I want to add a text to a cube in Unity.

I have a cube which has a 3d text as a child.

I am using the below UnityScript to write on the 3d text:

var countdown : int = 200;

function Update()
    GetComponent(TextMesh).text = countdown.ToString();

I am trying to write/show the text to the front face(or very close) of the cube but I am failing.

EDIT: My difficulty is to make the text appear in the front side/face of the cube, like it is written on it. Attaching the text or the script to any object is not an issue

My last failed try was to use the below lines:

var tm = gameObject.AddComponent(TextMesh);
tm.text = countdown.ToString();

Any ideas?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Which gameobject are you attaching your script to? If you are attaching above to cube then you need reference to child gameobject on which TextMesh component is attached to access its properties. You can use Transform.Find("Child") function to get a ref to child. \$\endgroup\$
    – 2600th
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 8:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @2600th My difficulty is to make the text appear in the front side/face of the cube, like it is written on it. Attaching the text or the script to any object is not an issue \$\endgroup\$
    – Dchris
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you post a screen shot of current behavior? \$\endgroup\$
    – 2600th
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 5:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this as unclear, since I can't tell what effect is being asked for here. At first I thought "3D text" meant letters appearing as 3D geometric objects, but further down it says "make the text appear in the front side/face of the cube, like it is written on it" which sounds more like a flat 2D texture and I'm not sure at what point 3D comes into it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 22, 2017 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Unity's TextMesh is a component that puts text that exists in 3D worldspace even if the text itself has no depth. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 22, 2017 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


I think understand this question well enough to answer it and a year old (old questions deserve some love too).

Simply adding the TextMesh component to the cube is insufficient, as the text mesh has its own way of positioning itself relative to the GameObject's transform position. So adding it as a child GameObject is the correct approach. However, there's two caveats.

  1. We will need to position this child GameObject such that the text aligns with the face of the parent cube.
  2. We need to adjust the TextMesh's align property so that it aligns the way we want it to on the face of our cube.

Both of these tasks are fairly easy, but require a little understanding of Unity and how Unity works.

Transforms components essentially act as the object's center so that they have a position around which they rotate and scale. For a default cube, this is in fact the geometric center of the cube. We can use this, and some other Transform properties to position the text along one face. For other imported models, this may not be the case.

This script is written as if it was attached to the TextMesh's GameObject which is a child of the Cube

Start() {
    transform.position = transform.parent.forward * 0.5f;
    transform.rotation.localEulerAngles.y = 180;

Of course, this could be achieved in the editor by simply moving the child transform to the desired position or acting on it from a script attached to the cube itself. Note that until we accomplish step 2, the text may still not be rendering in the desired manner.

Because we want the text on the front of the cube, we offset the text towards the front by half a unit: the exact distance from the center of the cube to one of its faces. It does not matter how large the cube itself is scaled, it will always be half a unit. If you get Z-Fighting add a tiny amount (e.g. * 0.501f) to offset the text from the surface of the cube by enough that the user won't be able to tell, but enough for the GPU to know that they aren't occupying the same space.

The rotation value is 180 around Y because...TextMesh points the wrong way compared to the "front" face on the cube. If the "back" face works too, then by all means use a negative offset and no rotation. It's weird, don't worry about it.

Step 2: modify the text's Align property. If the text already exists in the scene, hit up the inspector and change the "anchor" property from "upper left" to "middle center."

Anchor -> Middle Center

We can accomplish this with code, as well. Again, this script assumes that it is attached to the TextMesh's GameObject:

Start() {
    //using strongly typed syntax!
    var tm:TextMesh = GetComponent(TextMesh);
    tm.anchor = TextAnchor.MiddleCenter;

An example doing this very thing is on Unity's documentation page.

Bonus step 3!

TextMesh text by default is super large and blurry. Fixing this is easy: reduce the transform scale. Just set the TextMesh transform's local scale to about 0.1 on X and Y (Z doesn't actually have any meaning, but it's good practice to scale it uniformly, particularly if you're going to be adding any children to this GameObject). 0.1 and the default font size (12 point, even though it shows 0) fits "Hello World" on the side of the cube quite nicely. If you want larger text at this point, then increase the "Font Size" property of the text mesh.


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