I noticed that in the more recent versions of Adobe Illustrator the program liberally assumes that I want to convert my lines into text paths-- meaning that any time I am even in the vicinity of a line while using the text tool instead of letting me click on an open area and start typing it assumes that a closeby path is what I want to contain my text. It is annoying.

I couldn't find anything in the preferences to modify the range of what it considers something I want to type on. Is there a way to do that?

  • I'd be surprised if there is, unfortunately. One possible workaround if you're working on something with many paths adding many text points would be to have the paths on one layer, text on another, and lock the paths layer while you work on text. Dec 11, 2013 at 17:02
  • User, I'm now also thinking that I'm stuck with this "feature" of Illustrator. And your layer suggestion is good, but you know how it goes-- sometimes you work with the file you got.
    – JeremyH
    Dec 11, 2013 at 17:23
  • 1
    Just did some experimenting, weird observation (in CS6 on Mac): if you click while holding down ctrl (not cmd) and alt while over/near a path, it doesn't put the text on the path. It does, however, create the text as a text box with a seemingly random size and position... other versions might give other results... Dec 11, 2013 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


Nope. No way to disable the "make this path into a text container" feature. I agree it's annoying and obtrusive. It's more rare that a user wants a text container than simple text.

While far from a solution to the baked in feature, you can keep an eye on the cursor when clicking to create text. It changes to a round dotted outline when a path will be used as a text container:


Just don't click if the cursor has a round outer shape. Or, as user568458 points out, use layers or lock paths to circumvent the auto-contraint feature.

Adobe often implements "features" such as this when in my experience, they are more in the way than anything.

  • I sadly must accept this answer-- But why would Adobe make the "Type on Path" option the overriding action when using the text tool? Makes no sense to me.
    – JeremyH
    Dec 11, 2013 at 21:27
  • It's not really Type on a Path. It's constrained type or type inside a shape. Clicking turns the shape into an area text box. The terminology can be important since there's no automated click action for actual Type on a Path. As for why Adobe did it this way... who knows. It just one of many in-the-way aspects of their applications.
    – Scott
    Dec 11, 2013 at 21:33

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