How to undo outlines in Illustrator
You have been drawing and designing in Adobe Illustrator for a while now, and you are really proud of your recent accomplishments. However, there are days when you can accidentally use the wrong commands. Sometimes you changed your document to Outline Mode by mistake, and at times you unknowingly Create Outlines for your text.
You are freaking out. You may have saved the file with text that has been outlined or pathed and when you re-opened the file, you’re faced with uneditable fonts! The nightmare is real, you can’t seem to turn outlines back into editable text and you are left to wonder how to undo outlines in Illustrator without retyping the text.
These are times you wished Illustrator won’t save your file so that you can reverse the situation. It’s helpful that there are ways to undo actions and get back the artwork you’ve been working on for hours.
In this guide, you will learn a few ways on how to undo outlines in Illustrator.
How to undo outlines in Illustrator
How To Create Outlines For Text In Illustrator?
What happens to editable fonts when they have been outlined? What does it mean to create outlines on text? Can you undo outline text and how to un outline in Illustrator?
To create outlines on a text layer, the first thing is to add new text to your artboard by selecting the Type Tool from the Tool Bar. Then, click on your artboard with the cursor, hold it, and drag or move it diagonally away from your first action. This will create a text box with some sample text inside. Go ahead to change the text to any words you desire. Then, select the text box with your cursor.
Next, apply the Create Outlines function to it by selecting Type on the top menu bar, and selecting Create Outlines in the drop-down menu.
Or press the keyboard shortcuts Shift + Command O on Mac.
Or Shift + Ctrl O on Windows PC.
Once you’ve created outlines for your text, you won’t be able to double-click the text box to edit it, delete it, or type words in the text box. You won’t be able to change its fonts, style, and font size just by selecting them. In other words, your text layer has been converted to a vector object.
How Does A Vector Text Look Like?
If you ungroup the text object into individual letters, you will see anchor points similar to any vector file. This is the same format as an Illustrator graphic where you select the pen tool to create a vector shape. It has become uneditable. Some people refer to this as “pathed text”.
Creating outlines out of the text is not the same as adding text outlines or colored strokes to the text. With colored strokes, you are still able to edit the letters just by typing in the text box. But with outlined text, you will have to adjust its vector path points to make changes.
How to undo outlines in Illustrator
How to Undo Outlines in Illustrator for Text? 4 Easy Methods
If you unintentionally saved your file with your text outlined and accidentally closed it, your text will remain outlined when you re-open the file. Unfortunately, there isn’t an existing magic button to reverse an outline stroke for text in Illustrator in this case.
Are you wondering how to turn outlines back into text in Illustrator? The good news is there are some workarounds that we can do to uncreate an outline in Illustrator.
Here are some methods on how to undo create outlines in Illustrator.
Method 1: Undo Functions
It’s a blessing if you did not close your file after saving the action of outlining your text. You still have a second chance to uncreate the text outline by using the Undo function.
Here are two ways to undo the outlines:
If you are using a Mac, press the keyboard shortcuts: Command + Z
Or press the keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl + Z on Windows PC
Or go to the top menu, select Edit > Undo Create Outlines
You won’t be able to use these Undo functions if you were to close and re-open a saved file.
Method 2: Use Adobe Acrobat
The first step is to save your file with the outlined text as a high-resolution PDF.
How To Save A High-Resolution PDF In Adobe Illustrator?
Select File from the top menu in Illustrator. Then scroll down the drop-down menu and select Save As… or go to File > Save As.
You can press keyboard shortcuts Shift + Command + S for Mac OS.
Or Shift + Ctrl + S for Windows PC.
This opens up a dialogue box. Select the folder you’d like your PDF file to be saved in and name your file as you desire. Then, go to the Format section and select Adobe PDF (pdf). Hit the Save button.
Next, the Save Adobe PDF dialogue box opens up. In the General section, under Adobe PDF Preset, select High-Quality Print. This template sets the file compression to be a minimum of 300dpi, ensuring a high-resolution PDF. A high-resolution PDF is required for the OCR to be able to read and scan the text clearly to convert it to editable text.
Select the Save PDF button.
Next, open the PDF you just saved with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
How to Use Adobe Acrobat to Undo Outline Text?
One way to undo outline text in Adobe Acrobat is to click on Edit a PDF that’s found in the top menu, under “Edit“, or Edit > Edit a PDF.
Or you can navigate to the Tools tab, refer to the section under Create & Edit and select the Edit PDF tool.
When either way is done, Acrobat immediately uses OCR to scan the text and convert it to editable text.
If you wish to change some of its settings, such as language, etc, go to View, select Tools, select Scan & OCR, and click Open in the drop-down menu, or go to View > Tools > Scan & OCR > Open.
You can also select the Scan & OCR button on the Task Panel. It has a green printer icon.
The Scan & OCR function opens up with a set of options. Go ahead to select the settings that work for you, such as inserting more pages, or alternatives like enhancing the document or advanced tools to crop or rotate your file.
Once you are satisfied, select Recognize Text and then select In this file in the drop-down menu, or Recognize Text > In this file.
Once you’ve done that, another set of options appears, allowing you to change the language to be recognized by OCR. You can also select the page you want OCR to convert to text.
Next, select the Recognize Text button. With that, Adobe Acrobat will automatically convert all text from vector or image format to editable text. The font will also match the one you have used.
Then, double-click on any text and select all text by using the keyboard shortcuts Command + A for Mac.
Or Ctrl + A for Windows PC.
Copy the text by using keyboard shortcuts Command + C for Mac.
Or Ctrl + C for Windows PC.
You can also select Copy in the drop-down menu under Edit, or Edit > Copy.
Next, go to your Illustrator file, select the Text tool, and click and drag the Text Tool on your artboard so that a text box appears. Paste your copied text into the text box, to replace all the sample text with the keyboard shortcut Command + V for mac.
Or Ctrl + V for Windows.
Now you have got the outline text changed back to editable text in Illustrator.
Method 3: Version History
Another way to turn outlines back into text in Illustrator is to use the Version History function.
For this method to work, your file has to be saved in the Creative Cloud before your text was outlined.
To save your file in the Creative Cloud, first, make sure all your text is first editable. Then, go to File, and select Save As. In the dialogue box that opens up, click on the Save Cloud Document button.
The Save to Creative Cloud window will open up. Name your file in the Save As field. Then, select the Save button. You will now see that your file is in the .aic format.
Next, open up the Version History panel by selecting Window on the top menu bar and then selecting Version History in the drop-down menu, or Window > Version History.
You won’t see any history versions if you’ve not made any actions on the file after you’ve saved your file in Creative Cloud. Go ahead to work on your file, make changes and save your file as and when you want to.
To save your file, the keyboard shortcut for the Save command is Command + S for Mac or Ctrl + S for Windows.
Do that when you have all your text in editable format. Then outline the text and save your file another time. Close your file and re-open the file with the outlined text.
When opening up the Version History panel, you will realize that each time you have saved your file, a timestamp will be made.
You will be able to select that version at every timestamp even after you’ve closed and re-open the file. Also, a preview of that version is shown in a small window above the timestamps to allow you to see what it was like before you decide to revert to the version you desire.
When you’ve decided to revert to a specific version, undo or redo by clicking on the three dots on the right side of the selected version. Then, select Revert to this version in the drop-down menu. The revert function will change your artwork to the selected artwork version in a few seconds.
To summarize on how to undo outline text in Illustrator, open up the file that’s saved in Creative Cloud, open the Version History panel, and revert to the version with the editable text.
Note that all versions saved will be available in the Version History panel for 30 days, after which they will expire.
If there are versions you’d like to save after 30 days, you can do that by selecting the bookmark icon on the right side of the timestamp.
How to undo outlines in Illustrator
Change Image Color In Illustrator FAQs
Outline Mode or Outline View is a function on Illustrator for you to preview what graphics and text are in vector format. This is not the same as using Create Outlines to convert text to vector format or making a colored outline around the edge of an object. To exit Outline Mode, use the keyboard shortcut, Command + Y for Mac, or press Ctrl + Y for Windows. You can also undo Outline Mode by selecting View on the Illustrator menu, then choose Preview in the dropdown menu.
Why Would You Choose Outline View In Illustrator?
Outline Mode or Outline View allows you to see overlapping shapes, objects, text, and any layers stacked above one another. Everything is turned to fine lines and this makes it a lot easier for you to clean up messy elements and align them accurately as you desire.
You can make an outline for text, shape, or object in Adobe Illustrator so long they are vector paths. Except for text, you will have to Create Outlines for the font to convert it into a vector format first. To make an outline, select the object, then double-click the Stroke option on the Toolbar. Select your desired color in the Color Picker, then go to the Stroke Panel and increase the stroke’s thickness. Adjust your stroke style within the Stroke Panel.
Do I Need To Outline Fonts For A PDF?
You don’t have to outline fonts when exporting to PDF. All fonts should get embedded once you export your Illustrator and Indesign files to PDF. But there is an exception. You may have tried to export your artwork to PDF without Creating Outlines for your fonts and they are not embedded. This could be because the fonts’ manufacturers did not allow them to be embedded.
You can redo an action by using the keyboard shortcut, Command + Shift + Z for Mac, or press Ctrl + Shift + Z for Windows. You can also redo an action by selecting Edit on the Illustrator menu, then select Redo in the dropdown men
Final Thoughts: How to Undo Outlines in Illustrator
Any of these methods will be able to help you turn outlines back into text in Illustrator. The next time you have to outline text to send your file to the print shop, save a copy of your file with editable non-outlined text first, then resave another version with outlined text. This ensures you have a backup copy of your artwork with editable text in case you need to make changes to it in the future.