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Lesson 6. Adding Special Effects > Converting Text to a Graphic

Converting Text to a Graphic

Converting text to a path changes editable text to a graphic. This feature offers many possibilities for your projects. Say, for example, that you want to create a logo that consists mainly of type, and you want to embellish the characters to make them unique for the logo. You can type your text, convert the text to a graphic, and then manipulate the points on the path to your liking. Once you convert the text to a graphic, you can no longer edit the text, but you gain the ability to change the text characters. For example, you can add a gradient fill to the character shapes or edit the shape of each letter, as you’ll see in this next task.

1.
Create a new document and name it text_effects.fh11. Save the file in the Projects folder. Then type ACTION PHOTOS on the page and change the text to a big, bold font such as Arial Black, 65 points.

Before you convert the text to a graphic, be sure to make all of the formatting changes you want. For example, since this text is so large, you may want to tighten the spacing (adjust the range kerning) between the letters as you did in Lesson 2. When you want to tighten all of the letters in a text block, you can use a shortcut: just drag the left or right center handle on the text block. If you drag the right center handle to the left, you tighten the spacing; if you drag the right center handle to the right, you expand the spacing. Once the text is to your liking, you are ready to convert it to a graphic.

2.
Choose Text > Convert to Paths.

The text block disappears, and selection handles appear on your text. All of the converted characters are grouped together. You can drag one of the handles to change the shape or size of the grouped characters. For example, you can drag up on one of the top handles to vertically stretch the text.

3.
Choose Modify > Ungroup.

To work with the individual characters, you need to ungroup the paths. You’ll see the individual points on the separate characters.

4.
Press Tab to deselect the text. Select the bottom two points on the T character in the word ACTION. Press the down arrow key about 10 times. Repeat for the other T, in the word PHOTOS.

Because each letter is now a graphic, not text, you can alter the points on the path to change the shape of each character.

Power Tip

Hold down Shift and press the down arrow key once to move the selected points ten units at a time. To change the default cursor distance, choose File > Document Settings > Cursor Distance and enter a new value.

Note

Another use of the Convert to Path feature is to preserve a unique typeface in your document when you send your file to a printer or to someone who may not have the font you are using. If you convert your text to a graphic, you don’t need to worry about sending your fonts to the printer along with the document, because your text is now a graphic and will print as you’ve created it.

5.
Save your file.


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