By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (AdobeCS5) Illustrator gives you the opportunity to change text into outlines or artwork. Basically, you change the text into an object, so you can no longer edit that text by typing. You want to use this tool when creating logos that will be used frequently by other people or artwork that you may not have control over.

1Type some text on your page.

For this example, just type a word (say, your name) and make sure that the font size is at least 36 points. You want to have it large enough to see the effect of outlining it.

2Switch to the Selection tool and choose Type→Create Outlines.

You can also use the keyboard command Ctrl+Shift+O (Windows) or Command+Shift+O (Mac).

The text is now grouped together in outline form.


3If you’re being creative, or just particular, and want to move individual letters, use the Group Select tool or choose Object→Ungroup to separate the letters.

When you convert type to outlines, it loses its ability for fonts to adjust their shape so that your system can optimize display or print. Without hints, letters like lowercase e might fill in as the letter forms are reduced in size. Make sure that the text is the approximate size, it will be used at before creating outlines, but no smaller than 10 points.