Add Text to CS5 Documents - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You can add text to an Adobe Creative Suite document by using the Text tool or by importing the text from another source, such as Microsoft Word. You can create a single line of text in a text field or large blocks of text with or without columns. Text fields can be rotated and resized, and you can change the color, font face, orientation, and character size of the text.

Text can also be placed on a path. You can then add text to your documents in a different way because you can draw a path and have the text follow it. Paths are particularly useful for headings on a page, footers, and artistic works that use text as one of their elements.

How to use fonts

A font refers to the typeface of a set of characters. You may also hear about the glyph, which is an actual character. For example, S is a glyph. A set of glyphs make up a font.

You can view glyphs in the Glyph panel in Illustrator (choose Window→Type→Glyphs), which is especially useful when you’re using fonts such as Wingdings that are made of pictures instead of letters and numbers.

The fonts you use can make a huge difference to the look, feel, and style of your documents. Whether you’re working on a layout for a magazine article or creating a digital piece of art, the kinds of fonts you use help the feel of the work.

Two major groupings for fonts exist, as illustrated in the figure:

  • Serif: Each character has a small line that intersects the end of each line, such as the feet on the letters rif in serif.

  • Sans serif: A character has no small, intersecting line at the end of a line.


Sometimes sans serif fonts feel more modern, whereas serif looks more historical, formal, or literary. Take a moment to look at how text is used around the web and in books, magazines, advertisements, and even the newspaper. Finding an appropriate font is sometimes a challenging design task, but it can also be fun.

Types of fonts

Typically, people in the professional graphics industry use PostScript fonts, and preferably OpenType fonts, which are more reliable when printing, as compared to TrueType fonts, which may reflow when printing to different resolutions.

  • TrueType: Like other digital typefaces, the TrueType font file contains information, such as outlines, hinting instructions, and character mappings (which characters are included in the font). Mac and Windows users can’t share TrueType fonts.

  • PostScript (Type 1): The scalable PostScript font system is compatible with PostScript printers; users can see fonts on the screen the same way the fonts would be printed. Type 1 font files consist of two files — a screen font with bitmap information for onscreen display and a file with outline information for printing.

  • OpenType: The OpenType font technology was created in a joint effort between Adobe and Microsoft and is an extension of the TrueType font format that can also contain PostScript data. OpenType fonts are cross-platform — the same font file works under both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. This digital type format offers extended character sets and more advanced typographic controls.

Use text and fonts on the web

When you use fonts in a web page, system fonts are used to display text. Specify a font or a group of fonts to use on each page, and the fonts that are installed on the visitor’s computer are used to display the text.

The problem arises if you use fonts that aren’t installed on the visitor’s computer. A different font is substituted and the page looks completely different as a result.

When you’re using Dreamweaver to create websites, you can use a set of fonts that you want to use on each page. These fonts are similar in how they look, and if one of the fonts isn’t available, the next font is used instead.

Among the fonts in the set, at least one of them should be installed on the visitor’s computer, to ensure that your pages will look similar to your original layout.

You can use Photoshop and Illustrator to create an image using any font installed on your computer and then save that image for the web (choose File→Save for web & Devices).

Then you can place that image in your web page with Dreamweaver. This option is best used for small amounts of text — say, for buttons on a navigation bar, headings to separate areas of text, or a customized banner at the top of a web page.