How to Adjust the Type Settings in Illustrator
Adjusting your type settings
Before you get started working with Type inside of Illustrator, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Type settings that are available to you. In this movie, I'll be exploring the various Type settings, and how you can utilize those make working with Type a little bit more of a pleasurable experience. First thing we are going to do is we are going to go up to the Edit menu, and we're going to choose Preferences, and then we are going to go to Type. Inside of the Type section, there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of. The top section here controls some of the basic options that would exist normally inside of a Character or Paragraph panel.
Now, you can set these defaults if you want to, but in most cases, you're going to actually be changing these as you go by utilizing those panels. We'll cover those panels in depth in their own movie a little bit later on. Another thing you might want to be aware of is Type Object Selection by Path Only. This is a lot like the selection preference, where you had to actually click on the path in order to select the object. But in this case, you would actually have to select the type path in order to make the type object selected. Let me show you exactly what I mean by this. I am going to hit Cancel here for a second, and I am just going to come out and type some basic text.
I am then going to grab my Selection tool -- and I am going to blow it up pretty big, so you can see it. Now when I get close to this type, you can see here that I don't actually have to be on the type to click on it, and select it. However, if I have that option turned on that I was just talking about -- I have to go to Edit > Preferences > Type, and I turn on Type Object Selection by Path Only, and hit OK -- you'll notice, now, that I actually have to be really close to the type in order to select it; I actually have to click on the path that it lives on. This is the path that it lives on; this little baseline looking thing at the bottom.
So in order to select this type, I have to click right here. If you don't like that, you can go back into Preferences, and turn that off. Again, that's Edit > Preferences, and then going back to Type. For this particular chapter, I am going to turn this off, although when I am normally working inside of Illustrator, I do have this turned on. You can also choose to Show Font Names in English; Show Asian Options if you need to. Number of Recent Fonts; this is a big one. If you're working with a lot of different fonts, you might want to up this number a little bit. However, if you only work with a set core of fonts -- let's say, you have one or two big clients, and they both use just three or four fonts -- you can actually back down the number of recently used fonts to suit your needs.
The recently used fonts are going to pop up in the Font menu when you're selecting fonts to let you know of ones that you've recently been using. This is extremely helpful, because it allows you to get to the fonts you use most often, very quickly, without having to scroll through the entire list. The last Type setting that is really important to me is Font Preview. By default, it's set to Medium, but some people actually like to put it on Small. Let me show you the differences between all three settings here. Let's leave it on Small, and hit OK. When I go to change the font of this, I could go up to the Control panel, and click, but I don't get a representation of what the fonts look like in the Control panel.
If I go up to the Type menu, however, and go to Font, you'll see here that I get a list of all the fonts, and they are actually being displayed in that font. Now, in some cases, if you are working on a really big monitor with a high-resolution, if this is set to Small, it's going to be almost impossible to A, read, or B, see what it looks like. You'll notice some of these smaller fonts just sort of run together; they look like little lines to me. So I am going to click away. Let me show you the difference between Small and Large. I'll go back up to the Edit menu, go into Preferences, and go back to my Type, and I'll turn the Preview from Small to Large; hit OK.
Now if I go back to the Type menu, it may take a moment to render, but once it does, you'll see that I get a nice big preview of all the fonts. The downside to using font previews is the fact that it slows down Illustrator a little bit, because it actually has to load all of these fonts for you to see it. But if you absolutely have to see these, because you don't know your fonts by name necessarily, you should turn this on, and I would recommend cranking up the size as well to make it easier to see. It's impossible to know what your preferences are before you actually start working with Type inside of Illustrator.
So it's of my opinion that you should go into Illustrator, and actually do some real-world work before you go in and start changing all of these options. As you start to work, you'll develop your own preferences, and then you can go in and change Illustrator's Preferences to suit your needs.
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