You'll have to forgive the novice question, because I am a novice where illustrator is concerned. I am attempting to draw a path across a specific shape, but am having a difficult time actually getting the path aligned with the curvature of the shape. I've spent the last hour tinkering with the pen tool, anchor point tool, attempting to use envelope distort, and everything else that I could think of. Maybe one of you fine folks can point me in the right direction here.

What I was originally attempting to do here was convert text to the shape you see on the bottom. I kept getting an error indicating that I needed to select more than on object or some sort of path. I essentially want the text to match the curves so that the text can be the thin red line. Anyone know what it is that I'm doing wrong here?


1 Answer 1


The easiest option is probably to use the Type on a Path tool.

First draw a single open path following the shape (you can either draw it centered as I've done or draw it where the baseline of the text should be... I prefer to draw it centered so you can change the type size without needing to realign)...

enter image description here

Use the Type on a Path tool (it's hidden behind the Type tool in the Tools panel) to click on the path and type your text...

You can double click the Type on a Path tool icon to bring up the tool options and change the alignment (change the alignment to "Center" if you drew the path centered as I did).

You can align the text using the normal paragraph and character options and you can change where on the path the text is constrained to by dragging the large handles on each end of the path with the selection tools.

enter image description here

  • Thank you! Which tool did you use to draw the path? I tried using the pen tool and I guess my lack of experience showed, as I couldn't make it follow the curve. Commented May 1, 2017 at 15:21
  • Yeh, just the pen tool. You can see the anchors and handles in the first screenshot to see how it's constructed.... You can do it roughly first with the pen tool then adjust the anchors and handles with the direct selection tool to get it closer if needs be
    – Cai
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 15:27

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