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This may be a silly question but...

Im pretty new to Illustrator and I have the number 12 and i need to type text inside each number without it going outside the lines of the numbers. How do I do this? Thanks

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Not saying this is a duplicate, but I asked a similar question very recently. Link here: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/6101/… If nothing else, it might help someone. –  burnso Feb 28 '12 at 20:45
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2 Answers

If I understand your question correct, you want to write letters that are contained within a parent shape, such as a numerical character, the short answer is: use the Type Area Tool.

Here's how you do that:

1. Using the Type Tool, type your number character.

enter image description here

2. Choose Type > Create Outlines or press Shift-Command-0/Shift-Ctrl-0. (If you want your number shape to remain as a background object in the end, make a duplicate of it now since the shape will disappear in step 5.)

enter image description hereYour text becomes non-editable (path outlines)

3. Choose Object > Compound Path > Release. (Note: Type Area Tool won't work on compound or masking paths.)

enter image description here

4. Choose the Type Area Tool in the Tools Palette.

5. Click on the number shape and start typing. (Note: if you get a message complaining about non-compound, non-masking paths, try clicking on one of the anchor points.)

enter image description here

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Thats really helpful. Thank you. What about if I want to have the black outline of the number around the text? If that makes sense? –  Total Feb 28 '12 at 16:50
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Then I would duplicate the number and give it a stroke. –  Johannes Feb 28 '12 at 19:33
    
I know that this is late, but when I try this with an "o" or zero, either the whole shape fills in or just oval recess in the center, not the outer thin part of the character. How do I correct this? Thanks!!!! –  Gabrielle Oct 9 '13 at 1:14
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you have to link the two paths (the inner and outer circles) to make it on continuous shape much like you would with stencil cut-outs.

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