How to Thread Text into Shapes in Illustrator

You can use Adobe Illustrator CC to make unusual shapes of text and other designs. Create custom columns of text that are in different shapes and sizes by threading closed shapes together. This technique, of flowing text from one shape to another, works with rectangles, circles, stars, or any other closed shape and can lead to some creative text areas.

Follow these steps to thread text into shapes:

  1. Create any shape, any size.

    For this example, we’ve created a circle.

  2. Create another shape (it can be any shape) someplace else on the page.

  3. With the Selection tool, select one shape and Shift-click the other to make just those two shapes active.

  4. Choose Type→Threaded Text→Create.

    A threading line appears, as shown in this figure, indicating the direction of the threaded text.

    Threaded text areas flow from one area to another.
    Threaded text areas flow from one area to another.
  5. Select the Type tool, click the top of the first shape to start the threading, and start typing.

    Continue typing until the text flows over into the other shape.

If you no longer want the text to be threaded, choose Type→Threaded Text→Remove Threading, which eliminates all threading from the text shapes. To remove one or more, but not all, shapes from the threading, select the shape you want to remove from the threading and choose Type→Threaded Text→Release Selection.

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