Creating Text Outlines In Adobe Illustrator

In Adobe Illustrator we can use text in our drawings. This text can be converted to outlines so we can treat the letters as shapes. When text is converted to shapes, we have access to the borders and fills of the letter shapes. We also have access to the anchor points and curves of the letter.

In this example, we have some text on the Artboard.




With the text box selected, click on Type in the menu and select the option to Create Outlines.


At this point, the letters are no longer text. They are shapes and cannot be edited as text. The letters are also grouped. Before we can work with the individual letters, they need to be ungrouped.


Click on Object in the menu and select the ungroup option.


We’ll click once away from the selected letters and then click once on the letter M.


When we hover the mouse over the letter, anchor points and curves will become visible.


Go to the toolbar and click on the direct select tool.


Click on the letter to see the various anchor, path and curve points.


All the curves are currently selected so if we click and drag on one of the curve points, all the curves in the shape will be affected. Click and drag on one of the curve points.


This will affect all the curves in the shape. We’ll undo this action by clicking Edit then undo in the menu. We can also use Command-Z on Mac or Control-Z on Windows.


Let’s click on an anchor point to control that anchor point only. We’ll move the anchor point down.


Using the anchor points let’s change the line lengths and angles.


If we want to change the curve associated with one anchor point, we need to select the anchor point first. The curve tool associated with the anchor will be displayed next to the anchor.


We can use the curve tool to change the curve for this anchor point.


Using a combination of anchor points and curves, we can change the shape of any letter.


We can change the color fill and stroke. With the letter selected, go to the fill and stroke options. Select a color for the fill and another for the stroke.


We can adjust the width of the stroke.


Go to the stroke options and select a thicker stroke.


Converting text to outlines gives us several options not ordinarily available.

Posted in Adobe Illustrator.