Creating Text in Adobe Illustrator

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posted on: October 6, 2017

When I wrote about characters and fonts in Adobe Illustrator, I mentioned that I would have to extend this topic to another post. You can do so much with Illustrator and type that these two articles just scratch the surface. Today I’m going to show you the different ways you can create text in Illustrator.

Placeholder Text

In Adobe CC 2017 release, Illustrator automatically fills new objects using type tools with placeholder text, i.e., “Lorem ipsum…”. The placeholder text retains the font and size applied to the previous typed object. I like this update and have found it useful.

Enter Text at a Point

By default, when you want to add text to your artboard in Illustrator, you would select the type tool which looks like a capital T. The Vertical Type tool has a downward arrow next to the T. When you click, the type tool will expand as you enter characters. Each line of text is independent, so as lines have more or fewer characters, it does not wrap to the text line. Creating type this way is useful when added just a few words.

text in a point adobe illustrator

Enter Text in an Area

Area type is also known as paragraph type, where the boundaries of a shape control the flow of characters, either horizontally or vertically. When the text reaches the edge, it breaks to another line. Think of it as putting type in a box. This method is useful when you want to put text in paragraphs. My stationery sets use this technique to keep the alignments clean and prevent runoffs.

Creating text in boxes in Adobe Illustrator

Enter Text on a Path

Type on a path follows the edge of an open or closed path. Text flows in the direction in which the points on the path were added. You can add text to not only straight lines but also shapes. I use this approach when creating badges and circle graphics. Select the Type tool, and click on the path you want to add text or select the Type on Path Tool which has a T with a diagonal line.

text on a path

Resizing Text Areas

Text areas can be resized depending on whether you are creating point type, area type, or text along a path. With point type, there is no limit to the amount of text that can be written, so a resizing box is not required. When using area type or type text along a path, the type resizes when using the Direct Selection tool. You can drag an object inside a selected area. You can thread text between objects when you type text along a path.

Changing the Margin Around Text Areas

Sometimes you will put your text area in a shape, but you don’t want the shape flush with the text. Therefore, you want to add a margin. Select the area type object. Go to Type, and select Area Type Options from the drop-down menu. Specify the value for Inset Spacing and press okay.

how to add padding to text areas in adobe illustrator

Create Rows and Columns of Text

If you are doing wireframes in Illustrator, then creating rows and columns can be pretty useful. I rarely use this feature (FYI). Similar to margins, go to Type, and select Area Type Options. In the Rows and Columns section, specify the number of rows and columns you want. Span defines the height of the individual rows and the width of the column. Fixed determines what happens to those columns if you resize the type area. Gutter adds space between the columns and rows so that text doesn’t run into each other.

how to create columns in illustrator

Do you have a question about fonts and characters in Adobe Illustrator? If so, leave a comment below!

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