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Lesson 7. Repurposing Design for Print > Attaching Text to a Path

Attaching Text to a Path

In this task, you will create a flowing text path surrounding the bottom half of the Jade Valley logo. In the process, you will learn how to use the Pen tool to draw a path and how to attach a text block to the path.

Still with the letter open, click the Text tool from the Tools panel. Click some where in the middle of the document and type in all caps, ORGANIC FOODS FOR HEALTHY LIVING.

This is the text block that will eventually be attached to the path.

With the text block selected, change the Font to Arial, make it Bold with a Size of 8. Set the Kerning to 30%. Drag the gold swatch (the one with 0c, 20m, 100y, and 10k CMYK color specs) to the Color box in the Object panel.

The gold color complements the orange/green color scheme of the logo.

Zoom in the document to make it easier to see the logo. Deselect everything and click the Pen tool in the Tools panel. Verify that the Fill is set to No Fill at the bottom of the Tools panel.

You are preparing to use the Pen tool to draw a curve. The Pen tool is hard for many people to get used to, at least initially. Once learned, however, the Pen tool is one of the most useful tools available.

At its most basic, drawing with the Pen tool is like doing a connect-the-dots puzzle. Each time you click with it, Freehand plots a point. In addition, Freehand connects each point to its predecessor with a straight line.

The only problem now is that you want a curved line, not a straight one. You can achieve this effect by pressing and dragging with the mouse, rather than simply clicking, to create each point. In the next step, you will draw a curved line using the Pen tool. If it doesn't come out right, just delete it and try again.

Click once just outside the lower-left corner of the logo and release the mouse. Holding down the Shift key, point to a place to the right of the logo where you want the curved path to end. Press and hold but do not release the mouse; still holding the mouse, drag up to the right until the line curves. Click the Pointer tool to stop drawing.

Be patient as you learn to use this tool. Make sure that the arc of the line is centered left to right.

Hold down the Shift key and use the Pointer tool to select both the curved path and the text block and choose Text > Attach to Path.

The text block is now attached to the curved path.

Depending on the length of the path you drew in Step 3, the text block might not be displayed entirely. Experiment with different kerning percentages in the Object panel, so that the entire text block is displayed properly. Alternatively, you can also switch to the Subselect (white arrow) tool, click one of the path's endpoints, and resize the path.

Notice that the line itself has disappeared. Once Freehand attaches text to a path, the path is no longer visible.


You can detach text from a path by choosing Text > Detach from Path.

If desired, reposition the curved text relative to the logo, until both look good together. Select both the logo and the text path and choose Modify > Group. Use the Align panel again to ensure that the group is perfectly centered left to right.

Grouping turns the selected design elements into one entity and makes it easier to move the elements on the document. You can always ungroup them by choosing Modify > Ungroup in the future.

Save the document.

The Jade Valley letterhead is done. Your next task is to use what you have learned from creating this letterhead to design a complementary envelope.



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