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I am fairly good in Photoshop, but have been recently playing with illustrator and must say that some of the things the program does make absolutely no sense to me.

This is such a case here:

enter image description here

The letter P (and all of the other letter too as a matter of fact) has such a large empty space (highlighted on the picture) that I can not even select that other element below the words (with the small circle and a line on the red).

How do I make this disappear?

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  • 1
    Select another font than Cambria. It is just a weird font - it has a massive bounding box.
    – Jongware
    Oct 6, 2015 at 6:54
  • @Jongware If you make that an answer, I'll upvote it! :)
    – Vincent
    Oct 6, 2015 at 9:41
  • Hi user2610407, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Oct 6, 2015 at 9:42

3 Answers 3

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The font Cambria has fairly weird default dimensions. Its design is based on a standard value of 2048 units per em (meaning, a regular character such as 'A' or 'x' should fall well within this box), but some of its characters go way beyond this:

xMin                  : -3020
yMin                  : -5045
xMax                  : 5873
yMax                  : 6383

So there are characters that stick out 2.5 times the 'normal' height above, and more than 3 times below, the 'usual' box. Presumably this is because the font is paired with Cambria Math – a dedicated mathematical set that contains lots of super-large characters such as Summation ∑, Product ∏, and various sets of math brackets to span several lines.

Poor Illustrator doesn't know this, and so it displays this overly large bounding box – because the font tells it this should be this large.

There is no way to somehow remove the bounding box inside of Illustrator and still keep the live text. You can convert this text to outlines and it'll be gone. But converting text to outlines willy-nilly is frowned upon in general, because your text is no longer editable, and you loose "important" information. (It also has other undesirable side effects, such as rendering quality. "Text" is always rendered optimally, whereas "outlines" may display worse.)

There is even no good way to do this outside of Illustrator, say, with a font editor. The dimensions inside the font are the actual character dimensions; and to decrease them you'd need to physically remove all offending large characters from the font.

Bottom line: unless you really want to use this font, try another. And if you really want to use this font, you'll have to live with this quirk.

You may be able to minimize the selection problems you are encountering by putting the text on a separate layer, either above or below your other artwork (it depends on how the text interacts with the rest of your design), and locking the text layer.

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  • Are there any decent math font alternatives for Cambria? If not for the huge bounding boxes, it shows the characters the way you expect them to be in science. It seems like Euclid is a nice alternative.
    – Dr_Zaszuś
    Mar 13, 2018 at 12:18
  • @Dr_Zaszuś: Unicode compliant? I really don't know. The MathMM fonts that came with (I think it was) MathMagic are complete, but IIRC they do not fully conform to Unicode.
    – Jongware
    Mar 13, 2018 at 15:06
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It looks like your Baseline might be out of whack. Open of the Character panel and look at the Baseline Shift field. If it's got any numbers in it greater than 0, it might explain what's going on.

enter image description here enter image description here

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  • test with the Cambria font, you will see this is not the case.
    – Luciano
    Oct 6, 2015 at 15:26
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    @Luciano I had no idea Cambria was such a wild child. If I had it I would have tested it. :) Learn something new every day!
    – Vicki
    Oct 6, 2015 at 17:08
  • me neither, I thought your answer was correct until I tested it myself!
    – Luciano
    Oct 7, 2015 at 13:46
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    +1 even if it doesn't apply to Cambria because for most other fonts that answer would be the thing to look for.
    – curious
    May 20, 2018 at 0:05
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enter image description here

If you double click this white dot here, the text box switches to the other mode in which you can drag the bottom edge up.

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