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I'm working on a large number of large format maps in Illustrator. Once they are printed they are folded up by the end-user, so we need to be able to print the map ID number all the way around the perimeter of the page so that someone will know which map they have just by looking at any part of the edge.

In it's basic form this is just text on a path, but how do I make the text string repeat over and over for the entire length of the line?

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Two solution I can think of:

1. Pattern Brush

Type your map ID and convert text to outlines (you can't create a brush with live text).

Create a pattern brush by dragging it to the brush panel and selecting Pattern Brush. You can adjust the spacing by editing the brush at any time. You can also change the color just by changing the stroke color (depending on the colorization method in the brush options).

Create a rectangle around your page and apply your brush.

repeating with pattern brush

2. Transform Effect

Type your map ID out once and create a symbol from it by dragging it to the symbol panel. This means if you ever need to make changes you only need to change that one symbol.

Place an instance of your symbol in the corner of your page and apply a transform effect (Effect → Distort & Transform → Transform). Set a Horizontal Move to a number that gives you enough space between your repeated IDs and number of copies big enough to fill the page.

repeating with transform

Duplicate your transformed layer, rotate 90 degrees and move to another edge. Repeat for each edge of the page.

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  • Thank-you; I'm going to give the patterned brush option a go and see how it works out. And great examples BTW. – Ian Apr 30 '16 at 3:21

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