Select type

Selecting characters lets you edit them, format them using the Character panel, apply fill and stroke attributes to them, and change their transparency. You can apply these changes to one character, a range of characters, or all characters in a type object. When characters are selected, they are highlighted in the document window and the word “Characters” appears in the Appearance panel.

Selecting a type object lets you apply global formatting options to all the characters in the object, including options from the Character and Paragraph panels, fill and stroke attributes, and transparency settings. In addition, you can apply effects, multiple fills and strokes, and opacity masks to a selected type object. (This is not possible for individually selected characters.) When a type object is selected, a bounding box appears around it in the document window and the word “Type” appears in the Appearance panel.

Selecting a type path lets you adjust its shape and apply fill and stroke attributes to it. This level of selection is not available for point type. When a type path is selected, the word “Path” appears in the Appearance panel.

Select characters

  • Select any type tool, and do one of the following:
    • Drag to select one or more characters. Shift-drag to extend or reduce the selection.

    • Position the pointer in a word, and double-click to select that word.

    • Position the pointer in a paragraph, and triple-click to select the entire paragraph.

    • Select one or more characters, and choose Select > All to select all the characters in the type object.

Select type objects

Selecting a type object lets you apply global formatting options to all the characters in the object, including options from the Character and Paragraph panels, fill and stroke attributes, and transparency settings. In addition, you can apply effects, multiple fills and strokes, and opacity masks to a selected type object. (This is not possible for individually selected characters.) When a type object is selected, a bounding box appears around it in the document window and the word “Type” appears in the Appearance panel.

  • Do any of the following:
    • In the document window, click the type with the Selection tool  or the Direct Selection tool . Shift-click to select additional type objects.

    • In the Layers panel, locate the type object you want to select and then click its right edge, between the target button and the scroll bar. Shift-click at the right edge of items in the Layers panel to add or remove objects to the existing selection.

    • To select all type objects in a document, choose Select > Object > Text Objects.

Select a type path

Selecting a type path lets you adjust its shape and apply fill and stroke attributes to it. This level of selection is not available for point type. When a type path is selected, the word “Path” appears in the Appearance panel.

Note:

Selecting a type path is easiest when you’re in Outline view.

  1. Select the Direct Selection tool  or the Group Selection tool .
  2. If the type object is selected, click outside the object’s bounding box to deselect it.
  3. Click the type path, being careful not to click the characters. (If you do click a character, you will select the type object instead of the type path.)

Note:

The Type Object Selection By Path Only preference determines the sensitivity of the selection tools when selecting type objects in the document window. When this preference is selected, you must click directly on the type path to select the type. When this preference is deselected, you can click the type or the path to select the type. You can set this preference by choosing Edit > Preferences > Type (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > Type (Mac OS).

Find and replace text

  1. Choose Edit > Find and Replace.
  2. Enter the text string you want to find and, if desired, the text string with which to replace it.

    You can choose a variety of special characters from the pop‑up menus to the right of the Find and Replace With options.

  3. To customize how Illustrator searches for the specified text string, select any of the following options:

    Match Case

    Searches only for text strings that exactly match the uppercase and lowercase text in the Find box.

    Find Whole Word

    Searches only for entire words that match the text in the Find box.

    Search Backwards

    Searches the file from the bottom to the top of the stacking order.

    Check Hidden Layers

    Searches for text in hidden layers. When this option is deselected, Illustrator ignores text in hidden layers.

    Check Locked Layers

    Searches for text in locked layers. When this option is deselected, Illustrator ignores text in locked layers.

  4. Click Find to begin the search.
  5. If Illustrator finds an instance of the text string, do one of the following:
    • Click Replace to replace the text string, then click Find Next to find the next instance.

    • Click Replace & Find to replace the text string and find the next instance.

    • Click Replace All to replace all instances of the text string in the document.

  6. Click Done to close the dialog box.

    Note:

    To find the next instance of a text string when the Find And Replace dialog box is closed, choose Edit > Find Next.

Change the color and appearance of characters

You can change the color and appearance of type objects by applying fills, strokes, transparency settings, effects, and graphic styles. The text remains editable as long as you don’t rasterize it.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To change the appearance of specific characters in a type object, select the characters.

    • To change the appearance of all characters in a type object, or to apply multiple fills and strokes, select the type object.

    • To fill or stroke a type path, select the type path.

  2. Apply fills, strokes, transparency settings, effects, and graphic styles as desired.

    When you change the color of a type object, Illustrator overwrites the attributes of individual characters in the type object.

    Note:

    Use the Control panel to quickly change the color of selected type.

Character panel overview

You use the Character panel (Window > Type > Character) to apply options for formatting individual characters in your documents. When type is selected or when the Type tool is active, you can also use options in the Control panel to format characters.

Character panel
Character panel

A. Font B. Font Style C. Font Size D. Kerning E. Horizontal Scale F. Baseline Shift G. Leading H. Tracking I. Vertical Scale J. Character Rotation K. Language 
Character options
A. Font B. Font Style C. Font Size D. Align left E. Align center F. Align right 

By default, only the most commonly used options are visible in the Character panel. To show all options, choose Show Options from the options menu. Alternatively, click the double triangle on the panel’s tab to cycle through the display sizes.

Underline or strike through text

  1. Select the type you want to underline or strike through. If you don’t select any text, the setting applies to new text you create.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To underline type, click the Underline button  in the Character panel.

    • To strike through type, click the Strikethrough button  in the Character panel.

The default weight of an underline and strikethrough depends on the size of the type.

Apply all caps and small caps

When you format text as small caps, Illustrator automatically uses the small-cap characters designed as part of the font, if available. Otherwise, Illustrator synthesizes the small caps using scaled-down versions of the regular capital letters.

Letter cap types
Regular capital letters (top) compared to small-cap letters (bottom)

  1. Select the characters or type objects you want to change. If you don’t select any text, the setting applies to new text you create.
  2. Choose All Caps or Small Caps from the Character panel menu.

To specify the size for synthesized small caps, choose File > Document Setup. For Small Caps, type a percentage of the original font size for text to be formatted as small caps. (The default value is 70%.)

Note:

To change the capitalization style of text to uppercase, lowercase, title case, or sentence case, use the Type > Change Case command.

Change capitalization styles

  1. Select the characters or type objects you want to change.
  2. Choose one of the following in the Type > Change Case submenu:

    UPPERCASE

    to change all characters to uppercase.

    note: The UPPERCASE command causes discretionary ligatures to revert to normal text. This also occurs with the Title Case and Sentence Case commands when a discretionary ligature appears at the beginning of a word.

    lowercase

    to change all characters to lowercase.

    Title Case

    to capitalize the first letter of each word.

    Sentence Case

    to capitalize the first letter of each sentence.

    note: The Sentence Case command assumes that the period (.), exclamation point (!), and question mark (?) characters mark the ends of sentences. Applying Sentence Case may cause unexpected case changes when these characters are used in other ways, as in abbreviations, filenames, or URLs. In addition, proper names may become lowercase.

    Tip: If you’re using an OpenType font, you may want to take advantage of All Caps formatting to create more elegant type.

Specify curly or straight quotes

Typographer’s quotes, often referred to as curly quotes, blend in with the curves of the font. Typographer’s quotes are traditionally used for quotation marks and apostrophes. Straight quotes are traditionally used as abbreviations for feet and inches.

  • Choose File > Document Setup, and do one of the following; then click OK:
    • To use straight quotes, deselect Use Typographer’s Quotes.

    • To use typographer’s quotes, select Use Typographer’s Quotes, choose the language for which you want to set quotes, and choose options for Double Quotes and Single Quotes.

      note: You can set quote options for multiple languages. These quotes are applied to text based on the language you assign using the Character panel or Default Language preference.

      Tip: You can use the Smart Punctuation command to replace straight quotes with typographer’s quotes.

Set anti-aliasing options for type

When you save artwork in a bitmap format—such as JPEG, GIF, or PNG—Illustrator rasterizes all objects at 72 pixels per inch and applies anti-aliasing to them. However, if your artwork contains type, the default anti-aliasing settings may not produce the desired results. Illustrator provides several options specifically for rasterizing type. To take advantage of these options, you must rasterize type objects before you save the artwork.

  1. Select the type object, and do one of the following:
    • To permanently rasterize the type, choose Object > Rasterize.

    • To create the appearance of rasterization without changing the object’s underlying structure, choose Effect > Rasterize.

  2. Choose an anti-aliasing option:

    None

    Applies no anti-aliasing and maintains the hard edges of type when it is rasterized.

    Art Optimized (Supersampling)

    Default option that rasterizes all objects, including text objects by the specified resolution and applies anti-aliasing to them. Default resolution is 300 pixels per inch.

    Type Optimized (Hinted)

    Applies anti-aliasing that is best suited to type. Anti-aliasing reduces the appearance of jagged edges in the rasterized image and gives type a smoother on‑screen appearance. However, it can also make small text difficult to read.

Creating superscripts or subscripts

Superscript and subscript text (also called superior and inferior text) is reduced-size text that is raised or lowered in relation to a font’s baseline.

When you create superscript or subscript type, Illustrator applies a predefined baseline shift value and typeface size. The values applied are percentages of the current font size and leading, and are based on settings in the Type section of the Document Setup dialog box.

Create superscripts or subscripts in regular fonts

  1. Select the type you want to change. If you don’t select any type, any new text you create will be rendered as superscripts or subscripts.
  2. Choose Superscript or Subscript from the Character panel menu. You can access the Character panel from the Control panel.
    Superscript and Subscript options in the Character panel menu
    Superscript and Subscript options in the Character panel menu

    A. CALLOUT_DEFINITION B. CALLOUT_DEFINITION C. CALLOUT_DEFINITION 

Create superscripts or subscripts in OpenType fonts

  1. Select the characters you want to change to superscript or subscript. If you don’t select any text, the setting applies to new text you create.
  2. Make sure that an OpenType font is selected. One way to determine if a font is an OpenType font is to look in the Type > Font menu; OpenType fonts display the icon.
  3. In the OpenType panel, choose an option from the Position pop‑up menu:

    Default Position

    Uses the default position for the current font.

    Superscript/Superior

    Uses raised characters (if available in the current font).

    Subscript/Inferior

    Uses lowered characters (if available in the current font).

    Numerator

    Uses characters designed as fraction numerators (if available in the current font).

    Denominator

    Uses characters designed as fraction denominators (if available in the current font).

Change the size and position of superscripts or subscripts

  • Choose File > Document Setup, specify the following values for Superscript and Subscript, and then click OK:
    • For Size, type a percentage of the font size for superscripted and subscripted text.

    • For Position, type a percentage of the regular leading to specify how much the superscript and subscript text will move.

Convert type to outlines

You can turn type into a set of compound paths, or outlines, that you can edit and manipulate as you would any other graphic object. Type as outlines are useful for changing the look of large display type, but they are rarely useful for body text or other type at small sizes.

Font outline information comes from the actual font files installed on your system. When you create outlines from type, characters are converted in their current positions; they retain all graphics formatting such as their stroke and fill.

Modifying a letterform
Modifying a letterform

A. Original type object B. Type converted to outlines, ungrouped, and modified 

Note:

You can’t convert bitmap fonts or outline-protected fonts to outlines.

When you convert type to outlines, the type loses its hints—instructions built into fonts to adjust their shape so that your system displays or prints them optimally at a wide range of sizes. If you plan to scale the type, adjust its point size before converting.

You must convert all the type in a selection; you cannot convert a single letter within a string of type. To convert a single letter into an outline, create a separate type object containing only that letter.

  1. Select the type object.
  2. Choose Type > Create Outlines.

Choose a number style in OpenType fonts

  1. To change the style of existing numbers, select the characters or type objects you want to change. If you don’t select any text, the setting applies to new text you create.
  2. Make sure that an OpenType font is selected.
  3. In the OpenType panel, choose an option from the Figures pop‑up menu:

    Default Figure

    Uses the default style for the current font.

    Tabular Lining

    Uses full-height figures all of the same width (if available for the current font). This option is appropriate in situations where numbers need to line up from one line to the next, as in tables.

    lining numbersProportional Lining

    Uses full-height figures with varying widths (if available for the current font). This option is recommended for text that uses all caps.

    oldstyle figuresProportional Oldstyle

    Uses varying-height figures with varying widths (if available for the current font). This option is recommended for a classic, sophisticated look in text that doesn’t use all caps.

    Tabular Oldstyle

    Uses varying-height figures with fixed, equal widths (if available for the current font). This option is recommended when you want the classic appearance of old-style figures, but need them to align in columns, as in an annual report.

Format fractions and ordinals in OpenType fonts

When using an OpenType font, you can automatically format ordinal numbers with superscript characters (for example, ). Characters such as the superscript “a” and “o” in the Spanish words segunda () and segundo () are also typeset properly. You can also convert numbers separated by a slash (such as 1/2) to a shilling fraction (such as ).

  1. Select the characters or type objects to which you want to apply the setting. If you don’t select any text, the setting applies to new text you create.
  2. Make sure that an OpenType font is selected.
  3. In the OpenType panel, click the Ordinals button to enable or disable ordinals or the Fractions button to enable or disable fractions. These buttons have an effect only if ordinals and fractions are available in the font.

Use smart punctuation

The Smart Punctuation command searches for keyboard punctuation characters and replaces them with their typographic equivalents. In addition, you can use the Smart Punctuation command to globally insert ligatures and fractions, if the font includes these characters.

Note:

If you’re using an OpenType font, use the OpenType panel instead of the Smart Punctuation dialog box to typeset ligatures and fractions.

  1. If you want to replace characters in specific text, rather than all text in the document, select the desired text objects or characters.
  2. Choose Type > Smart Punctuation.
  3. Select one or more of the following options:

    ff, fi, ffi Ligatures

    Renders ff, fi, or ffi letter combinations as ligatures.

    ff, fl, ffl Ligatures

    Renders ff, fl, or ffl letter combinations as ligatures.

    straight quotesSmart Quotes

    Changes straight keyboard quotation marks into curly quotes.

    note: The Smart Quotes option always replaces straight quotes with curly quotes, regardless of the Double Quotes and Single Quotes settings in the Document Setup dialog box.

    extra spaces, eliminatingSmart Spaces

    Eliminates multiple spaces after a period.

    en and em dashes, smart punctuation optiondashes, en and emEn, Em Dashes

    Replaces a double keyboard dash with an en dash and a triple keyboard dash with an em dash.

    Ellipses

    Replaces three keyboard periods with ellipsis points.

    Expert Fractions

    Replaces separate characters used to represent fractions with their single-character equivalents.

  4. Select Entire Document to replace text symbols in the entire file or Text Only to replace symbols only in selected text.
  5. (Optional) Select Report Results to see a list of the number of symbols replaced.
  6. Click OK to search for and replace selected characters.

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