New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Setting text along a closed path

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Setting text along a closed path

So we know that inside of Illustrator, we can create a type on a path object where the type flows along a path. We've done that so far with open paths, but let's take a closer look at working with closed paths because a few things are somewhat different. First of all note that in this example I have the word CULTIVATE appear across the top, but the word YOUR GARDEN goes in a different direction across the bottom. In order to create this type of design inside of Illustrator, you actually need to create two type on a path objects.

Setting text along a closed path

So we know that inside of Illustrator, we can create a type on a path object where the type flows along a path. We've done that so far with open paths, but let's take a closer look at working with closed paths because a few things are somewhat different. First of all note that in this example I have the word CULTIVATE appear across the top, but the word YOUR GARDEN goes in a different direction across the bottom. In order to create this type of design inside of Illustrator, you actually need to create two type on a path objects.

To see how to create that, let's first begin with drawing a circle. I am going to use the regular Ellipse tool and I will hold down the Option key or Alt on Windows and also the Shift key so I can draw perfect Circle out from the center. Next, I'm going to want to add some text here to this path. So to make things easier, I can actually set some of these settings in advance. I will go to the Window menu here, scroll down to where it says Type, and I will choose open up the Character panel. In fact I want to work with the Paragraph panel as well, so I am simply going to take the tab of the Character panel and drag it out so it is own separate panel.

Let me position these right about over here, so now I have both the Character and Paragraph panel visible. I want my text to be centered, so I am going to click on the Align Center option. And I want is Chaparral Pro Bold for my typeface, so from the popup over here I am going to choose Chaparral Pro and I will now choose Bold and I'll use the typeface little bit bigger, maybe around 24 points. Great. Now I am ready to add my type to this circle and create a type on a path object. Now, I will start by first coming over here to my Tools panel and I will select the Type tool.

While we know that there are several type tools here which I can access by clicking and holding the mouse button down on the type tool, I can use certain keyboard shortcuts so that I don't have to keep switching between these tools. For example when I am on the artboard with my regular Type tool, I know that if I click once, I'll create a point text object. If I click and drag, I will create an area text object. If I click on an open path, that path will turn into a type on a path object, but I also know that if I move my cursor over a closed shape, Illustrator actually turns into the cursor with those parentheses, indicating it's going to turn that into an area text object.

In other words, Illustrator thinks that I might want to put text inside of this circle and treat a circle like a container for the text. I don't want to do that here. I actually want this to turn into a type on a path object where the text runs along the perimeter or the outside of the circle. So to do that I am going to press the Option key or the Alt key on my keyboard. Now you will notice that my cursor changes to the Type on a Path tool. Now remember I had my text now set to centered, so I want my text to be centered right at the top of the circle right here.

So I could type the word CULTIVATE. So with my Option key held down, I am now going to click on this area and watch what happens. Yes, it did now convert this to a type on a path object but my blinking cursor now is at the bottom of the circle. In fact, if I start typing the word CULTIVATE I see that that text right now is perfectly centered at the bottom. Why did that happen? Well, let's switch to the Direct Selection tool and will get a better understanding of what just happened. You see when we're working with an open path and I click at one point to create my type on a path object, the place where I click actually becomes my start point.

However, a quick look now at the circle reveals that at the top of my circle I now see both the start and the end points. I also see both the in and out ports. This is because on a closed path, the same place that I click not only defines my start point. It also defines the endpoint. That's because we are dealing with a continuous path here. So when I click at this point, I have indeed created my start point, but if I then travel 360 degrees around the circle, my endpoint is right back where I started.

Since I specified my text to be centered, this point at the bottom of the circle is now the center point between my both start and end points. So to fix this problem, all I need to do is move down over here, grab the center point, and drag it up towards the top. If I am using Smart Guides, it's really easy to snap it right in to position. However, at this point I now want the words YOUR GARDEN to appear along the bottom part of the circle, but remember inside of Illustrator, I can only have text travel in one direction along a path and it can only be on one side of that path, in this case either the outside or the inside.

In order for text to travel in this direction, I would need the text to be traveling on the inside of that path. So to do that I'm now going to create a second type object. I'll hold down my Option key on my keyboard or Alt on Windows and I will click and drag to create a copy of this type on a path object. Now I can double click on the text to change my type cursor, hit Command+A to select all of my text within this particular text object, type in the words YOUR GARDEN, and then using my Direct Selection tool move the center point of this one not only towards the bottom of the circle, but also towards the inside of the circle as well.

So I have created two basic elements I need in order to complete my construct here. To align them correctly, I am going to use my Selection tool to select both of these elements and then from the Control panel I will click a line to bring up the Align options and I will align it both vertically and horizontally by their centers. At this point though I still need to make one other adjustment because if I select this, you'll see that the word CULTIVATE appears along the outside of the path, but the word YOUR GARDEN appears along the inside of the path. So I am not really getting the visual look that I'm going for. I really need the tops of the letters here of YOUR GARDEN to align up here with the path itself, not the bottom of that text.

So to make that adjustment I'm going to be using Baseline Shift. I'll take my Type tool, I'll click to insert my icon here inside of this text, and press Command+A and I can now use the Baseline Shift option, I will go here using negative values, to actually push my text out so that it aligns correctly. I could then use additional settings here inside a Character panel, for example a point size and tracking, to get my text to look exactly as I need it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 81256 viewers

Mordy Golding

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?


Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.