I am an experienced PHP programmer, but very new to Illustrator. Finally, the time has come that I need to download artwork from Shutterstock (shutterstock.com) for use on a customer's website.

The file is in .eps format, and when I open this file in Illustrator CS5 I see all of the "Lorem Ipsum" text, but it does not seem to be editable - it seems to be nothing but clickable paths.

Is there a simple way for me to use Illustrator to present to me the text in editable text form, so that I can proceed to edit the text?

The image is:

Shutterstock image with text in path format

4 Answers 4


The text has been outlined (converted to paths). Once text has been outlined, it cannot be un-outlined.

This is typically done so that a font file does not have to be embedded. Ideally the designer should have kept a copy of the original text object locked and hidden, but I'm guessing that is not the case.

You will have to go through and re-create the text objects, unfortunately.


If the text is only a set of paths, then there's not a whole lot you can do. I know of no way for Illustrator to analyze paths to figure out what font they are based off of and convert them back to editable text.

My guess is that the author of the file wouldn't have been able to embed fonts in the file for licensing reasons and so they just created the outlines.

Try to figure out what the font is! Maybe you can contact the creator of the piece. If not, try WhatTheFont.com and go from there; maybe someone here can help you with that too if you can't find it on your own. Once you have the font in hand, you can just recreate the text and match its style up to the graphic.


You can recreate your text back as editable object without leaving Adobe Illustrator using recently published extension - Krasbit Recognition. It includes text recognition feature and is available at Adobe Exchange for free!

See how it works at YouTube, starting 1':49". That video is recorded for Photoshop but extension works in Illustrator as well

Text recognition process is driven by online machine learning service that is free when you configure Google's API connection Key on your own. Otherwise you can use alternative connection API via trial or cheap prepaid codes.

Disclaimer: The author of this answer is affiliated with the product.

  • 1
    Have you something to do with company Krasbit? Then this post is spam ...
    – Mensch
    Dec 3, 2018 at 21:58
  • Hi Jaroslaw and welcome to GD.SE! The answer is relevant to the question so it's fine. Please elaborate with text/images instead of linking to video. Also, in the future, please self-disclose your affiliation to your products. See our how not to be a spammer section.
    – curious
    Dec 5, 2018 at 14:32
  • Emilie - Thank you for the informational link. I'll adapt to that rules. Dec 5, 2018 at 18:27

You can convert an image in pdf and then use a online OCR service like this one "onlineocr.net", but you can find many others. It worked beautiful for me in AIllustrator.

  • The text is a vector file. Your link converts to a Word file. It won't help the user figure out the font size and style in Illustrator. In a situation where the text wouldn't be lorem ipsum, the OCR solution could be helpful though.
    – go-junta
    Mar 5, 2016 at 21:00

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