In a recent project in Illustrator I was creating freeform paths to place text on them. Since the design was freeform I kept running into a problem where I would create a path, place the text on it, then realize that the text didn't fully fit on the path or the path needed to be tweaked slightly to make the text look right. However, once I placed the text on the path I found that I couldn't modify the path's anchor points anymore.

Is it possible to modify an text path's anchor points once you have placed text on it? Or do I have to undo the text on a path action, modify the line, and then place the text back on it?

2 Answers 2


Using the Direct selection tool (enter image description here) you can click on the path after you've placed your text and edit the curves and nodes as much as you'd like.

enter image description here

  • 2
    I thought I had tried this and couldnt seem to get it to work...Ill have to give this a try again in a little bit :) May 4, 2014 at 1:54
  • 1
    If you choose the direct selection tool and immediately click and drag one of the points, you'll end up moving the entire path, the key is to click once on one of the nodes. Then the curve handles will be available to you...hope that helps.
    – Circle B
    May 4, 2014 at 21:46
  • I must have been extremely tired or something when I tried this before - it works exactly as described. Thanks @circleb May 5, 2014 at 4:54
  • :-) no problem, I know the feeling!
    – Circle B
    May 5, 2014 at 12:40
  • Shittiest UI in world history
    – TelFiRE
    Oct 24, 2023 at 21:09

One small addition to Circle B's answer - you need to first use Direct Selection on one of the points that is not the end of the path - only then can you modify the path ending nodes (e.g. to lengthen the path).


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