I'm going to show you how to make four cool effects with text!
This is really for Noobs, because most people should know this.
This effect is how to merely create some simple text with a black shadow, although you can make the shadow any color you want.
First, create a text object with the desired text, and make it black, or any other shadow color.
Duplicate that text object, and change the color to that of the final text.
Place the second text object over the first, and move it up one pixel and to the left one pixel, and voila! Shadow. You can move it in different directions from the shadow, and different distances, to simulate the appearence of depth. If it is three pixels away, it will look closer towards you.
This effect is a variation of the above shadow effect.
First, create a text object with the desired text, and make it black.
Duplicate that text object, and change the color to that of the background on which it will appear.
Place the second text object over the first, and move it up one pixel and to the left one pixel. Now it looks like embossed text.
[Warning: do not worry. Does not involve exporting as an acrtive object and then outlining by hand.]
First, make your text object with the desired text, and make it the color of the outline.
Then, copy the text into a new text object, and color it a different color bla bla.
Now, here's where it gets a little hard to follow. Place ANOTHER outline text object 1 pixel above the orgional outline. THen one that's one pixel to the left outline.
Do the same for all of the sides, until it looks like a blob of text-ish shape.
Then, place the other text object in the center of the blob, and you get a very nice outline effect, without the hand-drawn trouble.
I hope this helps the noobs out there, because regular text is boring!
I have done something very similar with Captain of the Guard 2. For the scrolling story texts, I made one off-white text on top, and 2 identical texts to go behind it. I gave them all ball movement of up, and put one black text one pixel up and to the left, and the other one pixel right and down one. It looks great, the only problem is that when it's displayed across the entire screen it slows down a bunch. The texts are pretty big, so I'm guessing with smaller texts this won't be an issue. I just figured this out a couple of weeks ago, but good article for other newbies!
oops... I took it out in the end because it sucked, but here it is:
it's a crappy 3d effect, just make four or five of the text, and make each one smaller than the next. Make the backmost one the darkest, and the frontmost one lightest (in color)[you should probably use actives for this, for more colors] then arrange them as shown in this GIF: