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Is it possible to reverse (as in flip vertically) a single character (in my case the '~' character) inside a line of text WITHOUT converting the text to outlines? As in it's still a character, it just happens to be reveresed?

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You can rotate a character - which may or may not work for you. There's no way to "flip" a character though.

To rotate, simply select the character and alter the option fields in the Character Panel. You may need to choose Show Options from the Character Panel Menu first.

enter image description here

Here, I've adjusted the baseline shift as well to bring the rotated character back down to the baseline of the other characters.

In Illustrator CC, you can click the Touch Type Tool button on the Character Panel to alter text with click-dragging. It still doesn't allow you to "flip" the character, but you can more easily adjust rotation, placement, and size of individual characters this way.

enter image description here

These are pretty much the only transformation you can make to a single character in a line of live type.

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  • Nice feature (never noticed it before despite using illustrator for ~10 years), but not quite what I was looking for. Have a +1 though
    – chrism
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 15:56
  • @chrism if it answers your question then why not except it or explain why the said above isn't an acceptable answer please.
    – user9447
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 16:10

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