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Chapter 15. Fills, Multi-Fills, and Fab Fills > Filling Type and Text Blocks

Filling Type and Text Blocks

You can also fill text objects to change the colors of individual characters or to change the background color of a text block. If you select a text object with the arrow tool and apply a fill, the fill affects all the type in the text object and leaves the associated path unchanged.

  • For instance, the first example in Figure 15.4 shows a text block selected with the arrow tool. If you fill the object with a light gray, the type becomes filled, as shown in the second example in the figure. The result is gray type against a white background.

    Figure 15.4. If you apply a fill color to a text block selected with the arrow tool (left), Illustrator fills the text (right).

    This is actually a very sophisticated feature. Strictly speaking, both the text and the path are selected when you click with the arrow tool. Yet the Adobe engineers correctly figured that if a text path and its text were selected, most people would only want the text to change color. Well done, Adobe!


  • But if you select the path around the text block with the direct selection tool and apply a fill, Illustrator fills just the path. The characters inside the text block remain filled as before, as demonstrated in Figure 15.5.

    Figure 15.5. If you select the path of a text object with the direct selection tool (left) and then apply a fill, Illustrator fills the path only (right).

  • To fill single characters and words, you have to select the text with the type tool. Like any character-level formatting attribute, such as font or type size, fill affects only the highlighted characters, as demonstrated in Figure 15.6. In this way, Illustrator allows you to apply several different fills to a single text object.

    Figure 15.6. By selecting text with the type tool (left), you fill only the highlighted characters (right).


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