Typing inside a Path

Typing inside a Path

An interesting feature in Illustrator is the typographical capability to flow text within any shape. The shape acts as a container for the text, and the text fills the shape — matching it as closely as possible. For example, you can have a listing of the members of the California House of Representatives flow within a shape of the state of California.

To get text to flow within a specific shape, as shown in Figure 14-24, follow these steps:

Click To expand
Figure 14-24: Flowing text within a path.
  1. Create a path by using the Pen, Pencil, or any of the basic shapes tools. (See Chapters 4, 7, and 8 for more on these tools.)


    This works best with a closed path, but the one shape you shouldn’t flow text into is a rectangle because that’s identical to creating a text box, which defeats the purpose.

  2. ?Select the Area Type tool from the Toolbox.

  3. 3.Click the path through which you want type to flow.

  4. 4.Start typing.

    While you type, text flows within the object.


For best results with text, make sure that you activate (click) Justify All Lines in the Paragraph palette. This feature spreads lines of type evenly to the left and right edges of the path. In addition, use fairly small type because large letters usually can’t fill in the details of the path.


You can adjust the path of area type just as you do any other path by clicking and dragging a point with the Direct Selection tool (Chapter 6) or by using the Pencil tool (Chapter 8) to edit the path.