Ready to watch this entire course?
Become a member and get unlimited access to the entire skills library of over 4,900 courses, including more Design and personalized recommendations.Start Your Free Trial Now
- View Offline
- Understanding the three type objects in Illustrator
- Importing text from Microsoft Word
- Using the Glyphs panel
- Converting text into editable vector paths
- Kerning and scaling characters
- Setting indents and spacing
- Threading text across multiple objects
- Sharing styles across multiple documents
- Understanding style overrides
- Changing text with Find and Replace
- Wrapping text
- Setting type along a path
- Updating legacy text
Skill Level Intermediate
Some documents have just a few words inside of it, while some documents have a lot of text. How do you get that text into Illustrator? Of course, you can take your Text tool and click on your screen and start hacking away at the keyboard, but most likely when you are working with real work that may be clients are providing for you, or you are working with text that's being written by a copywriter, you're probably getting that file sent to you as maybe a Microsoft Word file, or really some kind of file that's created in a word processor, maybe even emailed to you. How do you get that text into Illustrator in the most efficient way? In this movie, I am going to on a focus on working with Microsoft Word document, but of course you can apply these concepts to just about any file that you might want to work with, because as you'll soon see, you have several options.
Now before we actually place any text in the document, I want to point out one thing that you might find interesting inside of Illustrator. I am going to go to my Window menu, I am going to scroll down to where it says Type over here, and then I am going to choose Character Styles. Now you may be asking, why am I looking at Character Styles right now? We are going to deal with this specifically in another chapter later on inside of this training. But for now, I am just going to double-click on this Normal Character Style Notice it has this in brackets here. I am working in just a regular, plain, new document here inside of Illustrator. Every document is always going to have a normal character style inside of it.
When I double-click on it, I am able to see the Settings in that normal character style, and if I click on Basic Character Formats, I will see that the Font Family is set to Myriad Pro, Font Style is set to Regular, at a point size of 12 points with Auto Kerning and Auto Leading. Now I'm pointing this out to you because these are Illustrator's default settings. Well, let me kind of rephrase that somewhat. A lot of people think that the default font inside of Illustrator is Myriad Pro, but the reason why that's the case is because Myriad Pro is the default font chosen for the normal character style, and your normal character style is the very, very basic text that exists inside of any document.
Let's just keep this in mind as we start to bring some text inside of Illustrator, and maybe towards the end of the movie we will come back here and kind of come full circle. So I am going to click on the Cancel button now. Let's go ahead and kind of move this over to the top of the screen. And I want to place some text into my document. Right now, it's just a blank document. I am going to go to the File menu and I am going to choose Place. Now on my Desktop, inside of my Exercise files folder, I will go to Chapter 1 01, Core Concepts, and then choose this file here called Flyer_Text.doc, which is a Microsoft Word.
Now I am going to click on the Place button here and you'll see that Illustrator understands it's a Microsoft Word file and I have the following options. I can choose to include Table of Contents Text, Footnotes/Endnotes, and Index Text, or if this happens to be the text already in the document, then I probably have no use for it here inside of Illustrator. I can simply delete them or remove them from the file by unchecking these boxes. Now chances are the Word that you are going to get are probably not going to have any this kind of information inside of it, but this check box can be very important, called Remove Text Formatting.
I am actually going to right now leave it unchecked, meaning I don't want to remove any text formatting. However that file was formatted inside of Microsoft Word, that's how I want it to appear here inside of Illustrator. So I am going to click OK. So you can see now that an area type object has been created here inside of Illustrator, and again, it's important to realize because I did not have anything that existed here inside of Illustrator. So simply by going ahead and placing text now into my document, Illustrator assumes that I'm going to want that inside of some kind of a frame, and it just goes ahead and makes a frame that sits here in the middle of my artboard.
Now I am going to switch to my Type tool here for a second. I am going to get now and click in this text, and you can see that it's actually colored with a name color here. I am going to go ahead now and click on this, and you can see that this color is called Black 0. You can also see that the typeface right now is set to Arial, and I have some type sizes that are bigger, like this here is 24 point for the headline. The body copy is set to 12 pt. this tagline is set to 16. So the formatting that was applied inside of Microsoft Word, even including the colors that were assigned to the text, have all come now inside of Illustrator.
Let me ask you to jump over to Microsoft Word here for a second, so you can see what this looks like in Word. I have some text here. This is currently set to Arial 24 pt. So the same way that the file was formatted here inside of Word, that exact same formatting was now transferred when that file was now placed inside of Illustrator. Now I am just going to go ahead now and delete this. I had to switch back to my Selection tool to go ahead now and select that entire frame. And now I am going to try this again. I am going to choose File > Place. I am going to choose that same Word file, but this time in this dialog box, I am going to remove the text formatting.
Now when I click OK, let's take a look at how this text is formatted. Let me zoom in just a little bit here. First you will notice that all the type right now is the same point size. There is nothing that's larger or smaller. And if I go ahead now with my Type tool and I click somewhere inside the text, I can see that this text right now is set to Myriad Pro, Regular 12pt. Does that sound familiar? The reason why it's set this way is because my default font for this document which was defined by my normal character style is what is being used for this text.
And again, this is happening because I specifically told Illustrator to strip out the formatting from that Microsoft Word file. Now I am actually going to go ahead now and change to my Selection tool and just delete this. Let me zoom out just a little bit here. I am going to show you one other method for placing this content, and that's if take my Type tool and I click so now I have an insertion point, and now I go to the File menu and I choose Place-- let's go ahead now and choose this Microsoft Word file; remove the text formatting and then click OK-- uou could see that now instead of me having an Area Type object inside of Illustrator, this is currently set up now as a Point Type object.
See how the text just kind of runs all the way towards the end? It doesn't wrap at all. And if I turn off my bounding box by pressing the Command key or the Ctrl key on my keyboard, you can now see that this is a Point Type object, not an Area Type object. So the reason why this happened is because I first clicked to create a Point Text object with an insertion point, and then I placed the text inside of it. Likewise, if I created a special frame inside of Illustrator and I want the text to go inside of that frame as an Area Type object, I would first create my Area Type object, click my insertion point inside of that Area Type object, and then choose Place.
Now, I will leave you with one other thing. For the most part when I'm working inside of Illustrator, I have to say that I very rarely want to preserve the formatting that was created inside of the Microsoft Word file. For one thing, I don't want all the colors that were inside of Microsoft Word file to now be brought inside my Illustrator document. So by stripping out the formatting, none of those colors are being imported. In addition, I probably don't care too much about what the copywriter put inside of the Microsoft Word file, because I'm actually going to style and work on that text now here inside of Illustrator.
I am probably going to change the font and change some of the settings. So it's probably easier for me to focus on just plain text that I brought into my document than worry about bringing in formatted text, then deleting all the extra colors, removing and stripping out all the formatting manually, and then just simply resetting all the typefaces the way that I want them to be. That being said, I find that often the copy-and-paste method is probably one of the most efficient ways of bringing text into Illustrator. So, for example, I'm kind of working here. I have my type cursor.
I am just going to click once for Point Text object. I now switch over Microsoft Word. Say I am ready to put the headline here, so I will go ahead and I will just triple-click on the headline here, Command+C or Ctrl+C to copy. Let's go back to Illustrator. I have my blinking cursor here. Now I will press Command+V or Ctrl+V to paste. Notice now the text comes in without any formatting. Whenever you copy and paste text into Illustrator the formatting is always stripped out, and unfortunately this is the case when working with InDesign as well, because the formatting is not preserved when copying text between InDesign and Illustrator.
The good news is that if you are working with Photoshop or After Effects or Fireworks, when you copy and paste between those applications, the formatting is preserved. So that's something to keep in mind about working with Copy and Paste, specifically with text inside of Illustrator. Of course, if you are just copying and pasting text from an email or from another word processor or some other text-based file, you'll find this method to be most efficient as well. So that is just a basic overview of ways that you can get text inside of Illustrator so that you can work your design magic on it and create a true masterpiece.