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When I want to define an envelope inside of Illustrator, I know that I can make a selection and then go to the Object menu and choose an option from the Envelope Distort sub-menu. However, when working with text Illustrator makes it just little bit easier to apply certain types of envelopes. Let's take a look. I'm going to have just a simple regular plain document here open, nothing fancy. Take my regular Type tool. Let's type some words on my screen. Let's type in SURFING. I'll just use my Selection tool here and use the Bounding box to enlarge that text so that we can see it little bit better. Maybe I'll change it to bold weight, again you can choose whichever typeface you would like and now if I want go ahead and I want to apply a envelope distortion, instead of going to the Object menu, if we take a look over here in the control panel, you will see that I have an icon here which is a pop-up menu that allows me to choose to make an envelope either with the Warp or with a Mesh.
So for example, let's say I want to go ahead and have some kind of distortion and use a Warp as a starting point for it. I can simply go over here, choose Make with Warp and then I'll click on the Preview button, click OK and right away I have added now an envelope and you can see that with the envelope highlighted, I know that I can adjust any of its setting right here. If I want to choose between some of the other ones for example instead of using the Arc one, I maybe want to use the Flag one I could very quickly change these options directly from the control panel. Again, these particular elements the ability to actually define an envelope from the control panel only exists for live text objects but when you are working with text and you want a quick distortion, it's a quick way to go ahead and apply that effect very easily from the control panel.
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