Snap to Japanese glyph

Learn how to snap and draw objects precisely around the boundary of live Japanese glyph.

The Snap to Glyph feature lets you snap your artwork components precisely with the text, without the need to create outlines or reference guides. Simply choose a snapping option and the glyph guides will appear on the live text when you draw, scale, rotate, or move objects. Follow these guides to snap precisely with the live text.

Along with Latin characters, you can also use the snap to glyph feature on Japanese characters and fonts. Read this article to learn how to view and use smart guides with Japanese glyphs.

Access smart guides for Japanese glyph

Snap to glyph options
Snap to glyph options

To access Japanese glyph smart guides:

  • Go to Preferences > Type > Language Options and select the Show East Asian Options check box.
  • Install the Japanese language version of Illustrator.

Now, if you open Character panel, the Snap to Glyph section will display Japanese snapping options, which are all ON by default.

To use this feature, ensure that Glyph Snapping (View Snap to Glyph) and Smart Guides (View Smart Guides) are enabled.

This feature will not work if View Snap to Grid is enabled, Preference Smart Guides > Alignment Guides are disabled & Snapping Tolerance is 0.

Snap with Japanese glyph guides

Use the following options in the Snap to Glyph section in the Character panel. Japanese specific options include – Embox and Embox Center. The other options work with both Japanese & Latin glyphs.

Snap to glyph for Japanese fonts

A. Embox B. Glyph bound C. Embox Center D. Glyph bound E. Embox 



(EmBox) Snaps the objects with the Embox of the Japanese font while drawing, moving, or scaling. When this option is selected, these guides appear for Embox top and bottom on horizontal Japanese text and Embox left and right on vertical Japanese text.

(Embox Center) Snaps the objects to the Embox Center of the Japanese glyph or font while drawing, moving, or scaling. When this option is selected, these guides appear for Embox Center in both horizontal and vertical Japanese text.

(Glyph Bounds): Snaps to top, bottom, left, and right bounds of the glyph.

(Baseline): Snaps to the base of the glyph.

(Angular Guides):Snaps to the angular guides that appear on rotating the text frame and on selecting a glyph with angular segments (from the context-sensitive menu).

 (Anchor Points): Draw and snap to the anchor points of glyphs.

 Points to note:

  • If two Japanese guides are very close or placed at the same position as Embox and Glyph bound (horizontal or vertical text) or Embox Center and Baseline (vertical text), then only one guide appears based on precedence.
  • Glyph bounds, baseline, angular guides and anchor point options also affect Latin fonts.
  • The x-height and proximity guides are shown based on Snap to Latin Glyph options setting before enabling South East Asian Options preference.
  • Glyph guides do not consider stroke, pattern fill, effects, appearance if applied on the live text. Glyph guides are generated based on the original glyph shape.

Snap with Japanese and Latin glyph guides together

If you have one Japanese language font and one Latin language font applied on respective glyphs together inside the same text box, snapping guides relevant to both fonts appear.

Latin guides include glyph bounds, baseline, and x-height and Japanese guides include only glyph bounds.

Snap to Japanese and Latin glyphs

 Points to note:

  • All mixed case scenarios will be valid on Point Text only.
  • The x-height is visible only if you have Latin characters (x, v, w, z) in the text box and if the x-height option was kept enabled in Snap to Latin Glyph settings before you switch to East Asian Options preference.
  • The x-height, Embox and Embox Center cannot be calculated currently if both Japanese and Latin characters in multiple fonts & sizes are placed together in the same text box.
  • Only anchor points will work when Composite Fonts are used.
  • Only glyph bounds will appear when Tate-chu-yoko is applied.
  • Only glyph bounds will appear when Warichu is applied.

Snap to an individual glyph after selection

To snap objects to an individual glyph in the text, 

  • Right-click the glyph and choose Snap to Glyph <glyph-name>.
    The chosen glyph will be highlighted, and you’ll see the glyph guides on the live glyph around its bounds, center, linear, and angular segments (based on the geometry of the glyph).
Snap to angular guides
Snap to selected glyph

 Points to note:

  • Embox and Embox Center cannot be calculated currently for a selected individual Japanese glyph.
  • Glyph guides are generated only on straight segments (linear & angular) & not on curves of the glyph.
  • Glyph is not highlighted upon selection if stroke, pattern fill, effects, appearance are applied on the live text. 

Release glyph selection

To release the individual glyph selection and snapping,

  • Right-click the glyph and choose Release Snap to Glyph <glyph-name>.
  • Click Release Glyph button in the Control panel.
  • Choose another glyph to release the snapping on the previous glyph.

Any other action, such as text editing, will release the glyph automatically.

Select and Release glyph using right-click menu

Snap with angular guides

Snap to individual glyph
Snap with angular guides when the text frame is rotated

The Snap to Glyph > Angular Guides option lets you snap objects set at a particular angle with the glyph while you move, scale, or rotate them and draw them using the Pen tool. Angular guides will appear only:

  • When a single glyph with angular segments is selected for snapping.
  • When the text frame or a particular glyph is rotated at an angle.

 Currently, objects set at an angle will snap from their bounding box and object center.

Draw and snap to anchor points on glyph

Use the Snap to GlyphAnchor Points option in the Character panel to draw and snap a shape on a glyph. 

The anchor point snapping works only with the Pen tool or when the object is moved closer to the anchor point on the glyph.

 Do the following:

  1. Select the Pen tool and hover on the glyph to see the anchor points.
  2. Draw the shape using the Pen tool. The drawn shape will be snapped with the anchor points on the text.

Snap to anchor points

Snap to area text

The Snap to glyph feature works for both point text and area text. If you have only one line of text, all guides and anchors are shown for that line. If you have a paragraph, only glyph bounds are shown to simplify the experience. To precisely snap to a glyph in the paragraph, select the glyph and then use the glyph guides for further snapping.

Only glyph bounds will appear when Warichu is applied to area text.

Snap to area text
Snap to area text

Change the glyph guide color

By default, the glyph guides are shown in green. To change the glyph guide color, go to Preferences > Smart Guides > Glyph Guides and choose a color from the  drop-down.

Related topics

Have a question or an idea?

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Adobe Illustrator Community. We would love to hear from you and see your creations.


Get help faster and easier

New user?