When the textbox in Illustrator is changed using the picot points the glyphs are not altered at all and the text is retypeset according to new bounds.

When the same textbox is chaged using the parameters box (width and/or height), the typesetting is kept same (linebraks, hyphentions) and the glyphs are deformed. Same behaviour is when the textbox is grouped with another object and the set is resized.

How can I prevent Illustrator to mess with glyph geometry and adjust the texboxes the same way no matter the way the box is resized?

EDIT after short discussion.

My case is a graph. Poor resolution (10px per glyph) - redraw and translate to native language.

For horizontally centered labels I use the textbox, set the alignment place and it is fine.

Then the text is updated because some word shall be translated differently and it does not fit anymore - I need to adjust and then the problem shows up. (Yes I confess, the nicely round values for sizes and positions are my fetish)

Same is with the texts with backgorund - to be able to position the visual box I keep them grouped - backgorund frame and the text. When the group is resized, for the very same reason, the glyphs are deformed.

I copy that sometimes one want to reshape glyphs with the box and sometimes one does not want that.

  • 1
    One of the reasons why I hate using Illustrator for type. 😀
    – Wolff
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 13:38
  • @Wolff for typesetting there is InDesign who behave mature. But when graphics need to have text it has a great PIA score in Illustrator for me.
    – Crowley
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 22:28
  • There is this mad idea, often by people who use different software primarily, that harmonizing functions is a good thing. What they fail to understand is that there is a reason why there are several software. They are designed for different workloads, and harmonisation hurts that workload. Take as a example how indesigns zoom was ported to illustrator. Huge uproar ensued. Why? Well a person working in indesign is primarily looking at layout (this has to be suprising) while a illustrator user is intending to work on details. So zooming to a coner of a larger object is what illustrator users do.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 6:32
  • But lets look at the motivation of doing this. Well people seem to be doing this becase they say they "prefer" something. What they are saying is more likely that they would like to retain as much operational knowledge as possible switching applications. They however fail to understand that this would entirely eliminate the benefit of using something else. A tool always has some drawbacks.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 6:43
  • 1
    Anyway if you forgive me my ranting, but you could easily script this.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 6:44

3 Answers 3


I don't really understand to be honest. Yes, the different resizing methods alter type differently.

To me, this is somewhat like asking...

"...if a click a red swatch, everything gets colored red. If I click a yellow swatch, everything gets colored yellow. How can I make everything red when I click a yellow swatch?"

The answer is you can't. Nor should you want such a thing. There's a point to different swatches. Just like there's often a point to different functionality within various toolsets.

Having multiple methods of alteration is kind of the point.

In some instances you may not want to deform glyphs, in others you actually *may want glyphs deformed. If every method behaves the exact same way then how would one achieve the alternate results?

If you don't want glyphs deformed, use the method that does not deform the glyphs.

Seeking to alter the functionality of all methods to behave as a single method behaves generally won't happen.

I'd suggest that if this is an issue for you the problem may be your workflow as opposed to application/tool functionality.

For example...

  • As mentioned in another answer, holding down the Shift key when dragging with the Free Transform Tool will keep glyphs propotional during resizing.
  • Clicking the little link icon (enter image description here) for the parameter boxes will retain proportionality.
  • Using point type may be better for a particular project as opposed to using area type boxes.
  • There is only one method how to make a box sized exactly 5 x 10 mm - type it in the properties. Having a dummy 5x10 rectangle and "magnetically" drag the edges accoringly is a workaround to me.
    – Crowley
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 22:20
  • 1
    It's a bad idea to add any stokes or fills to area text boxes. Ideally you have the rectangle you need and place an area text box above that rectangle. One shouldn't use the area text box as an object other than to hold text. Alternatively, you can resize an area text box via the w/h then merely reset the text horizontal scale to 100% in the Characters panel. You can also constrain text within a standard rectangle -- I do feel this is far more of a workflow issue than an application shortcoming.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 22:34
  • @Scott not sure i agree with this (nor do i really disagree either). Yes there are situations where its better to separate the itemstacks yourself, but then why use effects?
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 6:46

Not much to be said here. In order to keep the glyphs correct you need to ...

Hold SHIFT. :)

  • Holding Shift wile scrolling over the value box just increase the "scrolling" speed. Setting the value and approving it Shift+Enter plays error beep.
    – Crowley
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 22:26

Cut the text from the textbox to the clipboard and paste it back after the box is resized. Selecting the text, Ctrl+X before resizing and Ctrl+V after resizing should not be especially much.

Unfortunately it doesn't work if your text is a continuous chunk which is divided to several tied textboxes.

Another workaround:

Place guides and drag the edges of the textbox to them. As well you can make a right sized rectangle and use it like a guide. You can keep those extra pieces in a different layer or access them via the layers panel if your composition is dense.

Keep Smart Guides and Snap to Point ON to meet the reference exactly when you resize the textbox.


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