I'm trying to make text on a colored map more legible. Ideally I would add an outline around the text with the same general color as that part of the map, for a subtle blend. What's the best way to do this? Really hard cases are text boxes that span two different colors, and I'm prepared for manual work on those, but I'd like to find a faster way to quickly give text over a single-color area an outline that helps it blend with the background (I don't mind picking that color manually).


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    Do you have an image we can better visualize? Mar 22, 2014 at 12:11
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    I second @AdamSchuld we need to see images of what you want to achieve and what you have tried. Good to show some effort, and it will make the chances for a good answer infinitely larger.
    – benteh
    Mar 22, 2014 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


Two options come to mind.

Stroke with effects

  1. Add a fill and stroke via the appearance panel.
  2. Apply a blend mode or opacity to the stroke by selecting it in the appearance panel.
  3. Save that as an object style for easy application elsewhere.

Type with a soft shadow

  1. Apply a drop shadow to your text with 0 x/y offset and appropriate blur, opacity, and blend mode.
  2. Object style it.

In most cases, I think a well done shadow looks best.

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