Suppose I have this sequence of text: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

And this row of lines:

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How do I accomplish this in Adobe Illustrator in the fastest way?

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2 Answers 2


Really simple. I do this all the time!

  • Write out numbers 5[return]4[return]…until you reach the end
  • (OPTIONAL, FASTER: use a text editor to replace all the commas with RETURNS)
  • Use Jon Wundes divideTextFrame script
  • Get the 1 and the 5 in the right places using Align (Align Tab)
  • Use Distribute (Horizontal & Vertical) to get the others in the right places

That’s it. All you have to do is get the end things in the right place then distribute will do the rest for you.


Assuming the lines are separate line segments set at -45 degrees, here's one way to approach this:

  1. Click on the leftmost line and Copy/Paste in Front.

  2. Click on this duplicate line using the "Type on a Path Tool" and set the number "1" (applying type will convert the duplicate line into a path). Set a baseline shift (of 6 or 7 point) to move the number above the rule, then set character rotation to 45 degrees.

  3. With the layer containing the number "1" selected, use Move (Shift+Cmd+M) and set the Horizontal to a positive number (like 17 pt), the Vertical to a matching negative number (like -17 pt) and the angle to 45 degrees. Click the preview checkbox to confirm the movement. When it looks good, press the "Copy" button.

  4. Use Cmd+D to repeat the transformation (repeat four times).

  5. Use the Text tool to select and delete the rightmost number. Then edit the other numbers as you like.

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