What is the Purpose of Converting Text to Shape?

In Adobe Illustrator, text is often treated as a unique entity, separate from regular shapes. This means that while you can modify the content and font of the text, you can’t directly alter its form or structure. However, there are instances where you might want to manipulate text as you would any other shape, such as when creating custom logos or intricate designs. This is where converting text into a shape becomes invaluable.

What is the Initial Step to Convert Text to Shape?

Before you can transform text into a shape, you need to have some text:

  1. Creating Text: Use the Type Tool (shortcut: T) from the toolbar or simply press ‘T’ on your keyboard. Click on your artboard and type your desired text. For this example, we’ll use the word “shape.”
  2. Scaling the Text: If the text appears too small, you can scale it up. Either use the properties panel to adjust the font size or select the text with the Selection Tool and drag its corners while holding the Shift key to maintain proportions.

What is the Process to Convert Text to Shape?

Once you have your text ready:

  1. Creating Outlines: To convert the text into a shape, you need to create outlines. This can be done in three ways:
    • Use the ‘Create Outlines’ quick action in the properties panel.
    • Use the shortcut: Shift + Command (or Control) + O.
    • Navigate to the Type dropdown menu and select ‘Create Outlines.’
  2. Ungrouping the Text: After creating outlines, the text is converted into shapes but remains grouped together. To work with individual letters, you need to ungroup them. Right-click on the text and select ‘Ungroup’ or use the shortcut: Shift + Command (or Control) + G.

What is the Benefit of Converting Text to Shape?

Once the text is converted into a shape:

  1. Editing Individual Letters: Each letter becomes an individual shape, allowing you to move, scale, and rotate them independently.
  2. Manipulating Anchor Points: With the Direct Selection Tool (shortcut: A), you can select and modify the anchor points of each letter. This allows for intricate adjustments, such as reshaping letters or adding new design elements.


Converting text into a shape in Adobe Illustrator provides designers with a higher degree of flexibility and creativity. Whether you’re crafting a unique logo or experimenting with typography, this technique is a valuable tool in your design arsenal.