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Creating and formatting text

From: Up and Running with Illustrator

Video: Creating and formatting text

In this exercise I am going to show you the basics of working with type inside of Illustrator. We'll not only create some type inside of a frame, but we'll go ahead and format that type as well. I am working in a document called Sticker sheet.ai. I am going to go ahead and zoom in on the lower right region of this artboard. Then I'll grab the Type tool. Now there is a couple of different ways to create type. You can create type free form as point type, as we'll see in the next exercise. Or you can set type inside of a rectangular frame.

Creating and formatting text

In this exercise I am going to show you the basics of working with type inside of Illustrator. We'll not only create some type inside of a frame, but we'll go ahead and format that type as well. I am working in a document called Sticker sheet.ai. I am going to go ahead and zoom in on the lower right region of this artboard. Then I'll grab the Type tool. Now there is a couple of different ways to create type. You can create type free form as point type, as we'll see in the next exercise. Or you can set type inside of a rectangular frame.

I am going to go for the second option here. And I am going to create the frame by dragging with my Type tool. And notice that you draw a rectangle and then when you release the mouse button, you can go ahead and type some text into that frame. However, in my case I've already created some text in advance and I've copied it to the clipboard. So I am going to go ahead and drag over this text to select it. And we will replace it with the clipboard type by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Paste command and we end up getting this text here. Now I want to reform out this text, I obviously don't want to leave it set in Courier.

So I need to select all of the type inside of this frame and you do that by going up to the Select menu and choosing the All command. Now I am going to change the formatting. Notice right there is my typeface listed in the Control panel. If I click the down-pointing arrowhead, then I can choose a typeface from my list if I like, such as Lithos Pro, which happens to be available to this system. But let's say you know the specific font you want to use. Then go ahead and click inside that font option once again to highlight the font name, and then enter the name of the font you prefer.

In my case, I'll go ahead and type the word Myriad followed by a space and a P, and that tells the Illustrator to grab the first font that matches those letters, Myriad Pro, one of the fonts that ships with the Creative Suite, so you may well have access to it on your system as well. I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to accept that change. Now notice that the word and is kind of hanging off here. So I want to change the size of my textframe, which is something that I can do with that black arrow Selection tool at the top of the toolbox.

But here's another way to switch to it, much easier as well. You just press the Escape key and when you press the Escape, you accept all of the modifications you've made to your type, and in our case you switch back to the Selection tool. Now I want to drag one of the handles around the frame in order to change its size but I'm not seeing the handles. I am seeing these very small square points. But I am not seeing the larger hollow handles and that's because it turned off by Bounding Box in the previous exercise. So let's turn it back on by going to the View menu and choosing Show Bounding Box.

Note that the Bounding Box function applies to all objects globally. So in other words you turn off for all your illustrations, and then you turn it on for all future illustrations as well. Now I get my handles back and I can go ahead and drags that corner handle in my case up into the left just a little bit and that's going to force the word and to wrap down to the next line. That works out just fine. Now let's say I want to additionally revise some formatting. I am going to go ahead and zoom on in here. I want to take the phone number and make it bold.

Here are a few more type tricks that are available to you. One is you can go ahead and double- click inside of a type object, in order to switch back to the Type tool and position your blinking insertion marker right at that double-click point. If you want to select some text you just drag across it as you would in a Word Processor. To select a word you double-click on it. You can double-click and drag on that second click in order to select a string of words. Or if you want to select an entire line of type, then triple-click on it and you don't have to rush it, by the way.

You can just do click, click, click in order to select that line of time. And now I am going to switch to the Bold style. Now if you take a look at the Control panel you are not going to see any icon for Bold, or Italic. Similarly, if I bring up the Character panel, which I can get to by clicking on the word Character, I'll bring up this large Character panel that provides access to all of the character formatting options; that is all the formatting options that are applicable to single characters at a time. And I am not seeing any Bold, or Italic icons.

What Illustrator requires you to do is select from the designer defined styles and you can select those styles from this second list of options right here. So notice, in addition to Bold and Italic and Bold Italic, we've got Semibold, you've got Bold Condensed, you've got be a regular Condensed, and so on. So we have many more styles than you might think. I am going to go ahead and switch to the Bold option right there by selecting it. You also incidentally, if I press the Escape key in order to hide that panel; you also have access to your styles in this pop-up menu to the right of the font option in the Control panel.

Next, I want to add a little bit of extra paragraph spacing. For Example, I want some headroom above the address here. So I'll just click in that 123 Main Street line there, I don't need to select the entire line of type, because this time around we will apply a paragraph formatting option, which affects an entire paragraph at a time. And I'll get to it by clicking on the word Paragraph and I am going to change this option, the one that provides space before the paragraph. I am going to change it from 0 points to 3 points, and that will give me just a little bit of headroom above the address, like so.

I want to do the same thing for the URL. So I'll go ahead and click on this email address. In order to make it active, bring up the Paragraph panel and change that before spacing value to 3 points. Finally, I want to format these lines as if they are hyperlinks. So I'm going to triple-click in the first line, and then drag down on that third click in order to select both lines of type. And I'll bring up the Character panel by clicking on the word Character. And I'll click on this little icon, the Underline icon to add underlines to my text.

And now I want to go ahead and assign color to the text. Now color is a character level formatting attribute and yet we do not see it inside the Character panel. So go ahead and press the Escape key in order to hide that panel, instead you change your fill color over here at the outset of the Control panel. Go ahead and click on that black swatch, and switch to a shade of blue such as CMYK Blue in the first row. And then I'll press the Escape key in order to escape out of that panel. And I'll press the Escape key again in order to switch away from the Type tool and return control to the Selection tool.

And then I'll click off the type in order to deselect it. And now you have at least a basic sense of how to create and format type inside of Illustrator.

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This video is part of

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Up and Running with Illustrator

26 video lessons · 19934 viewers

Deke McClelland
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