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There are many free fonts, but they often don't include letters with diacritics such as Ă, Â, Ș, etc. Placing those marks by hand in a large text that keeps changing can be a pain.

Is there a way to add such extra glyphs to font in Illustrator - basically some copies of existing characters, with accents or other diacritical marks?

Or do you know any tricks to make the process easier?

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Any chance you can switch to InDesign? :) – Yisela Mar 17 '14 at 1:26
Why not simply select fonts which do contain the diacritics? – Scott May 16 '14 at 15:02
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It is possible to add new characters to a font, but as stated there, it's not for the feint hearted.

Alternatively, if you use many different fonts a little and don't want to do all that for all of them, here's a workaround to get real-text diacritics in Illustrator without editing fonts.

Warning: it's not ideal, especially for long text (use InDesign if you need long text) but it works:

  • Start with the text in a font that has all the diacritics you need, that is similar to your chosen font, e.g. Arial/Verdana if it's sans, Georgia/Times if serif, etc. The old 'web safe' fonts typically have some; Arial has loads about a third of the way down near ⅓ and ⅔...
  • ...using separate diacritic glyphs rather than combined ones (like o� instead of ó, the accent dash as a separate character).

    • Be warned that entering these diacritic characters manually won't be fun for long text.

    • 'Find/change' may help - type or copy/paste the text normally, then for each accented/augmented character, swap it for the two separate characters.

  • Switch to the font you want. Everything will change font except those diacritic characters that don't exist in the new font, which will remain the same. Since the characters they augment are now in the new font, it'll all look fine, except for the diacritics probably not lining up very well.
  • Kern them into place - lots of ~ -150 before the diacritic and +150 after it. This also won't be fun for long text... Character styles might help.

...but the result will be normal-looking diacritics for any font, in the form of actual text that reflows properly when you edit the text.

Depending on your text, it might be easier to do the above once per diacritic character then go through using Find and paste over the other occurrences of that character.

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