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Drawing Text with a Sprite

Demonstrates how to import a SpriteFont into a project and to draw text using DrawString.

Complete Sample

The code in this topic shows you the draw technique. You can download a complete code sample for this topic, including full source code and any additional supporting files required by the sample.

Adding a Sprite Font and Drawing Text

To add a sprite font

  1. Right-click your Content project in Solution Explorer, click Add, and then click New Item.

  2. In the Add New Item dialog box, click Sprite Font.

    You may find it convenient at this point to change the name of the new file from "SpriteFont1" to the friendly name of the font you intend to load (keeping the .spritefont file extension). The friendly name identifies the font once it is installed on your computer, for example, "Courier New" or "Times New Roman." When you reference the font in your code, you must use the friendly name you have assigned it.

    XNA Game Studio creates a new .spritefont file for your font and opens it.

  3. If you did not name the new file with the font's friendly name, type the friendly name of the font to load into the FontName element.

    Again, this is not the name of a font file, but rather the name that identifies the font once it is installed on your computer. You can use the Fonts folder in the Control Panel to see the names of fonts installed on your system, and to install new ones. The content pipeline supports the same fonts as the System.Drawing.Font class, including TrueType fonts, but not bitmap (.fon) fonts. You may find it convenient to save the new .spritefont file using this friendly name. When you reference the font in your code, you must use the friendly name you have assigned it.

  4. If necessary, change the Size entry to the point size you desire for your font.

  5. If necessary, change the Style entry to the style of font to import.

    You can specify Regular, Bold, Italic, or Bold, Italic. The Style entry is case sensitive.

  6. Specify the character regions to import for this font.

    Character regions specify which characters in the font are rendered by the SpriteFont. You can specify the start and end of the region by using the characters themselves, or by using their decimal values with an &# prefix. The default character region includes all the characters between the space and tilde characters, inclusive.

To draw text on the screen

  1. Add a Sprite Font to your project as described above.

  2. Create a SpriteFont object to encapsulate the imported font.

  3. Create a SpriteBatch object for drawing the font on the screen.

  4. In your LoadContent method, call ContentManager.Load, specifying the SpriteFont class and the asset name of the imported font.

  5. Create your SpriteBatch object, passing the current GraphicsDevice.

    SpriteFont Font1;
    Vector2 FontPos;
    protected override void LoadContent()
        // Create a new SpriteBatch, which can be used to draw textures.
        spriteBatch = new SpriteBatch(GraphicsDevice);
        Font1 = Content.Load<SpriteFont>("Courier New");
        // TODO: Load your game content here            
        FontPos = new Vector2(graphics.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Width / 2,
            graphics.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height / 2);
  6. In your Draw method, call Begin on the SpriteBatch object.

  7. If necessary, determine the origin of your text.

    If you want to draw your text centered on a point, you can find the center of the text by calling MeasureString and dividing the returned vector by 2.

  8. Call DrawString to draw your output text, specifying the SpriteFont object for the font you want to use.

    All other parameters of DrawString produce the same effects as a call to SpriteBatch.Draw.

  9. Call SpriteBatch.End after all text is drawn.

    protected override void Draw(GameTime gameTime)
        // Draw Hello World
        string output = "Hello World";
        // Find the center of the string
        Vector2 FontOrigin = Font1.MeasureString(output) / 2;
        // Draw the string
        spriteBatch.DrawString(Font1, output, FontPos, Color.LightGreen,
            0, FontOrigin, 1.0f, SpriteEffects.None, 0.5f);

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