7 Easy Ways to Add Text in Illustrator

Tthis comprehensive guide will walk you through both basic and advanced ways to add text in Adobe Illustrator. Let’s dive right in!

How to add text in Illustrator

Where Is The Text Tool In Illustrator?

The Type tool, or Text tool, in Adobe Illustrator, can be found in the application’s toolbar, which is typically situated on the left side of the screen. The icon representing the Type tool resembles the uppercase letter, T.

To access this tool, simply locate the T icon within the toolbar and click on it.

select Text Type tool from toolbar in Illustrator - how to add text in illustrator

Alternatively, you can activate the Type tool by pressing the T key on your keyboard.

Ways to Add Text in Adobe Illustrator

The easy way to add text in Adobe Illustrator is to select the Type tool (T) from the toolbar, then either click on the canvas to create a Point Type for individual words or short phrases, or click and drag to draw a bounding box for Area Type, which is ideal for paragraphs and blocks of text.

When you first add a text box on a new document, you will see placeholder text generated automatically.

Commonly known as “Lorem Ipsum,” placeholder text is a temporary random text used by designers to simulate the presence of actual content in their designs. This helps assess the layout, typography, and overall appearance before the final content is ready.

From here, you can replace the placeholder text with new text. Then, using the Character panel and Paragraph panel, you can adjust your text with your desired font family, font size, automatic kerning options, and more.

In this Ultimate Design Guide, you are in for a great treat with different ways and simple steps to add text in Illustrator.

Method 1: Add Point Type Text

Point Type text, the most straightforward type object, is generated by selecting the Type tool and clicking on any location within the canvas.

This text type is suitable for brief phrases, short individual words, or one line of text, as it extends horizontally without any limitations as you type. But you can’t expand your text frame without increasing your text font size.

If you wish to be able to adjust your text frame without changing the font size, you will have to convert your Point Type text to an Area Type text, which is covered in the next method. Meantime, here’s how you add a Point Type text:

Step 1: The first thing is to click on the Type tool in the toolbar.

Step 2: Use the Type tool cursor to click on the artboard once.

click once for point type text – how to add text in illustrator
lorem ipsum point type text – how to add text in illustrator
A Point Type random placeholder text “Lorem ipsum” will be generated for you.

Note that Point Type text is not the same as Point Text which is meant to be used to align text to glyph bounds.

Method 2: Add Area Type Text

Area Type text, another type object is created by clicking and dragging the Type tool over the canvas to establish a bounding box, is designed to contain text within a defined area.

As you type, the text automatically wraps inside the boundaries of the box, making it ideal for paragraphs, blocks of text, or any content that must conform to a predetermined shape or size.

Here are the steps to add an Area Type text:

Step 1: Click on the Type tool in the toolbar.

Step 2: With the Type tool as your cursor, draw a text box on your artboard.

draw a text box with the type tool to add an area type text – how to add text in illustrator

Step 3: Go to the top menu bar, select Type > Area Type Options.

select area type options from type menu – how to add text in illustrator

Then, adjust your text box settings in the Area Type Options dialog box.

area type options dialog box – how to add text in illustrator

Method 3: Type Text On A Path or Shape

You can place text along any custom path, such as a line, circle, or irregular shape, which you create using Illustrator’s shape or drawing tools. The text will follow the shape of the path you’ve created, called a Path type. This is also a kind of type object.

Knowing how to type text on a path is helpful for designing logos, emblems, or any project that requires text to flow along a particular shape or curve.

Step 1: Select the Pen tool or from the toolbar.

select pen tool from toolbar Adobe Illustrator – how to add text in illustrator
Select the Pen tool from the toolbar

Create a path line by using any path line drawing tool from the toolbar.

Step 2: Go to the toolbar and select the Type On A Path tool. It has an icon with a slanted T toppling to the right.

type on a path tool from adobe Illustrator toolbar – How to add text in Illustrator
Select Type On A Path Tool from the toolbar

Step 3: Bring the cursor to the path line and click once when you see the word “path” in pink color appear. Start typing on the path.

type on a path line in Adobe Illustrator

Otherwise, a dialog box will appear with an error message that says “You must click on a non-compound, non-masking path to create text along a path”.

type on path error – how to add text in illustrator

Method 4: Add Text Paragraphs

Long lines of text are better off broken up into smaller chunks of text. In other words, if you have a text box of ten or more lines of text, break them up into a few paragraphs for easier reading. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Click on the Type tool in the toolbar.

Step 2: You can start by using the Type tool to draw a big text bounding box with random text or placeholder text.

random placeholder text with lorem ipsum

Step 3: Use the Type tool, click on the start of a sentence after every few lines, and hit the Return key on the keyboard for Mac or Enter key for Windows.

enter sentences to add text paragraphs in adobe illustrator – how to add text in Illustrator

You’ve now created multiple paragraphs of text.

If you wish, you can make it fancy by making the first letter of the first paragraph ten times bigger than the rest, known as a drop cap. You can also make a text wrap with your type object to align with other objects.

Method 5: Add Text by Copying and Pasting

If you wish to replace the placeholder text with your own text, here are the steps:

Step 1: Click on the Type tool in the toolbar.

Step 2: Use the Type tool, and double-click the text in the text box to select all text. You will see the text highlighted.

select and highlight all lorem ipsum sample placeholder text in Adobe Illustrator

Or use the keyboard shortcut Command + A for Mac.

select all keyboard shortcut command + A

Or Ctrl + A for Windows.

select all keyboard shortcut ctrl + A

Step 3: Go to the location where you want to copy your text and copy it. Then return to the text box in Illustrator and paste the text to replace the highlighted or selected text.

You can paste the text in by going to Edit > Paste.

edit menu paste adobe illustrator

Or use the keyboard shortcut Command + V on a Mac.

keyboard shortcut command V paste

Or Ctrl + V on a Windows.

keyboard shortcut ctrl V paste

Method 6: Add Text with Bullet Points

Adding text with bullet points in Adobe Illustrator enhances the readability of your text by presenting organized, easy-to-digest information. You can add both unordered lists or numbered lists to your text. Here are the steps to add bullet points:

Step 1: Select the text box you want to apply bullet points.

Step 2: Open the Properties panel (Window > Properties) or Control panel (Window > Control).

Step 3: Go to the Paragraph section, click on the three dots for more options, and select the Bullets button or Numbered List button.

select bullet points or numbered list from paragraph panel – how to add text in illustrator

A bullet point will appear before the first letter of each paragraph. As for the bullet points in the spaces, you can place the text cursor on each of the spaces and hit Enter on Mac or Return on Windows. They will be removed.

press enter with text cursor to remove bullet points from empty space – how to add text in Illustrator

Method 7: Add Text Into An Image

Are you wondering how to add text to image in Illustrator? I know, sometimes you’d like to insert text into an image in Illustrator but the image colors may be too bold or colorful to see your text. To overlay text on an image, follow these steps:

Step 1: Add your image to the artboard by dragging it from your folder to Illustrator.

Step 2: Draw a rectangle over the image. Open the Appearance panel, and go to the fill color section. In this example, I’ve filled the rectangle with purple color and an opacity of 60%.

adjust the opacity of fill color rectangle shape – how to add text to image in illustrator

Step 3: Select the Type tool from the toolbar and click once on the image. Replace the placeholder text with your own text and adjust the font, font size, and color of the text for it to stand out.

how to insert text into image in Adobe Illustrator

FAQ on Adding Text In Illustrator

Why Can’t I See Text In Illustrator?

One reason why you can’t see text in Illustrator is that there’s more text than what the text box can contain and the font size could be taller than the box. This is called overset text. Here’s how your text box will look like with overset text:

overset text box cannot see text in adobe illustrator

The red plus sign at the corner of the text box indicates that there’s more text in the text box yet to be shown.

In this case, you will have to either make the font size smaller or enlarge the text bounding box to see the text. You can see the text by using the Selection tool (the one with the black arrow icon) to click and drag the corner of the text box.

enlarge text box to see text in adobe illustrator – how to add text in Illustrator

What Is A Text Object In Illustrator?

A text object in Illustrator refers to any instance of the text created using the Type tool within the Adobe Illustrator software. Text objects are essential elements in graphic design and can be used to convey information, create visual interest, or enhance the overall aesthetics of your artwork.

There are three main types of text objects in Illustrator, Point Type, Area Type, and Path Type.

how to outline text in Illustrator

To outline text in Illustrator, select all text boxes by using keyboard shortcuts Command + A on Mac or Ctrl + A for Windows, and press Command + Shift + O for Mac or Ctrl + Shift + O for Windows.

Final Thoughts

Adobe Illustrator offers a wide range of tools and features that enable you to incorporate text into your designs in various creative ways.

From adding simple text elements and bullet points to creating text on shapes or overlaying text on images, you can enhance your designs with engaging typography and text effects.

By following the step-by-step guides provided in this Adobe Illustrator tutorial, you can unlock the full potential of text editing in Illustrator and create visually appealing and informative graphics.

As you gain more experience with the software, you’ll be able to experiment with different techniques and styles to achieve the desired effect in your projects. 

Mastering the art of text manipulation in Illustrator will not only elevate your design skills but also set your work apart from others in the field. So, start exploring the endless possibilities of text editing to create stunning and impactful designs.

Before You Go…

Adding text in Illustrator is important yet it’s just the first step. You can have the best typography ideas, but your design won’t work well with the wrong units. Read my next article to ensure that you never make mistakes again…

How To Change Units In Illustrator [4 Easy Ways]

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