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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Many designs call for placing text along a path. So let's explore how that's done inside of Illustrator and I want to point out that one of the reasons why we first explored the different types of text inside of Illustrator, for example, Point Text and Area Text, is because of the way that Path Text works inside of Illustrator. So I'm going to start off just by creating a regular print blank document. I'm going to leave this one be Landscape instead of Portrait. What I'm going to start off by doing is just create a path first. I'm going to use my Pen tool here, say where we kind of did before, I'll just click and drag let's say I want to create some kind of a curved path, click and drag, and now I have this path that I've created.
I'm now going to go take my Type tool that's right here and click on it. If you click and you hold your mouse button down, there is something here called the Type on a Path tool, but I'm not going to actually choose that tool, I just want to show you there is a keyboard shortcut that I could use to access text on a path just by using the Type tool itself. So I have my Type tool selected, as I move over this path itself, notice that as soon as I kind of touch that Open Path, Illustrator automatically identifies the fact that it's a path and it will let me put the text directly on a path that way. So I'm just going to click right about over here. And I'll get a blinking cursor and now I can start putting typing there. Let's say I do, SURFING IS FUN! So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my text. I'm going to scale that text to be a little bit bigger. By the way instead of having to go to the menu over here and change the font size I'll use a keyboard shortcut. I'm going to hold down the Command+Shift+>. It's actually the period but I like to look it as a greater than sign, because it's easier. That means that I'm making my type bigger.
If you're on a Windows computer it will be Ctrl+Shift+> and each time you tap that key, it enlarges your text two points at a time. Just to let you know if you want to make your text smaller, again the same keyboard shortcut, Command+Shift or Ctrl+Shift, and then use the < sign or the comma on your keyboard and that goes ahead to make your text size smaller, two points at a time. So I'm just going to make a little bit bigger so that we can see the text there, and let's explore exactly what text in a path really is. I'm going to switch over to my Direct Selection tool and you'll note that there are these interesting little user interface elements that now appear on this particular path.
Now the path itself by the way has lost its appearance. Whenever you take a regular path and you put text on it and then turn that into a Path Text element. The Stroke Attribute that was on it before, which is a regular 1-point Black Stroke. Now the Stroke is set to None. I could by the way just click on that path now and manually add a Stroke to it again if I wanted to. By just letting you know that's what happens and you automatically put that particular setting on it. So I have this element here if I click on my text over here, I see there are a couple of elements here. Let's explore them. So first of all I see a vertical line here. I see one over here and I see one here as well. Then as you'll see the boxes that appear here. Remember those boxes, we saw them in Area Text.
Well, here's a little pointer to understand exactly what's happening when you create text in a path inside of Illustrator. We discussed before that when you have just regular Point Text, there is nothing that contains or holds that text. It's simply a regular anchor point that has text, think of it like attached to it, and then as you continue to type that texturing just keeps running and running and running until you press Enter. There is nothing that constrains or holds that particular content. However, when you create Area Text you'll have a shape, which contains that particular text inside of it and the text re- flows inside of that shape. Well, this vertical line over here and this one that's also here represent the start and end points of where the text on a path goes.
In reality, Path Text is really close to what Area Text is. Even though my path begins here and ends here, depending on where my start and end points are, are basically the frame that holds that particular text. So just to show you by the way, if I were to take let's say my cursor, just click on this end point and drag it so that it's around over here. I'm telling Illustrator that I only want text to appear on the path and start it over here at the start point and end it over here. Even though my path itself is longer and can contain all the text, I'm basically allowing the text to only live within a certain area on that particular text path. So again it's just closer to the way that the Area Text object kind of works.
So I'll go ahead and I'll just expand this way here. Let's say I want my text to end here and maybe I wanted to start say back over here. Now right now my text is actually aligned left, but if I were to go to my Paragraph Setting I align it to the center, it would now be centered not on the path but between the start point and the end point, and if I do align right, it basically aligned to the right where that point is. So again, it's something to pay attention to when you think about how you align your text there. Now if you look over here there is one more align here and it's kind of like a little inverted T icon. When you click on that that allows you to actually move the entire text element including where the start and the end points are. When I click on this over here, the start point and the end point are moving all the text along that particular path.
Now right now my text is on the top of the path, but watch what happens when I move my cursor and I drag that icon down, down, down to the other side of the path. See, now my text flips to the other side of the path, and again I could move it along this way. So here's how to control my text in a path. The reason why I'm showing this to you right now is this is the way that Illustrator works with type on a path on open paths. But when we start dealing with closed paths, like for example, ovals or rectangles, there are a few other things we need to watch out for. So now that we have this in place, let's take a look at what text on paths look like when dealing with closed paths.
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