Removing those Pesky DVD Menu Numbers
Why are there numbers on the buttons? So you can select the button directly, without using your arrows on your DVD player remote. You just hit the number you need. Also, the numbers relate only to the buttons on that page: they do not "carry over" as chapter numbers do.
That said, I don't like the numbers. If you don't either, here's how to get rid of them (and their background shade):
MEP 10+ and earlier
On the DVD Editor screen, select any of the "Enhanced Layout" templates that don't have numbers (most don't). Then use any combination of font, border (there may be some borders with number boxes: don't use those), background and composition. If the numbers do come back, you probably selected a border or text that has a number component: just go back to the Enhanced Layout tab and reselect a template, then go back to selecting each individual component.
As an alternative to the above and if you're happy to get "down and dirty", as it were, you can edit the TPL file in each template. The TPL file is merely a text file that defines the structure and location of the template elements such as buttons and text. The TPL file is found in the template folder you want to modify, which in turn is in the DVD\Layout folder (your main MEP folder may be different to mine; I like to keep all my MEP files together):
Before editing the TPL or other files in a template, I suggest you make a copy of the template. You must use exactly the same template name otherwise MEP won't be able to "find" it.
To remove the button numbers (from H Mullins back in 2004) edit the TPL file in Notepad as follows:
Under the [NumberText] heading, change the Transparency=255 (this will make the number transparent)
Save the TPL file.
MEP 11+ and later
Open up the DVD Menu Advanced options (top left button on the main Burn CD screen). There you can deselect the numbering on both the Movie and Chapter menus.
In MEP 14 and later, on the Burn screen, tick Advanced mode, then menu Options; the number tick box is here:
Removing the Number Backgrounds
Problem: the grey background box is still there! No problems: just select a template (via the "Complete" tab) that doesn't have the number outlines. Or better, as I have done: find the offending BMP file (normally named alphaxxxxframe_chapter.BMP) in the Magix DVD\Layout folder and use your image editor to erase the number background for good (I'd suggest you make a copy of the folder just in case you mess something up).
You can easily locate the exact template by using Thumbnails view in Windows Explorer and looking for the Menu Preview image, which will exactly match the template image you see on the Burn screen.
More Menu Options
To install the folders that contain the modified templates described below, download this file then doubleclick it and extract it into your DVD CompLayout folder (do a Windows search for the CompLayout folder), restart MEP and they'll be visible on your Composition tab on the Burn screen. This procedure adds composition templates; it does not delete or modify any of the standard MEP templates.
Straight Up-And-Down Menus
One of the current annoyances is that the provided composition arrangements only have a vertical, left side menu for up to three movies/chapters. So I've made composition templates that allow 4, 5 and 6 vertical, left side menus.
My 6-menu template looks like this:
If you need more space to the left for text and you're using MEP 14 or above, ungroup the menu elements and drag the left edge of the text box as desired.
Bigger 6-Button Chapter menu
(for 16:9 projects only)
I regularly put movies I have recorded on the TV onto DVD and use the MEP Scenes function to create automatic scenes. I have found the chapter buttons are generally too small and since I normally use the 6-button composition, I have increased the size of the buttons
so it is easier to see what the chapter/scene is:
AA Productions Composition:
Other Tips and Tricks
In MEP 11+, click on the spanner icon at the top of the Burn CD main window and sizing handles will appear for the buttons. You can drag them around, resize, stretch laterally to reduce text wrapping and more. Dragging the buttons around is accomplished by left dragging, not CTRL dragging as with earlier versions.
Use these images (right click Save Picture...) as temporary backgrounds to line up your menu buttons/text - they don't have to be straight up and down, you know! After you've got all your menu items aligned (or symmetrically misaligned, if you're that way inclined), just change the background image back to the one you want for your project.
To make life easier, paste them into the MEP \DVD\Media\Backgrounds\ folder so they'll be readily accessible. And don't forget to use Windows' thumbnail view to easily find your desired background image.
MEP Tips and Tricks