I don't know if the title is right, so I'll explain it with an example. I am working on a simple project in Adobe Illustrator and I would like to do a thing similar to justifying a paragraph, but for single words only.

This is my text:

I would like to align it to both margins. Here I just added some spaces between all the letters, but of course it doesn't look great. How can I make letters in each line evenly spaced?

  • 4
    For things like this, it's often easier to expand text objects and treat them as art.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 19:58

4 Answers 4


Method 1

The answer is in your question title. Simply create a text box, set the alignment to justify and on each row of text with a single word in it, place a space between every letter except the last one.

This will align it just the way you want it.


I didn't even have to add spaces between the letters of the single words enter image description here

Playing around with font weight and stiles can get you here:

enter image description here

Method 2

This is for when you need 100% accuracy and you are willing to work just a bit more for the result:

  1. Write your text
  2. Create Outlines
  3. Ungroup and Group each line of text separately
  4. Give the same width to each line of text
  5. Align Horizontally and add spaces between lines


enter image description here

  • You can even adjust the justification settings so no spaces would be required, but yes this is the right answer.
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 21:44
  • @joojaa I know but I was looking for something super easy for him to do for the first time. Thanks
    – Alin
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 7:33
  • Hmm, I have to try it again, because while I could get the desired effect using tracking, just setting alignment to justify didn't work for me. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 8:12
  • @CorrieSparrow Check my answer again, I have added a gif showing you exactly how to do this.
    – Alin
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 8:38

Here's a script that does something similar I think, write each line of text in separate point text frames, select them all and run the script. The script will ask you for the width of the final composition and the spacing between lines.

enter image description here


  • While I am sure this works, why would you do this with a script?! This is one of the easiest things he will ever do in Illustrator and if he is relying on a script do to this he will never learn. These scripts have one purpose only, to speed up your workflow after you already know how to do it yourself. They must not replace learning.
    – Alin
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 6:57
  • 1
    @Alin good point about learning how to do it manually, and the question does specifically ask about justifying, but this script is incredibly useful. Using justify ruins word spacing and tracking. This script scales the type, which is what you should really be doing, and doing that manually does take a lot longer.
    – Cai
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 9:45
  • 1
    @CAI Added the other one to my original answer too :)
    – Alin
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 10:00
  • 1
    Looks good. That's what I normally do anyway. I do completely agree with your point about scripts and learning first too
    – Cai
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 10:06
  • 1
    then the OP has it all, Alin's detailed explanation and a script for productivity Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 15:41
  1. When working with a small amount of text, it's not a big deal to turn the text into outlines via the Type > Create Outlines menu.
  2. Then, take the words on the top line and you could ungroup that. Put the first letter where you want, horizontally, the last letter where you want to the right of that.
  3. Select all letters, using the Align window, making sure Align to Selection is checked, and then click the Horizontal Distribute Center button. This will space the characters out evenly.
  4. Select them all and group them again (select them, then use ⌘ + G / CTRL + G). With the second line, the letters U and P, making sure they're ungrouped (right click menu), select the U and the top line letter group and click the Horizontal Align Left button.
  5. Select the P and the top line letter group and click the Horizontal Align Right button.
  6. With a word such as "Like" you'd ungroup those letters, then Align the L to the left. The E to the right. And then select all the letters and click the Horizontal Distribute Center button, which will spread out the "i" and the "k" evenly between the "L" and the "E."

Once you get the hang out it, you can do that for every line of words pretty quickly. NOTE: You need to have two objects (an object can be a group of objects) selected in order to use those align buttons.


What you want is called tracking. It's the overall spacing between the letters in a line.

I would center justify the text and adjust the tracking per line to space the letters out evenly. The fastest way is to highlight a line and use opt/alt with L/R arrows to track it out how you want it.

If some letters aren't looking evenly spaced to your liking you can fine-tune it by adjust the space between individual letters. That's called Kerning. You can do this quickly with the same keys above, but instead of selecting the whole line just place the text input cursor between the letters you want to kern.

Tracking and Kerning are also in the Character palette. You can enter smaller values of each than the quick keys increment.

Edit: When I first tried @Alin's answer it didn't work for me, but after getting down-voted I revisited it and it worked. My mistake was that I didn't make a text box and was working on a text line with hard breaks.

His method works well and is probably the easiest way to achieve what you asked for.

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