For example, how do I italicize the font Impact (Regular) in Illustrator CS 6?

I can't find the italicize option in the character panel window.

  • 6
    Impact Italic does not exist to my knowledge. But your use of "italicize" implies that you are used to Microsoft Word, which automatically slats every font, which is not recommended at all.
    – KMSTR
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 10:33

7 Answers 7


As KMSTR says, you don't. Impact does not have an italic variant, nor a bold, for that matter.

Many consumer-based software like Microsoft Office allow so-called faux bold and italic for all fonts installed: if a separate font file for these alternate styles is not installed, the software simply slants the characters (for faux italic) or makes them thicker itself (for faux bold).

Do note that slanting is hardly the same as actual italics. Compare slanted and italic Garamond, for example:

example of slanted and italic Garamond

Since faux is a way of obtaining these styles that the original type designer didn't have in mind, it is widely viewed as 'incorrect' among typographers and designers. Hence, Illustrator (and other other Adobe applications) only allows it with an option that isn't too easy to find or access.

You can use faux by different means, depending on the programme you're using:

Illustrator: simply shear your text object.

Photoshop: In the Character panel, you can find Faux Italic in the panel's options.

InDesign: Use the Skew option in the Character palette.

  • 7
    Another proof the term "Creative Suite" is just a marketing scam :) Pros and cons: for Illustrator, it's an 'object' option, rather than in the Character formatting, so you cannot store it in a character or paragraph style. Photoshop: "faux italic" is the correct term, but you cannot set the angle. Finally, for InDesign they got it right: any slant is possible, including a negative number.
    – Jongware
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 11:10
  • @Jongware For some strange reason they did make it possible to rotate chars in illustrator but not skew them go figure. This is why i like Postscript.
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 17:08

In Adobe Illustrator the best way to fake an Italic, on a sans-serif font, is to Shear as others have said but also then reduce the kerning.

I find for most sans-serif fonts a 10degree horizontal shear, and -10 kerning is very very close to what an Italic would be. Again for sans-serif fonts. Here's an example using Source Sans Pro and Arial. Top is the real italic, bottom is 10 degree horizontal shear and -10 kerning:

enter image description here

Notice its not exact even in a Sans-Serif though. Source Sans Pro for example changes the lowercase "a" in the true italic. But overall using Impact with these properties should get a pretty good approximation for you.

  • 2
    Agreed, I just prefer a 7° shear/skew though :)
    – Scott
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 17:11
  • We can split the difference and go with an 8.5° shear, but then we'll have to completely rethink the kerning. Perhaps a -7.625 would be best at that point? @Scott
    – Ryan
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 17:12
  • IMO, if the fakes in top rows were changed to reals, it will become easier to understand.
    – mt1022
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 8:08

Personally, with the hundreds of thousands of fonts available at our disposal, I would opt for another font altogether.

Using faux bolds and italics may work for home or small office use, but if you are sending the file to a professional for printing, these faux styles may not print as intended... or worse... error the entire file to where it will cost extra prepress fees to fix.

Best to make sure your original file is as error free as possible as it saves time and money.


I am quite a newbie at Ai so came to the thread looking for answers to the same question. I also couldn't be bothered looking for THE font as I just wanted to slant the font I had already picked. I found out that if you type your text in MS Word and "italicise" it you can copy and paste it into Ai and it keeps its shape. Ai doesn't recognise what font it is but doesn't seem to mind it. It also kept the text as a text. I exported the logo with the text as bmp / jpeg without any distortion or pixelation.

  • 1
    This creates a faux version of the italics which usually renders more poorly than an actual italics font Commented May 19, 2015 at 11:07
  • Hi Lana, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 11:26
  • From the menu choose: Object → Transform → Shear...
    • Set Shear Angel to 10 °
    • Set Axis to Horizontal
    • Ok
  • Hello and welcome to GD.SE. The site usually wants answeres in the form of full sentences, and usually atleast a paragraph of text. Also your answer seems to bring in no added value. It would be great if you could edit the answer to rectify this.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 6:38

Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort


There is a website called https://smartfonts.com/. You can find a lot of italics there, simply switching angle in helping tool they have on website.

Here's link: https://smartfonts.com/library?angle=95-150&page=2

Italics start at 95°.

Also, you can find many more search helping options. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  • 1
    This doesn't really answer the question (which is about italicizing an existing font).
    – Cai
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 9:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.