Check spelling

  1. Choose Edit > Check Spelling.
  2. To set options for finding and ignoring words, click the arrow icon at the bottom of the dialog box and set the options as desired.
  3. Click Start to begin checking the spelling.
  4. When Illustrator displays misspelled words or other possible errors, do one of the following:
    • Click Ignore or Ignore All to continue spell-checking without changing a certain word.

    • Select a word from the Suggestions list or type the correct word in the top box, and then click Change to change only that occurrence of the misspelled word. You can also click Change All to change all occurrences of the misspelled word in your document.

    • Click Add to have Illustrator store an acceptable but unrecognized word in the dictionary so that subsequent occurrences are not considered misspellings.

  5. When Illustrator finishes checking your document, click Done.


    Illustrator can check for spelling errors in a variety of languages, based on the language that you assign to words.

Edit the spelling dictionary

  1. Choose Edit > Edit Custom Dictionary.
  2. Do any of the following, and click Done:
    • To add a word to the dictionary, type the word in the Entry box, and click Add.

    • To remove a word from the dictionary, select the word in the list, and click Delete.

    • To modify a word in the dictionary, select the word in the list. Then type the new word in the Entry box, and click Change.

Assign languages to text

Illustrator uses Proximity language dictionaries for both spelling and hyphenation. Each dictionary contains hundreds of thousands of words with standard syllable breaks. You can assign a language to an entire document or apply a language to selected text.

Assign languages to text in Illustrator
Examples of hyphenation for different languages

A. “Glockenspiel” in English B. “Glockenspiel” in Traditional German C. “Glockenspiel” in Reformed German 

Apply a language to all text

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Hyphenation (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > Hyphenation (Mac OS).
  2. Select a dictionary from the Default Language pop-up menu, and click OK.

Assign a language to selected text

  1. Select the text.
  2. In the Character panel, choose the appropriate dictionary from the Language menu. If the Language menu isn’t showing, choose Show Options from the Character panel menu.

About Unicode

Illustrator supports Unicode, a standard that assigns a unique number to every single character, no matter which language or type of computer you use. Unicode is:


Letters and numbers will not change when you move the file from one workstation to another. Adding a foreign language to a document doesn’t cause confusion, because foreign characters have their own designations that don’t interfere with the encoding from other languages in the same project.


Because Windows and Macintosh operating systems now support Unicode, moving a file between the two platforms is easier. No longer will you need to proofread an Illustrator file just because you moved to it a Windows computer from a Macintosh computer or vice versa.


Because Unicode‑compliant fonts offer a larger number of potential characters, specialty type characters are readily available.


With Unicode support, substituting a typeface in a project won’t result in substituted characters. With a Unicode‑compliant font, a g is a g no matter which typeface is used.

All of these things make it possible for a French designer to design for a client in Korea and hand the job off to a partner in the United States without having to struggle with the text. All the U.S. designer needs to do is enable the correct language in the operating system, load the foreign‑language font, and continue the project.

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