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The question really says it all. I want to apply brush effect on the stroke once it looks like text. All my tries have resulted in stroke being outline of the text.

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This would normally be called "monoline" text –  e100 Dec 11 '12 at 13:14
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3 Answers

There's no real accurate way to do this with the default Illustrator tools. Illustrator is simply incapable of any intelligent minimization in order to achieve only single stroke characters.

However, Jongware over at the Adobe forums did write a script to create single stroke text. You can view the Adobe forums thread at this link. Or download his script via this link.

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doesnt work for cs6 –  Muhammad Umer Dec 10 '12 at 18:48
    
Works just fine in CS6 here. –  Scott Dec 10 '12 at 19:20
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A single-stroke typeface or script are going to be your best bet, but you can kind of do it through Image Tracing with some fiddling if you'd rather use the tools already present in Illustrator.

  • First, rasterize the text (Object > Rasterize)
  • Next trace the image (Object > Image Trace > Make)
  • Set Paths, Corners, and Noise to 100 and under Create, select only Paths.
  • Mess around with the value for stroke. I find that 100 gets me closest.

Unfortunately, this is not very accurate at all. It's going to give multiple paths for letters like A and H and it typically gives weird bumps and dimples where paths cross. It's really messy and convoluted, but it's an option in extreme cases where you can't install a script and are tied to a specific font. It is easier than starting with the pen.

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Search for single stroke font or something similar. Years ago I stumbled across an application for single stroke fonts (laser engraving or something like that). The only ones I've seen were developed for particular software and had issues in Illustrator. But, iirc, you can convert to outlines and all is well. Sorry I can't remember where I found them (or if I even have copies lying around still).

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