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Character Panel

& Type Outline
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by JuliannaKunstler.com

Type panels

Two of the most common type panels in Illustrator are Character and Paragraph panels.

Window > Type > Character

These are your text control panels.

To view all available options - click on the drop down menu button (upper right corner) and choose "Show Options".

To access Paragraph panel - click on Paragraph tab.

Choose Font family and font style.

To change type color - use Swatches panel or Fill swatch in the Tool bar.

You can also apply stroke to type.

This is simple - choose type size.

Type has to be selected to change the settings. Duh......

You can choose size from presets or type in a number.

Leading - is a distance between baselines.

Also called "line spacing" in some applications.

You can overlap lines if the leading number is small enough.

Kerning - is a distance between two characters.

Click between the two letters to apply the setting. Think of is as a "fine tuning".

This setting is mostly used on headers and short text lines.

Tracking - sets space between characters in the entire selected text.

Vertical scale - adjusts the height of the characters.

Horizontal scale - adjusts the width of the characters.

Baseline shift - shifts text above or below the baseline.

Character Rotation - surprise!!! - rotates characters....

All Caps - capitalizes all characters in the text.

Small Caps - capitalizes all characters in the text, but.... scales them down.

Superscript - sets a character above the baseline and scales it down.

Subscript - sets a character below the baseline and scales it down.

Underline - underlines!

Strikethrough - crosses text out.

type outline

If you want to use type as a part of your design or logo - you might want to convert it into edit-friendly format.

"Outlined" text is a font that has been converted into a vectored format. In other words: type characters become shapes.

Once the text is outlined, it looses ability to be edited (text, font), but....

You can edit your text as you would edit a shape (by anchor points).

You can open and print your artwork correctly without needing the actual font file used.


Open a new file.

Select Type tool.

Open Character panel (Window > Type > Character).

Click and type your name.

Pick a font you like. Resize if necessary.

Keep the text selected.

From the menu bar: Type > Create Outlines

The letters will be grouped together.

To ungroup: Object > Ungroup

Now you can select one letter at a time.

Use Direct Selection tool.

You can select one ore more anchor points and edit them.

Experiment with the shapes.

Overlap the letters.

Select them both.