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Area type, point type, and the bounding box

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text

Video: Area type, point type, and the bounding box

We just learned about the three kinds of type object that can exist inside of Illustrator, and before we go further, I want to take a moment to focus on what may seem like an insignificant feature, but it could cause a lot of confusion inside of Illustrator, especially when working with text. We know that when we create some artwork inside of Illustrator--for example, I'm just going to go ahead now and take my Ellipse tool and I will draw a circle right here on my screen. And if I take my regular Selection tool and I select it, I see that there's a bounding box that appears around the boundary of this object.

Area type, point type, and the bounding box

We just learned about the three kinds of type object that can exist inside of Illustrator, and before we go further, I want to take a moment to focus on what may seem like an insignificant feature, but it could cause a lot of confusion inside of Illustrator, especially when working with text. We know that when we create some artwork inside of Illustrator--for example, I'm just going to go ahead now and take my Ellipse tool and I will draw a circle right here on my screen. And if I take my regular Selection tool and I select it, I see that there's a bounding box that appears around the boundary of this object.

Now this bounding box allows me to have these handles where I can resize this artwork if I want to, very easily. I can do that without having to switch to a different tool, like for example the Scale tool. Now there are many people who don't like that feature, so they go to the View menu and they turn that setting off by choosing Hide Bounding Box, and you can see now that bounding box goes away. So the only way for me to really scale this is to use the Scale tool specifically. Now I'm going to go back for a moment here and turn the bounding box back on again. The keyboard shortcut for that is Command+Shift+B or Ctrl+Shift+B on Windows.

And you can see that I right now I'm using my regular Selection tool, but if I were to switch to my Direct Selection tool, the bounding box goes away. You see, when working with Illustrator, the bounding box is only active when I have the Selection tool active. However, whenever I am using the Direct Selection tool, the thought process is I am probably looking to work with individual anchor points, so I don't want to see the bounding box at all. Now there is another keyboard shortcut here at play. We know that when I'm working inside of Illustrator, the Command key always takes me to the last selection tool that I have used.

So I am working now with this selection tool. The last one I used was Direct Selection tool, so pressing Command or Ctrl on my keyboard changes me temporarily to be working with the Direct Selection tool, which turns off the bounding box because, the bounding box does not work with the Direct Selection tool. When I release the key on my keyboard the bounding box comes back and my tool goes back to the Selection tool. Now why are we talking about bounding boxes here at all? Well, let's take a look at these two type examples here. I am working with a file called bounding.ai.

And I'm going to go ahead now and click on this shape right here. And you can see that I have a bounding box surrounded, and if you click on this one down over here, you can see that I also have a bounding box around it. And they may look similar to you. Now the question you might ask yourself is, are these point text objects or are these areas type objects? Now if we take a closer look at the one on the bottom here, I can tell you this is the area type object, because it has those in ports and out ports right, these little big box that appear over here on the left side and on the right side.

That's a quick indicator to me that what I'm seeing right there is the frame itself. However, when I select list this, this happens to be just a point text object. Why does it have the big box or frame around it? It's not really the frame; that's the bounding box. If I go to the View menu and I turn the bounding box off, you will see now that goes away. So now when I click on this, this is an area type object. This is a point type object. You can see just a single point right over here. But I'm only seeing it this way because I've turned off the bounding box.

Now of course, if I go back to the View menu, let's turn Show Bounding Box back on, and switch to my Direct Selection tool, then I can easily see the difference between these two. Now when I am working though, I may not actually be paying that close attention. So if I do have the bounding box turned on and I click on this shape and I might think that by dragging on this, I am actually making the frame larger, you can actually see that I am stretching the text. Whereas if I click on this one over here and I click to enlarge the frame, only the frame is becoming larger but the text of course stays inside of it.

So if this ever happens to you, now you know why. In this case here, you may have thought you were working with a frame, but this was simply the bounding box for an object. I am going to click Undo a few times to go back to the way the text was before. And another way to make sure that the text you are dealing with is point text and not area text, is if I do click on it and my bounding box is active, simply press the Command key or the Ctrl key on your keyboard for a moment. That switches you to the Direct Selection tool and if it's simply the bounding box, that will disappear. So I can very easily see oh, this right here what I'm dealing with, this piece of text is a point text object.

Whereas if I come down here and I click on this to select it, even if I press the Command key, I'm so going to see that frame around the object and more importantly, the in and the out ports of that text frame.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text
Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text

52 video lessons · 14962 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. Art, typography, and Illustrator
      4m 23s
    3. Using the exercise files
      26s
  2. 38m 30s
    1. Knowing Illustrator's limitations
      5m 47s
    2. The three type objects in Illustrator
      11m 18s
    3. Area type, point type, and the bounding box
      4m 35s
    4. The difference between type and text
      3m 42s
    5. Unicode: consistent type for all
      4m 23s
    6. Bringing text from Microsoft Word into Illustrator
      8m 45s
  3. 39m 51s
    1. Understanding font types
      6m 28s
    2. Using the Glyphs panel
      8m 30s
    3. OpenType support and automatic glyph replacement
      9m 43s
    4. Previewing fonts as you use them
      5m 0s
    5. Converting text into editable vector paths
      6m 19s
    6. Using the Find Font feature
      3m 51s
  4. 49m 4s
    1. Setting up the document
      12m 26s
    2. Basic character settings and keyboard shortcuts
      7m 28s
    3. Kerning, tracking, and optical kerning
      13m 6s
    4. Using horizontal and vertical scaling
      4m 38s
    5. Using the Baseline Shift and Character Rotation options
      7m 28s
    6. Using underlines and strikethroughs
      2m 5s
    7. Working with small caps, superscript, and subscript
      1m 53s
  5. 46m 36s
    1. Basic paragraph settings and keyboard shortcuts
      6m 47s
    2. Setting tabs and leaders
      11m 51s
    3. Setting indents and spacing
      9m 6s
    4. Understanding hyphenation and justification settings
      10m 28s
    5. Understanding the composers in Illustrator
      8m 24s
  6. 16m 7s
    1. Threading text across multiple objects
      8m 17s
    2. Adding multiple text columns in a single object
      3m 29s
    3. Specifying an inset for area type objects
      4m 21s
  7. 32m 53s
    1. Text styles in Illustrator
      7m 6s
    2. Defining and modifying character styles
      10m 40s
    3. Defining and modifying paragraph styles
      5m 0s
    4. Understanding the style override
      5m 3s
    5. Sharing styles across documents
      2m 10s
    6. Changing default type settings
      2m 54s
  8. 37m 9s
    1. Aligning text margins and indents optically
      3m 53s
    2. Creating non-breaking text
      2m 36s
    3. Changing case
      1m 39s
    4. Using smart punctuation
      5m 12s
    5. Selecting type objects easily
      3m 20s
    6. Understanding hidden text codes
      2m 20s
    7. Checking spelling
      3m 3s
    8. Using language support to your advantage
      3m 41s
    9. Changing text with Find and Replace
      3m 54s
    10. Finding substituted fonts and glyphs
      3m 55s
    11. Wrapping text around objects
      3m 36s
  9. 16m 47s
    1. Setting type along a path
      10m 22s
    2. The difference between open and closed paths
      6m 25s
  10. 10m 57s
    1. Understanding legacy text
      4m 23s
    2. Updating legacy text
      6m 34s
  11. 1m 16s
    1. Next steps
      1m 16s

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