How do you bloat text in Illustrator so that it applies to the whole text area, not just individual letters?

I have converted the text to outlines, and expanded appearance, but when I bloat the text (OK, shapes now I guess) it applies the effect to each letter, whereas I want to distort the area as a whole.

2 Answers 2


Aargh. Figured it out - Object > Envelope Distort will treat all the objects together.


Or, you could group the expanded text and apply Effect > Warp > Inflate.

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