I need to create text along an elliptical path that tapers down as it goes, kind of like the red part shown below. How could I go about doing this without changing the font size for each individual character?

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I think there's not an option in Illustrator to do that.

A possible workaround:

Ellipse

Apply a Warp Arch with a 100% horizontal distortion to a line of text

First text

Copy/paste this text, edit and reverse the Warp Arch options and adjust the text horizontal and vertical scale. As the text is larger there must be a less quantity of characters.

second text

Select both texts, expand appearance, scale vertically and rotate.

animation

First thing that comes to mind is:

  1. Save the variable width as a profile
    • Window > Stroke and Profile: dropdown at the bottom.
  2. Turn the text into a brush
    1. Type > Create Outlines
    2. Window > Brushes and corner menu of the panel New Brush...
      • Make an art brush with the option Scale proportionately checked.
      • Pattern brush is another option.
  3. Apply the brush to the stroke
  4. Apply the variable width to the stroke

Big downside being that the text is no longer editable... and it's not the easiest to control. You can use Direct Selection tool and Scissors tool to cut away parts of the path to constrain the text.

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