3 Easy Ways To Italicize Text In Illustrator

This guide will show you the easiest ways to italicize text. Ready to tilt text in Illustrator? Let’s get started!

how to italicize text in illustrator

What Is Italicized in Illustrator?

Italicizing is more than just a stylistic choice; it’s a vital tool in typography. It’s like the chocolate chip in a cookie, a small addition that greatly enhances the overall experience.

And here’s the good news: so long your font is a variable font, italicizing in Illustrator is as easy as baking cookies! What are variable fonts? You will learn more about that in the next section. But first, let’s understand the cookie policy of typography.

An italic typeface is slightly slanted to the right and is typically used for emphasis or distinction. It’s like underlining or bolding text, making it look different from the other words around it.

what is italicized text – how to italicize text in illustrator
An italic-style text slants to one side

It’s often found in serif fonts, although sans-serif fonts can also have italic variants. Italicizing can change the tone of your message in a text box or even a large block of placeholder text.

Imagine browsing web pages where all the text is in the same style. Boring, right? That’s where italicizing comes in. It’s like adding a color swatch to a monochrome image. It enhances readability, emphasizes key points, and influences the tone of your message. 

What Are Variable Fonts

In the world of typography, variable fonts were introduced in 2016, and they’ve quickly become popular among designers for their versatility and efficiency. If you’re new to Adobe Illustrator and variable fonts, or if you’re looking for ways to enhance your typography game, this guide is for you.

Variable fonts are a revolutionary addition to typography. They are font files that incorporate an entire type family into one single file, as opposed to traditional typefaces that require separate files for each style and weight.

This feature means with just that one font file, you can adjust the weight, width, slant or italicize, and other attributes. You don’t have to install many font files to have different font styles: one for regular style, another font file for bold, and a third font file for italic style.

variable font file with regular, bold and italicize styles – how to italicize text in illustrator

Variable fonts bring a plethora of benefits to designers. They save space, improve load times, and most importantly, offer an unprecedented level of flexibility. With variable fonts, designers can fine-tune the style to fit their specific needs, creating unique and dynamic typography.

3 Ways to Italicize Text in Illustrator

The easiest way to italicize text in Illustrator is to first select the text, open the Character panel, and Set The Font Style to italics. Or select the Variable Font button and adjust the Slant toggle.

Alternatively, select the Shear tool, click once on the artboard, and drag on one side, you will see all the text in the text box tilting or italicized.

Not all fonts have an italic style. If you can’t find an ‘Italic’ option, it means the font doesn’t support it. However, you can always choose a different font that does.

It’s always a good idea to check out the font’s character style options before finalizing your choice.

Meantime, there are different means and methods you can use to italicize text easily in Illustrator. Let’s explore these alternate styles.

Method 1: Set The Font Style

Most of what you need to edit the text in Adobe Illustrator can be found in the Character panel. It provides the basic functions to help you change the text font size, kerning, leading, add superscript, bold, and underline.

As for advanced editing, you can find more functions in the Type menu that help bring your designs to the next level.

Step 1: Create Your Text

The Type Tool, also known as the Text Tool, is located in the toolbar (it looks like a ‘T’). Click on it to activate the text function.

select Text Type tool from toolbar in Illustrator – how to italicize text in illustrator

Click anywhere on your artboard and start typing. You can adjust the font size and font family as needed. After you’ve finished, click on the Selection Tool (the black arrow at the top of your screen) or press the ESC key to finish the text entry.

Step 2: Italicize The Text

Using the Selection Tool, and double-click on the text you want to italicize so that the text cursor appears. Then double-click again on the text for it to be highlighted. This will highlight your selected text, indicating it’s ready for formatting.

With your text selected, navigate to the top Control panel, where you’ll find the Character dropdown menu. Or select Window > Type > Character.

Open character panel from window type menu - how to italicize text in illustrator

You can also use keyboard shortcuts by pressing Command + T on Mac.

Open Character panel with keyboard shortcuts command and T - how to italicize text in illustrator

Or Ctrl + T on Windows.

Open Character panel with keyboard shortcuts ctrl and T - how to italicize text in illustrator

This will open the Character Panel, similar to the Character Palette in other Adobe applications. Click on the downward pointing arrow in the Set The Font Style section, and a list of font styles will appear.

set the font style in character panel – how to italicize text in Illustrator

Choose the one that says ‘Italic’. If your font has an italic variant, your new text is now italicized.

select Italic in the set the font style drop-down menu in Illustrator

Method 2: the Slant Feature

You can also use the Slant feature that can be found in the Character panel. Similar to fonts with an italic variant, this Slant feature is only available for Variable Fonts.

In this example, I will use the Acumin Variable Concept font to illustrate how to Slant text.

Step 1: Select The Text

You can select an individual word from the text box by highlighting it, or select the whole text box to apply the Slant feature.

Step 2: Toggle the Slant Intensity

Open the Character panel and click on the button that says Variable Font. It can be found next to the Set The Font Style menu.

select variable font button in character panel – how to italicize text in illustrator

In the pop-up, go to the Slant toggle and add a value that is more than 0, or slide the toggle to a higher value.

toggle slant in variable font drop-down menu in illustrator – how to italicize text in illustrator

Method 3: the Shear Tool

If you’re dealing with a font that doesn’t have an italic variant or a separate font file for italics, don’t worry! Illustrator provides a tool to create a faux italic effect for non-variable fonts. Here, you will learn how to shear text in Illustrator.

In the absence of a built-in italic style, Illustrator offers the Faux Italic or fake italics in Illustrator. Beware, though! Functions like this merely skew or slant the words, without the subtle design changes of a true italic.

It’s a quick fix, but it might not always give the desired aesthetic effect. It’s similar to the faux bold style, which thickens the stroke color of the text without adjusting the actual design of the type.

Step 1: Activate The Shear Tool

First, use the Selection tool, and click on the text box to select it. When using the Shear tool, you can only apply it to the whole text box. You can’t select individual text in a text box to Shear it.

Next, go to the toolbar and locate the Scale Tool. Click and hold on to the Scale Tool until a fly-out menu appears, then select the Shear Tool.

select shear tool in toolbar in illustrator – how to italicize text in illustrator

Step 2: Italicize Your Text

Click anywhere on the artboard and drag to the right. This will slant your text to the right, creating a pseudo-italic effect. The angle of slant can be adjusted with a negative number to slant to the left or a positive number to slant to the right.

shear text in Illustrator – how to italicize text in illustrator

Remember, while the Shear Tool can mimic the italic style, it’s not a true italic. The difference may be subtle but could matter depending on the level of professionalism needed in your project.

How To Italicize Text In Illustrator FAQs

What is the keyboard shortcut for italicizing text in Illustrator?

As of now, there is no Illustrator italics shortcut.

Can I italicize multiple text blocks at once in Illustrator?

Yes, you can. Select all the text blocks you want to italicize using the Selection Tool, then proceed to italicize as described in the guide.

What can I do if the font doesn’t have an italic version?

You can use the Faux Italic feature, although the result might not be as aesthetically pleasing. Alternatively, consider choosing a different font that supports italics.

Can I apply other text effects in Illustrator?

Absolutely! Illustrator allows you to apply various effects such as underlining, outlining, and shadowing, among others.

How can I revert an italicized text to regular style in Illustrator?

Simply select the italicized text and, in the Character panel dropdown menu, select the ‘Regular’ font style.

Can I italicize a font that doesn’t have an italic variant in Illustrator?

Yes, you can use the Shear Tool to slant the text or use the Faux Italic feature, although these methods won’t yield a true italic style.

Can I import fonts from Microsoft Office to Adobe Illustrator?

Yes, fonts installed on your computer, including those from Microsoft Office, should be available for use in Adobe Illustrator.

Can I create a custom italic style using the Character Panel in Illustrator?

While you can’t create a true italic style, you can create a Faux Italic style by manually adjusting the slant of the text using the Shear Tool.

How do I change the font size of italic text in Illustrator?

To change the font size, first, select the text with the Selection Tool. Then, in the Character Panel or Control Panel, adjust the font size to your desired value.

How To Edit Text In Illustrator?

The easiest way to edit text in Illustrator is to first select the text with the Type tool, open the Character panel to choose the function you wish to adjust your text with. To delete or remove text, press the delete button on the keyboard. You can also add more text to the text box where you added the text cursor.

Before You Go…

Need more tips on fonts? Learning to italicize text in Illustrator is essential, but it’s just one of the basic steps. Before applying the italic style to your font, you will have to install the appropriate fonts first. Read my next article to learn the best ways to deal with fonts…

How To Add Fonts To Illustrator [4 Easy Methods 2023]

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