Converting text into a vector shape is known as vectorizing text. The process of vectorizing text in Adobe Illustrator varies depending on how the text was initially created.

If you have experience in screen printing or are a DIY enthusiast, you likely know about text vectorization. It is important to convert the typeface to outlines or paths if the printing company does not support it, as using an unsupported typeface may cause printing inaccuracies. Therefore, most vector logos that include text have their typefaces converted into outlines or paths.

In this article, we will explore three methods for text vectorization in Adobe Illustrator. So, let’s begin our learning journey.

There are various methods to convert text to outlines, but The Pen tool is the most common and useful tool, especially when tracing text with script font or converting hand-written text into a vector format.

Vectorize text to outlines.

The fonts are the significant element that affects how your text appears. There are numerous fonts are available, but for example if your customer don’t have a particular font because we can’t possibly have all (e.g., Arial or Times New Roman). Your text’s layout may therefore alter as a result.

To avoid this issue, follow the steps below to vectorize the text.

Step 1:

In the first step, select the specific text you want to vectorize.

Step 2:

Use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + O (or Shift + Ctrl + O for Windows users) to create a font/text outline. If you’re unfamiliar with shortcuts, right-click the selected text and select “Create an outline.”


You can also “Expand” the vector from the “object” properties to avoid this issue.

Vectorize Script Font with Pen Tool

If your text is containing Script fonts then it can be challenging to trace in Illustrator, because they often have intricate and varying line thicknesses, as well as intricate curves and swirls that require precision to replicate accurately.

The Pen Tool in Illustrator allows you to create paths and shapes by placing anchor points and adjusting their handles, but when dealing with complex script fonts, it can take some practice to achieve the desired results.

Here's you can trace a script font using the Pen Tool in Illustrator:

  1. Select the Pen Tool:

Choose the Pen Tool from with the keyboard shortcut P or from the left side of the screen.

  1. Start Tracing:

Begin tracing the script font by clicking to place anchor points along the outlines of the letters. Try to follow the curves and angles as closely as possible.

  1. Adjust Anchor Points:

After placing an anchor point, you can adjust its position and direction by dragging the handles that appear. Use these handles to match the curvature of the font.

  1. Close Paths:

Make sure that all paths are closed to form complete shapes. If a letter has an enclosed space (like the inside of an 'O'), you can create a separate path for it.

Above image has some blurry or un-identified font, our proficient vector artist traced it as the same

Vectorize handwritten text with Pen tool

Vectorizing handwritten text is a different story, as it is more complex and time-consuming. To vectorize handwritten Text in Adobe Illustrator, follow these steps:

Step 1:

Scan your handwriting and open it in Adobe Illustrator. You can also take a picture if you don't have a scanner. As long as the outline of the handwriting is very clear, it will work because the purpose is to trace the handwriting with the pen tool.

Step 2:

In this step you can use toolbar and activate the pen tool with the keyboard shortcut P. Start tracing the letters you want individually.

If you're unfamiliar with the Pen tool, check out the “How to convert simple image into vector using adobe illustrator”.

Step 3:

Once the characters are traced, they are closed paths, and the text is already vectorized. You can use the shape builder tool to complete your text, join overlapping areas, and add fill colors.

By using this method, you can vectorize your handwritten text and create your custom fonts, but you will need to use one of the font design tools to make the fonts

Wrap up

Choosing a method for converting text into a vector file depends on what you have. For example, if you have a typed text, use method 1, and if you want to turn handwritten text into vector, then use method 2. You must know text or font vectorization if you're an expert screen printer or a DIY enthusiast.

In conclusion, these are the three-way that helps you to convert text into a vector file, along with tips that will help you every time in your screen printing and other vector projects. Moreover, always use high-quality vector-converted files for screen printing and consider these steps when converting text into a vector file.