I'm prepping a Photoshop file for the printers.

My Photoshop files use text files that I built in Illustrator and then placed into PS as linked smart objects.

The printer's instructions tell me to "create outlines" for my text. But there's no option to do this (I'm guessing because the text is an .ai smart object file).

Do I even need to worry about this when using text built in Illustrator and placed in Photoshop as a smart object? I'm thinking not as it's an object/graphic, not text, hence the issue?

Being self-taught is so fun!

  • Merge the entire PS document .Press Ctrl + Shift + E [windows]. Then Print. Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


One of the main reasons printers will ask you to convert your text outlines, in illustrator, is because if they do not have the font on their system that you used to create your text with, illustrator will automatically substitute and use a different font when they open the file. Creating outlines essentially converts the text into an object just like any other graphic element in the document so whether they have the font on the system or not, it will make no difference because it is no longer text. Creating outlines in Photoshop from text is not an option. That is an illustrator thing. You should be good to go without having to rasterize or flatten your Photoshop image

  • Thank you for that clarification! On the additional advice of a friend who's done pre-press for a printer, I decided to create outlines of the text files I built in Illustrator (after saving master copies of each file), and then those linked files updated in Photoshop.
    – Becca
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 23:52
  • @Becca The only problem I see in what you just commented is.. Eventually you will start having files and copies of files with text-only and files with text converted to outlines, etc. After a while, all those files start adding up , taking a lot of hard drive space. Another option could be to just duplicate the text layers in illustrator and only create outlines from the text in one layer only and leave the other editable text layer "hidden" . This way you have one illustrator file only with both editable text and text converted outlines. Including the font file with the artwork also helps
    – wch1zpink
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 0:12
  • That's great advice, thanks again wch1zpink. I can certainly use these file management pro tips. So glad I asked!
    – Becca
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 0:43

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