I have an illustrator file, and I need to resize the bounding box of all the components, without changing the size of the text. Is there an easy way to do this, or do I have to go and rewrite all of it in newly sized boxes? Thanks beforehand.

  • Not sure what your situation is. Do you have point text, or text in frames (so that text reflows), or are the bounding boxes separate elements? Dec 15, 2011 at 8:35
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that you want to: select a group of elements (among them some text in "frames" or "free"), resize them together by using bounding box handlers and on the top of that you don't want text itself scaled but "text frames" are to be resized? Am I right? If not, provide an illustration to help to clarify your question.
    – thebodzio
    Dec 15, 2011 at 11:39

5 Answers 5


There is more information that is required before you question can be answered accurately. However, you may not fully understand the difference between the Type objects that Illustrator creates.

Depending on how you use the Type tool, 3 different basic type objects will be created:

  1. Type in an Area
    This is the type "in frames" that Alan refers to. It can be created by using the Type tool to drag out a bounding box, or by clicking the Type tool inside an existing shape object. Type in an Area (original)

    This type can have its bounding box resized. Text will be re-flowed, but the font will not be affected.

    Type in an Area (resized bounding box)

    It can also have the text continued in other areas.

    Type in an Area (continued)

  2. Type on a Path
    This is the type that follows a path. It can be created by clicking the Type tool on an existing path.

    Type on a Path (original)

    This type cannot be simply resized, as it will impact the font.

    Type on a Path (resized)

    However, if you select an anchor on the path and move just that anchor, you can re-flow the text and even continue it on another path.

    Type on a Path (moved anchor)

  3. Type on an Anchor
    This type is created by just clicking at a blank spot on your canvas and typing away. It is only registered to 1 base anchor.

    Type on an Anchor (original)

    Type on an Anchor cannot be re-flowed and any transformation operations will distort the text.

    Type on an Anchor (resized)

It is important to note that if you select multiple "Type in Area" objects, a resize transform will resize the bounding boxes and re-flow the text inside. However, if you select a Type in Area object and a "Type on Path" or "Type on Anchor" object, the transformation will be applied to the text and not just the bounding box.

Hopefully that gives you the ammo to resize your text areas appropriately...

  • I have a follow-up question to this: when you resize the text area by manipulating the anchors with your mouse, the text reflows as expected. However, when you resize it using the transform panel, the text is scaled. How can one make a text area a specific size without scaling the text?
    – Zelbinian
    Mar 31, 2013 at 17:45
  • @Zelbinian It's hacky, but the simplest way would probably be to use Guides and drag the anchors with snap-to-guides enabled.
    – Farray
    Apr 1, 2013 at 0:12
  • in answer to Zelbians follow up question, using the transform to get precise text box size without adjusting text... use the 'A' selection Arrow (white direct selection arrow) to select the text box, then punch in the numbers... the text wont distort then :)
    – user40432
    Mar 5, 2015 at 23:41

ctrl+shift+B (Cmd+shift+B on a MAC) this sets the bounding box so when you resize it leaves the text alone and only resizes the text box not the text.

  • This doesn't seem to work in CC. All it does is scale the text proportionately rather than in one diminstion. I just want to change the bounding box for the text, which should be a simple function but seems impossible to find.
    – Jake
    Jan 23, 2023 at 2:50

To set the text area box to specific dimensions without distorting the text do this:

In the main menu (on top), choose Type and then Area Type Options. A window will appear with options to set text box width and height, there are other useful options too.

  • Area Type Options is greyed out, whether I have a text object selected or not.
    – Jake
    Jan 23, 2023 at 2:46

With Auto Size Type feature introduced in AI CC 2014.1 , text box automatically adjusted its height according to the content inside the box .

To use this feature double click on the widget appearing at the bottom of text box . For more details please look at : https://tinytutorials.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/illustrator-cc-2014-october-area-type-options-auto-resizing-text-box/


There is an easy way to do it. You can just copy the text from your box, click on the tool to create a new text box, and paste your text in the new box.

Then you will be able to resize the box without affecting the font size.

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