How to create rectangles with text around circle like the figure below using Illustrator.

enter image description here

Figure taken from here: https://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v13/n9/fig_tab/nmeth.3901_F1.html

  • Although the duplicate link above states "CS5" in its title, the methods are still essentially the same in more recent releases.
    – Scott
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 17:36
  • Thanks @Metis, however I'm also interested in the rectangles. I can make the text follow the circle, but I want the text to be inside a rectangle wrapping the circle.
    – alejandro
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


I generally prefer not to warp the text and the rectangles as one element. It could be done but it often means the text gets distorted somewhat. It's not overly noticeable at times, but there is a variation due to any warping.

The method I prefer is to set up the rectangles, then add Type on a Path.

For the rectangles, just create a circle with a very thick stroke.....

  • Object > Expand (then you may need to remove the center spine depending upon what version of Illustrator you are using - some versions leave the spine, some don't. CC2017 requires the spine removal.)
  • Draw rectangles to create the gaps in the circle.
  • Select the circle and rectangles and Pathfinder Panel -> Minus Front to remove the the rectangles from the circle.
  • Draw a new circle for the type to sit on
  • Delete portions of this new circle that are outside the shapes
  • Add the Type on a Path
  • Select the type and rotate it around the circle's center while copying it (Option/alt key) to land on the other pieces
  • Change text, and colors.

    [1]: https://i.sstatic.net/xgT

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