4 Simple Steps to Outline Text in Illustrator

How do you outline text in Illustrator if you’re planning on using an Illustrator file or a PDF to send us your designs? The first thing you want to do is outline your fonts first so they appear properly within the file.

Here are four simple steps you can follow that will take only a few minutes, even if you’ve never outlined text in Illustrator before.

Step 1: Font selection

Determine which font files you need for your project. If we are working on a logo that uses Times New Roman and Garamond, you’ll need those font files available. Also, make sure your computer has Adobe Illustrator installed (also known as Illustrator CC).

Here is a list of common font websites where you can download fonts. This is important because not all fonts come with every program, so make sure to check before you start your new project!

Step 2: Installing a font

It’s easier than you think. After you download your selected font, click the right button on your mouse and select “install”. To successfully outline your fonts, you need to have them installed on your computer.

For free-to-use fonts, you can download them from websites like DaFont or FontSpace as we mentioned before.
You can also use Google Fonts or Adobe’s library of open source typefaces to find a font that matches your design vision exactly.

Now that it is installed on your computer, it is ready to be used in Adobe Illustrator. Take a look:

outline text in illustrator

Step 3: Outline Text in Illustrator

Converting text to outlines it’s easier than you think. The trick to outlining text in Illustrator is using a combination of keyboard shortcuts and other tools that make getting text into a vector shape quick and easy. Open up your new graphic file, and follow these steps:

  1. With your file open, select the text from your document, with the selection tool (Ctrl + V).
  2. Click the right button -> select Create Outlines (Shift+Ctrl+O).
  3. Now your font is converted to a vector shape.

Look for reference:


There is another option to outline text in Illustrator:

select all your document objects (Ctrl + A) -> select in the toolbar object -> expand appearance

Take a look:


Your text has now been converted to outlines. This will allow you to send the document for printing without losing the font you selected.

Step 4: Export

Once you’ve outlined your font, it’s time to export it. Exporting is an important step since it will allow us to print your artwork!

Once you’ve made all of your font changes:

select file -> export -> export as... (you will select the type of file, according to your needs). 

Look for reference:


To complete your outline font set, saved your files as PDFs. Print them out and put them in a binder with removable sheets if possible. That way, when you hand off your final piece to us, we can just take those sheets out and begin working with them immediately.

Check your this demonstration video of the quickest and most efficient method for outlining text in Adobe Illustrator.

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