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Add text and work with type objects

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Learn how to add text, work with type objects, and wrap text in your vector art.

Whether you create a logo, brochure, banner, or artwork, you can add text in different ways to enrich your design. You can also delete empty type objects, remove default placeholder text, fill only selected type objects with placeholder text, and wrap text.

Watch this 1 minute 24 seconds video to learn how to create a logo using text in Illustrator. 

Do you want to create a logo? Launch Illustrator now!

Add text at a point, in an area or shape, and on a path as per your design requirement:

Image showing how to enter text at a point

Image showing how to enter text on a path or shape outline

Image showing how to enter text in an area

Enter text at a point

Point type is a horizontal or vertical line of text that begins where you click and expands as you enter characters. Each line of text is independent. The line expands or shrinks as you enter or delete the text, but doesn’t wrap to the following line. Follow these steps to enter text at a point:

Add text at any point

  1. Select the Type tool   (T) or the Vertical Type tool  

  2. Click anywhere to enter your text. Press Enter or Return to begin a new line of text within the same type object.

  3. Click the Selection tool   (V) to select the type object.

Enter text in an area

Area type (also called paragraph type) uses the boundaries of an object to control the flow of characters, either horizontally or vertically. When the text reaches a border, it automatically wraps to fit inside the defined area. Follow these steps to enter text in any area of your vector art:

  1. Use any of the following ways to define a bounding area:

    Drag to define a bounding area

    Image showing how to drag to define a bounding area

    Select the Rectangle tool   (M) and drag diagonally to create a rectangular object.

    Convert any shape to bounding area

    Image showing how to convert a shape into a bounding area

    Select shape tools such as Ellipse tool  , Polygon tool   or any shape tool to create an object.

  2. Select Area Type tool   or Vertical Area Type tool  .

  3. Click anywhere on the path of your object. Your object is now filled with placeholder text.

  4. Enter your text.

Enter text on a path

You can enter text on any path or shape outline. Follow these steps to learn how:

Add text on any path or shape outline

  1. Draw a path or shape.

  2. Select the Type on a Path tool   or Vertical Type on a Path tool   .

  3. Click at the beginning of the path or at any point on the shape border.

    Your path or the border of your shape is now filled with placeholder text.

  4. Enter your text.

Delete empty type objects from your artwork

Delete unused type objects to reduce the file size thereby making it easy to export or print. You may inadvertently create empty type objects if you select the Type tool   in the artwork area and then choose another tool. Follow these steps to delete empty type objects:

  1. Choose Object > Path > Clean Up.

  2. Select Empty Text Paths.

Remove default placeholder text

Illustrator fills all new type objects with placeholder text. However, follow these steps to disable this default Illustrator behavior:

Fill any area or path with placeholder text
Fill any area or path with placeholder text

  1. Go to Edit > Preferences > Type.

  2. Uncheck Fill New Type Objects With Placeholder Text.

Fill selected type objects with placeholder text

Follow these steps to fill selected objects with placeholder text:

  1. Create a type object or select an existing one on the artboard.

  2. Choose Type > Fill With Placeholder Text.

You can wrap area text around any object, including type objects, imported images, and objects you draw.

Before you proceed, ensure that the type object you want to wrap your text around is:

  • An area type (typed in a box).
  • In the same layer as the wrap object.
  • Located directly under the wrap object in the layer’s hierarchy.
  • If the layer contains multiple type objects, move the objects you don’t want to wrap the text around into another layer or above the wrap object.
Image showing how to wrap text around any object or shape
Wrap text around any object or shape

Wrap text around an object

  1. Select the object or objects around which you want to wrap the text.

  2. Choose Object > Text Wrap > Make.

Unwrap text from an object

  1. Select the object around which your text is wrapped.

  2. Choose Object > Text Wrap > Release.

You can further customize the way you wrap your text by setting the following wrap options.

Set wrap options

You can set wrap options before or after you wrap the text.

Options to wrap text around an object
Options to wrap text around an object

  1. Select the wrap object.
  2. Choose Object > Text Wrap > Text Wrap Options and specify the following options:

    • Offset: Specifies the amount of space between the text and the wrap object. You can enter a positive or negative value.
    • Invert Wrap: Wraps the text around the reverse side of the object.

Update legacy text

Type objects created in Illustrator 10 and earlier are uneditable until you update them for use in later versions. After you update you have access to all the text features in Illustrator CS5 and later releases, such as paragraph and character styles, optical kerning, and full OpenType® font support.

Follow any of these options:

  • While you open the document, select Update when prompted by Illustrator.

  • Choose Type > Legacy Text > Update All Legacy Text.

Follow any of these options:

  • To update the text without creating a copy, select the type object and choose Type > Legacy Text > Update Selected Legacy Text.

    Alternatively, select the text you want to update with Type tool, or double-click the text with the Selection tool and select Update.

  • To preserve the legacy text on a layer below the updated text, select the text with the Type tool or double-click it with the Selection tool and select Copy Text Layer.

If you create a copy of legacy text when you update it, you can use the following commands:

  • Type > Legacy Text > Show Copies or Hide Copies to show or hide the copied text objects.

  • Type > Legacy Text > Select Copies to select copied text objects.

  • Type > Legacy Text > Delete Copies to delete copied text objects.

Tips and tricks

Now that you know how to add text to your artwork, here are a few tips and tricks while you work with text in an area:

  • Do not click an existing object when you work with the Type tool. Doing so converts the type object into Area Type to enter text in an area or Type on a path to enter text on a path. You can lock or hide the object to keep it as it is.
  • Set the bounding box setting to Show Bounding Box. If you cannot see the bounding box, click View > Show Bounding Box.
  • You can use the Area Type tool   to define the bounding area for an object with an open path. Illustrator draws an imaginary line between the ends of the path to define the boundaries.
  • To convert a shape into a text area, make sure to click on the path and not inside the path.

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