How to convert outlined text to editable text with VectorFirstAid

How to convert outlined text to editable text with VectorFirstAid

4 minute read

In this article, we'll talk about how to convert outlined text to editable text and remove text transforms. Such actions are now possible thanks to new functions available in VectorFirstAid. After the text becomes editable you can replace words, adjust text parameters (for example, kerning or tracking) correct grammatical errors and so on. These new features are very useful for those who use text objects in their daily work.

Let's take a look at the unoutlining text feature, working with the example of this California poster from Adobe Stock.

Two fonts were used in this poster: Bebas Neue and Great Vibes, and they are currently outlined.

Convert outlined text to editable

To do this open the VectorFirstAid panel (Window > VectorFirstAid > VectorFirstAid panel) and click on the "Convert outlined text paths to editable text" button.

The text will now become editable.

Now you have the opportunity to replace words, adjust text parameters, (such as kerning or tracking) correct grammatical errors and so on.

To convert outlined text to editable, you need the exact same font that exists on your system. This Function will look through all the glyphs in all of the fonts, and if the exact match is found, the text can be converted.

If the function had to examine millions of glyphs each time it would be exceedingly slow. So the very first time you use this function it needs to go through all glyphs and create data files of all fonts on your system, this does take a bit of time but is necessary. The very first time you use this function it will give you a warning that it will take between three and seven minutes depending on how many fonts you have and the speed of your system. This is a one-time event and every time you use this function after that it will not happen again.

After each launch of Illustrator and for the first time you use the function it will go through a verification to make sure that you don't have any new fonts. If you do, it will need to create data files for those new fonts and also load them from the disc. Together, these operations take typically only 15 to 20 seconds and are a one-time thing per launch, so if you keep Illustrator open you won't see it very often.

Points on paths must be in exactly the places that they were created. If some of the points were moved or deleted by you, then the font might not be recognized, and conversion will not occur. Sheared and rotated text however, can be converted to editable text. The word "California" here was transformed with the help of the Shear Tool. In addition, such a transformation can be removed by clicking on the corresponding button in the VectorFirstAid panel, which is highlighted with a red box in the picture below.

After removal of the transformation, it is usually necessary to set 100% for Horizontal Scale in the Characters panel.

For designers who often use text in their work, these new Unoutlining text, Remove text transforms, Alignment of a point text and Breaking text apart features will be very useful.

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