Is there any quick way to convert text created at point (automatically resizable boundaries) to a area (paragraph) text (with fixed boundaries) in Illustrator CS3?

  • 3
    Copy and paste it into a new textbox?
    – DA01
    Nov 8 '11 at 17:15
  • 2
    @DA01 very funny :)
    – takeshin
    Nov 9 '11 at 7:41
  • It wasn't a joke. I think that's the easiest way ;)
    – DA01
    Nov 9 '11 at 15:25
  • 1
    Sure. But this is the obvious way, which is rather annoying. I just want to design, not to be a copy and paste machine. BTW, this is not only copy and paste, but requires creating and deleting other objects. Looks like this is a joke in Illustrator :)
    – takeshin
    Nov 10 '11 at 8:32
  • 1
    Yea, I really miss Freehand. I've been putting of accepting AI for a while now. It's always felt clunky to me.
    – DA01
    Nov 10 '11 at 15:56

Point text and area text are such different objects under the hood that there's no instant way to convert from one to the other. Many typographic functions tied to paragraphs, such as the Single Line and Paragraph Composers, justification, text wrap and hyphenation are inapplicable to point type.

As DA01 says, the simplest way to do this is to select the text, then cut or copy and paste into a new text frame. Select the Text tool and drag out the new frame, then paste. (Your text cursor has to be active inside the frame for this to work.) You'll then have to check for forced line breaks in the point text that will still be present in the new area type.

So to answer your question, no, there isn't an easier way to do this in CS3 (or CS5.1, for that matter).

  • 1
    Sure, you're right, but I think if I can copy and paste the text manually, there should be no problem with automating this. Copy and paste is no problem at all, but having to focus on the right sizes, layers etc. is annoying.
    – takeshin
    Nov 10 '11 at 8:28
  • It's probably scriptable, and you might find someone on SU or SO who could help you out with a script. The problem with automating this process is that you have to define the boundaries of a new text area and make the text cursor active before you paste in the text, so you're dealing with two objects and a sequence that won't work as an Action. The Action recorder only sees the Copy and the Paste, not the act of drawing a new object. Nov 10 '11 at 8:47
  • Not really efficient if you want to change a few fields at the same time.
    – Guillaume
    Nov 29 '11 at 16:23
  • 1
    This can be done with the script listed in Guillaume's answer. Apr 11 '12 at 1:05
  • 1
    Scripting is a lovely thing... Apr 11 '12 at 2:30

Adobe Illustrator CC, or newer, can convert between point text and area text by choosing "Convert to Area Type" or "Convert to Point Type" from the Type menu or by using the little type widget -- the small ---[] box that appears outside of the text frame. Double-click it to convert the text.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Wow, it only took how many revisions to get it. Go CC anyways...
    – user14509
    Aug 6 '13 at 13:34
  • The other comments on this page should be hidden - this is clearly the right answer. Cheers Scott. Nov 26 '15 at 5:56
  • @takeshin This should be the accepted answer in 2018!
    – kcdwayne
    Nov 7 '18 at 18:50

You can use the script from AjarProductions : Convert Illustrator Point/Path Text to Area Text

This script will convert point text and text on a path into area text. You select multiple text fields and the script will convert them all.

Works fine for me on Illustrator CS5.

Code of the script copied below, in case the page goes missing:

//Convert to Text Area
//Justin Putney

var doc = app.activeDocument;
var sel = doc.selection;
for (var i=0; i < sel.length; i++){
    if(sel[i].typename == "TextFrame") {
        if(sel[i].kind == TextType.POINTTEXT || sel[i].kind == TextType.PATHTEXT){
            var cLayer = sel[i].layer;
            var rect = cLayer.pathItems.rectangle(sel[i].top, sel[i].left, sel[i].width, sel[i].height);
            var tFrame = cLayer.textFrames.areaText(rect);
            //retain layer order, if possible
            //tFrame.layer.move(cLayer, ElementPlacement.PLACEAFTER)
            sel[i].textRange.move(tFrame, ElementPlacement.PLACEATEND);
            sel[i] = tFrame;
//reset selection
doc.selection = sel;
  • This is a great little script that does exactly what takeshin wants (and what I came to this thread looking for myself).
    – davemyron
    Feb 7 '12 at 23:14
  • THANK YOU FOR THE SCRIPT!! :-) (yes, I let CAPS to be on... for you man! Thanks!)
    – user4195
    Apr 4 '12 at 10:49
  • For those like me who never installed a script in Illustrator, place it under Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS6\Presets\en_US\Scripts as ConvertToTextArea.jsx
    – Danita
    Jul 8 '14 at 13:12

Just adding some clarification for users who don't know how to create the text frame already in Adobe Illustrator...

If you don't know how to create a text box (frame) in Illustrator for paragraphs or blocks of texts, you simply need to select the text tool (T) and draw a square or rectangle on your artboard with it.

Then you can simply copy and paste your other text into it and resize this new text box as you want.

How to create a paragraph or text frame or text box in Adobe Illustrator

You can also link many boxes together if you want. All you need to do is to click on that little square on the bottom right of your text box, and click on another empty text box that you want to text to flow into OR on your artboard if you want the same box size.

If you need to remove the "link", simply right-click on the same square and select "undo link threaded text".

How to link text boxes / textboxes / paragraphs in Illustrator

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