code above the pink line (yours will look different to mine) intact

54) Open your code for scrolling letters

55) Edit > Select All

56) Edit > Copy

57) Again with HTML-Kit:
Edit > Paste
(into the area you deleted)

58) Make the following adjustments to the Flavor.htm to suit your images.
You need to do this with every stat you create with this method.

Replace 'change width here' with the width of your slices.
Keep the quotation marks in place


59) Change 'change_me_to_top.jpg' to filename of your Top slice.
Change '900' to width of your top slice.
Change '77' to height of your top slice.
Keep the quotation marks in place


60) Change 'change_me_to_middle.jpg' to filename of your Middle slice.
Change all '333' (6x) to height of your middle slice (you might wish to do this by "Replace")
Keep the quotation marks in place


In this section of the code you can also change the font size if you wish.
If you want to have your text left aligned instead of centered, you would replace the word 'center' with 'left'.

61) Change 'change_me_to_bottom.jpg' to filename of your Bottom slice.
Change '900' to width of your bottom slice.
Change '77' to height of your bottom slice.


The Padding

With the padding we determine where the text will start on the left and finish on the right.
The padding with scrolling letters must be set much tighter than with expanding letters as the text area is normally much smaller and you want the scrollbar right at the edge.

62) Left Padding:
About 5px away from the inside of the Textbox

63) Right Padding:
About 2px away from the inside of the Textbox.
This will be the location of the scrollbar, it should almost, but not quite touch the inside of the Textbox

Replace '222' with your results
Keep everything else in place.
Do NOT change the second 'padding-right:10px'



The width setting with scrolling stationery is important as it avoids the break-up of the textbox with long links or inserted images


64) The width is the total width minus both paddings.
My example:
461 + 39 = 500
900 - 500 = 400
My width is 400px


Don't forget to replace my numbers with yours and then add the result to the Flavor.htm

Top of the Code

65) Now move up to the very top of the code.
We are going to make a couple of changes there as well:

Replace the 'ffffff' (or what you have) in bgColor (text background color) with the color of your Textbox


66) With Color Cop choose a text color from your Top slice, highlight, right click and Copy. Then delete the 6 digits in COLOR and text (in my example 008000) and Paste your chosen color.


A little bit lower down in the code, delete the '0' (or what you have) as SIGCOLOR (Signature Color), type '#' and Paste the text color into the space.




67) With Color Cop choose a link color from your top slice, highlight, right click and Copy. Then delete the 6 digits in alink, link and vlink (in my example ffff00) and Paste your chosen color.


Middle Slice Coding

Scrolling letters have a visible scrollbar and it is important that the colors are adjusted to the letter.

68) Change the scrollbar colors to suit your image and taste.
I suggest that you replace all 'ffffff' with your Textbox color
and both '000000' with your text color



69) Make all the changes in the footer area of the code according to Lesson 3

70) Click on Preview and you should see your letter :-)


If an image is missing, it is most likely that you entered a file name wrong.
Click on Editor to get back to the coding.
If the textbox is not aligned on the right, it is most likely that you entered a wrong width setting.

71) File > Save

72) Close HTML-Kit

Making new .imf file

73) Go back to the folder with your files

74) Click "New folder"
Name = supp files

75) Move all files apart from the following list into the new folder
- Flavor.htm
- content.ini
- bgLC
- top.jpg
- middle.jpg
- bottom.jpg
- bgfooter.png (if you have made a background for the footer area)
- any .jpg .gif and/or .png file you use in the footer

76) Edit > Select All

77) Right click on any file and from the Dropdown menu choose:
Compress To... > Compress With Options...


CAB = Checked
Click on Add


78) Rightclick on new file and choose Rename from Dropdown menu.
Change ending .cab to .imf

Click on Yes when the following warning comes up:


79) Double-click on the .imf file (orange envelope) and your new letter should import to your IM Stylebox - ready to use

If you have any questions, please email Lismibaebi at gmail.com.

Link to previous Lesson Lesson Plan Link to next Lesson