How To Convert Text to Outlines

If you’re submitting a marketing project for print, it’s not uncommon for companies to request text as paths, or in vector format. Using object formatting is also common when creating business logos. Follow these steps when converting text to outlines using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop:

How To Convert Text to Outlines in Illustrator

  • Step 1: Switch to the Selection tool — the black arrow — and click on the text you want to convert.
  • Step 2: From the menu, choose Type > Create Outlines. You can also press Ctrl/Command (Windows/Mac) + Shift + O for this.

Your text is now a group of vector objects. If you want to edit, resize or move one of the new “letters” individually, click on Object > Ungroup to separate the group.

How To Convert Text in Photoshop

The process for converting text is almost identical in Photoshop, save a few word differences.

  • Step 1: Select the text or text layer.
  • Step 2: Go to Type > Convert to Shape.

If you want to keep an editable backup of your text just in case, duplicate the text layer before converting the text to outlines. Do this by choosing Layer > Duplicate Layer from the menu. Hide the layer by clicking on its “eye” icon.

The Pros and Cons of Converting Text to Outlines in Vector Format

When would you want to convert text to outlines? In some cases, a printer may not have the font your finished document uses. By converting text to a vector, it can be printed anywhere. Vectors also allow you to edit individual characters in a logo or design a unique font style for your company.

The downside of converting text is that you lose the ability to edit it quickly with the Type tool. This is why many digital marketing teams leave large strings of text in their original format as long as possible.

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