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From the book Converting Type to Outlines

Converting Type to Outlines

You can now keep type live and perform many effects that once required you to outline type. Using the Appearance panel you can apply multiple strokes to characters, run type along a curve, use envelopes to distort type, and even mask with live, editable type. Following are some cases where you still might need to outline your type:

  • Convert to outlines to graphically transform or distort type. If Warp Effects and Envelopes don’t create the effect you need (see examples in this chapter and in the Reshaping Dimensions chapter for examples of warps and envelopes), then outlining your type will allow you to edit the individual curves and anchor points of letters or words. Your type will no longer be editable as type, but instead will be constructed of standard Illustrator Bézier curves that are editable just like any other object. Type converted to outlines may include compound paths to form the “holes” in the outlined letter forms (such as the see-through centers of an O, B, or P. Choose Object> Compound Path> Release to fill the “holes” with color.
  • Convert to outlines to maintain your letter and word spacing when exporting type to another application, as many programs don’t support the translation of custom kerning and word spacing.
  • Convert to outlines if you can’t distribute the font to your client or service bureau, when you don’t have permission to embed the fonts, or your service bureau doesn’t have its own license for a font.
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