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Creating text on open paths

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Creating text on open paths

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.

Creating text on open paths

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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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48567 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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