It's super easy to see the x,y coordinates for an image element, but for text, it's not the same.

On an image, When I click it using the Selection tool, it makes a highlighted border around the image. then I hover over the top left corner, and the x,y appears in a tooltip. Like this:

tooltip x y coordinates on image

But when I click text, I have to hover over the anchor at the bottom left of the text to get the x,y. That gives me the x, and I could do some math and figure out the y, but can't the program do it for me?

And while I'm at it, is there a way to see the x,y coordinates of the other three corners around that highlighted box around text?

4 Answers 4


You can see the coordinates in the Transform panel. Changing the reference point will show you the coordinates of that reference point; this holds for area type, point type, and any other object you can select.

enter image description here


It depends on whether your text is placed in a text frame or not.

Window > Info palette will give you the coordinates of the selected element (image, text frame...) based on top left point.

Window > Transform palette will also give you the coordinates of the selected element. You can set which reference point you like.

See: AI coordinates

  • Wow, this gif is nice! What program did you use to make it? Also, thank you!
    – user88028
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 18:45
  • Screentogif.com
    – Vinny
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 0:03

There are two kinds of text object in Illustrator; Point Type and Area Type. Point type is created by clicking with the type tool and then adding text. Area type is created by clicking and dragging with the type tool to create a box before adding type into that box. The two types of text object can be alternated between for the same object by using Type > Convert To Area Type or Type > Convert To Point Type (the menu item changes depending on the current selection).

The behaviour that you are describing in your question, whereby you can only get the coordinates of the start of the first baseline, applies to point type. In order to get the coordinates of the corners, centre, etcetera, simply convert the point type object to area type as described above. It will then behave more like a picture or shape and allow access to the coordinates of the standard nine different points. If for any reason you need the behaviour of the point type later then you can convert the object back.


enter image description here

The only caveat or drawback I can think of is that if you convert a multiline area type object to a point type object then it injects hard returns, so converting back to an area type object will not allow the text to flow dynamically, the line breaks will be fixed unless you go in and delete them.

  • Interesting. I didn't know about "Convert To Area/Point Type". I don't have this feature, using CS6. Do you know what version did implement this feature? Besides, it's nice to read the proper English terms ^^
    – Vinny
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 9:35

You have to select it and after you can see the positions


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