December 15, 1998
  • Version 2.8.3 Released - Version 2.8.3 of TextScroll was released today. It adds the ability to have a different panel on the left side of the applet displaying headings, like many popular commercial scrollers. The second demo applet below showcases this new functionality. See the updated HOWTO for documentation on the new <PARAM> tags and directives.


A HOWTO is available to help get you up and running using TextScroll in your web pages.


This applet is a simple text scrolling applet. It is very configurable, and thus quite useful. It is written to use Java 1.0 to ensure it will run on the maximum number of web browsers. Here are a couple of demonstrations:

You need a Java-capable web browser to see the applet.

You need a Java-capable web browser to see the applet.

So, what makes TextScroll so much better than all the other scrolling applets out there? I've had a good look through Jars and Gamelan, and there's been some impressive work done. Unfortunately, no one is giving away the good ones. Even the ones that are for sale don't come with source code. So, the first two advantages of TextScroll are that its free and it comes with source code. It supports features not even found in the commercial scrollers, including:

And more. Note that most configuration options can be changed on the fly, in the middle of a presentation by embedding commands right in the text file. The applet gets its data from a seperate text file, so you don't have to clutter up your HTML pages by putting the actual text in a bunch of <PARAM> tags. This also makes it much easier for multiple pages to display the same presentation.

Versions 2.1 and above include a feature called directives. See the complete directives documentation and the HOWTO for more information.

Note - You must note one thing if you are writing text content for this applet. It is very important that you realise that if you use the automatic line wrapping, you cannot specify a single new line. Blank lines (i.e., new paragraphs) will still be recognized and displayed, but you cannot force a single newline. If you want to specify where the lines wrap, that is, if you want the lines to wrap in the same places they wrap in the text file, then you must include the following <PARAM> tag in the HTML file:

<PARAM NAME="wraptext" value="false">


TextScroll has turned out to be more popular than I expected, and it is still being incorporated into many sites. Here are a few of the places you can see TextScroll:

Source Code

The source code for this project is available for downloading. Version 2.6 has increased the number of classes. The project became too complex to keep contained in a single class. The entire applet now consists of 4 classes:

Please read the disclaimer at the top of the file before distributing this code.


I've had requests to make the binary for this applet available, since not everyone has the environment for compiling the .java file offered in the Source Code section. This applet has 4 binary .class files associated with it, and you will need them all:

Javadoc Documentation

You can also view the Javadoc generated documentation online:


If you want to use this applet on your page(s), I am releasing it under an extremely slack license. All I ask is that you do not claim you wrote it. You can use it for personal use, educational use, or commercially, as long as you do not claim you wrote it. I would appreciate it if you would mention me somewhere on a credits page, but I don't require it. I'm releasing this for people like me who want a nice tool for free. Enjoy.


The complete .jar file archive of my projects, including this one, is available for downloading.

All code and documentation on this page is Copyright (©) 1997 by Kevin Swan. If you wish to use this code and distribute it in other products, please contact the author.