Illustrator #9: Working With Text

This tutorial will introduce you to basics of working with text in Illustrator, which includes creating text objects, and modifying its font, text size and alignment.

Previous Tutorial

Illustrator #8: Using PhotosAlthough Illustrator is basically a vector drawing program, it can also handle the raster images such as photos, primarily to combine them with vector elements.

Creating Text Objects

Simply create a new Illustrator file of, let’s say, 10x10cm RGB in color mode.

Text objects are created using Text Tool, which you can find on a toolbar, or simply press key “T”:


There are two ways to use this tool:

So let’s just try both ways.

Create One-Line Text

First, activate the Text Tool, then click anywhere near the upper-left corner of the screen.
You will notice the cursor will change to look like the ones found in test editor, and now you can simply start typing.

To you finish typing, press ESCAPE key.


Now let’s make another text object, this time by dragging mouse.

Create Multi-Line Text

Click anywhere below the text you’ve just written, and drag diagonally to define the rectangular text area to fill with text:


Now just start typing text, and you will see it automatically fits inside the rectangular area that you drew.

Pasting Text Into Illustrator

Or, we can try and copy and paste a paragraph of text from somewhere else. For example, let’s copy and paste first paragraph from this webpage: 

So open the page and click and drag to select the text, then click CTRL+C (or CMD+C on a Mac) to copy it into memory buffer:


Then let’s go back to Illustrator, and, with Text Tool active, click the area where we drew the text area to activate it. If you can’t see the area because you didn’t type any text into it since you’ve created it, activate Outline Preview from View Menu > Outline.

Now when you selected the text area, paste the text by pressing keys CTRL+V (or CMD+V on a Mac):


Resize Text Box

Now you can also click and drag any of the handlers in the corners of the text area to change its width and height.

And now the video:


Formatting Text

Changing Font And Text Size

Select the headline (the first text objects you created), and take a look at the Control bar at the top, where you will probably see the interface to change the font and the text size:


If you don’t see this, it’s because your Illustrator window is not wide enough to show all these options, so instead you will have to click the Character… text in the Control Bar to open them:


No matter what kind of interface you see, change the font (first field) to something else, for example Arial Black (if you have it on your system):


You will see the text will change to show the newly selected font.

Then click on the font size icon ( the rectangle that shows some number with letters “pt”, see below) to change the text size, and select some size bigger than what it was already:


Now we will have something similar to this:


The same thing in video:


Change Text Alignment

This is pretty straightforward. Select the paragraph text (the one we copied from Wikipedia), and take a look at this interface on Control Bar:


If you don’t have it, just click on the Paragraph… text to show these options:


You will notice that clicking on Paragraph… will open more alignment options than the ones that can be found on Control Bar.

Now try each one of these to see how the text alignment changes. For example:


As always, here’s a video of what we’re doing:

And this is it, at least as far as basic text operations go.

If you want to know how to make some cool text effects, like this:


… check the following tutorials:

Working With Type on a Path (for this curvy headline)

Working With the Area Type Tool (to make a ‘heart’ thing).

Or take a look at this quick video:





Any questions?

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