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Part: Three Type, Symbols, and Graphs > Some of Your Wackier Text Effects

Chapter 11. Some of Your Wackier Text Effects

Creating and formatting text is all very well and good, but where Illustrator excels is in the creation of specialized—dare I say wacky?—type. You can attach text to a curve, wrap text inside an irregular outline, flow text from one text block to another, and wrap text around graphics.

If you plan to use Illustrator to create documents that contain a fair amount of text, you can import text from a word processor and then check the spelling, perform complex search and replace operations, and even export the text back out to disk. And just to prove to you that there are no limits to this wackiness, Illustrator lets you convert one or more letters to paths and then edit the character outlines.

In recent years there has been a trend in page-layout programs to add text features similar to those in Illustrator. Some page-layout programs, such as QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign, can now also accomplish some of these text effects, but they don't possess all of Illustrator's powerful features. Those programs can put text on a path, but they can't apply all of the effects and other features found in Illustrator. So if all you want is a wacky text effect, you can use other programs. However, if you want to create text and then do a whole lot more to it, you still need Illustrator.

On the other hand, to be fair, there's also been a trend for graphics applications to flatter their page-layout colleagues by adopting useful features in the other direction, such as spelling checkers. (So if you come to Illustrator for the graphics and stay for the typography, at least you won't be punished by not having the means to catch a typo.) While spell checking and font replacement are not really activities I'd call “wacky,” I'll cover them here in this post-basic chapter on text and typography.


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