I am newer than new to Illustrator, but am trying nontheless to design a logo for my friend.

The most basic of operations is to create an ellipse, correct?

I have created a circle with this tool, but every time I then try using the Area Type tool I get the message:


I have managed to "release" the compound path (apparently) but must still be using a "masked" path.

How do I release this, so that I will be free to create text within this circle?

3 Answers 3


You are going to kick yourself I think when I tell you how to solve this; I think: Click on the actual path, not the area inside the shape with the Area Type tool.

One nice thing about Illustrator is that you do not need to select the Area Type tool, as Illustrator will automatically change to it when you mouse-over the path.

If you would rather type along the path then depressing ALT while mousing over the path with the type tool will give you this option. Alternatively using the Type on Path tool will work.


You can Convert this path to shape, Object/shape/convert to shape, then type the text, Goodluck.

  • I don't think there is any Object > Shape... menu.
    – Welz
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:53

Right click and release compound path

  • 1
    Please make an edit and explain your answer further.
    – user9447
    Oct 13, 2015 at 15:20
  • This worked for me, whereas the leading answer did not. Dec 30, 2017 at 19:27
  • the OP indicated that the original shape was an ellipse created with the ellipse tool. releasing the shape to a <path> would not answer the question as asked as the path/shape should already be useable as an area type boundary. @MarkMiller if you were using a compound or masked path then my answer would not work for you, because you would need to release to a generic <path> first. Feb 10, 2018 at 17:17

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