Converting text to outlines is an essential step of creating ‘print-ready’ artwork. Applications like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop use fonts installed on the users’ computer. When a file is sent with a custom font it can cause a lack of consistency if another viewer, especially your printer, doesn’t have that font installed on their computer or machine.
To avoid this, Illustrator and Photoshop provide the opportunity to convert your editable text into an object, or shape. It becomes part of the graphic, and can no longer be edited. This is crucial for creating a file that can be sent and printed without fear of font substitutions.
We recommend keeping an editable copy of your document before converting the text to outlines. This is so you can come back and make changes to your text nondestructively without the possibility of having to recreate your entire graphic. At Floodway, we call this a ‘working’ version.
Converting Text to Outlines in Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator makes this simple. Navigate to Select -> Select All in the menu bar to select the entire document. In Illustrator, it’s not an issue if other elements of your design are selected. From here we will select Type -> Create Outlines from the menu bar. The text will become outlined, and that’s it! You’ll see that the characters of your text are no longer a font, but a vector graphic and can be edited as such.
Converting Text to Outlines in Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop keeps it simple, too. Select your text layer from the Layers Panel and navigate to Type -> Convert to Shape in the menu bar. That’s it! You’ll see that the characters are no longer a font, but a vector graphic.
Now you’re all set. Simply save, and send without worry!
Not sure what a vector is? Reference our ‘Vector vs. Raster – The Difference + How to Get a Crisp Print‘ article to learn more.