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Manage text area

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Learn how to manage text area with Type options.

Illustrator offers various options to add text and work with type objects in your vector art. You can further customize your text with Type options to resize type areaadd rows and columns, add a margin, move the first baseline,  fit a headline across the width of a type area, and thread text between objects.

Before you proceed with managing text area, learn about text, path, and objects:

Do you have large text in your artwork? You can resize your text area or arrange that in rows and columns. You can even add a margin around some of your text or move the first baseline to make your text more appealing with Area Type Options.

Learn how to resize type area

Learn how to add rows and columns of text

Learn how to edit the margin around text

Learn how to change the first baseline

Resize type area

Text doesn't fit your area or path? You can easily resize your text area.

Use Selection Tool

Follow these steps to resize your type area with Selection tool  :

Here's how you can resize type area using the Selection Tool
Resize type area with Selection tool

  1. Select the type object.

  2. Drag a handle on the bounding box till you get the required size.

Use Direct Selection Tool

Follow these steps to resize type area with Direct Selection tool  :

Resize type area with Direct Selection tool

  1. Select the type path.

  2. Drag to adjust the shape of the path.

 Turn off Preferences > Type > Auto Size New Area Type to have a fixed size type object.

Add rows and columns

Split large paragraphs into rows, columns, or a combination of both to make your text easy to read and visually appealing. Follow these steps to add rows and columns to your text area:

  1. Select an area type object, and choose Type > Area Type Options.

  2. In the Rows and Columns section, set the following options:

    These are the Area Type Options to split text into rows and columns
    Options to split text into rows and columns


    Specifies the number of rows and columns you want the object to contain.


    Specifies the height of individual rows and the width of individual columns.


    Determines the span of rows and columns when you resize the type area if this option is:

    • Selected: Changes the number of rows and columns, but not their width.
    • Deselected: Changes the width of rows and columns, but not their number.


    Specifies the distance between rows or columns.

  3. In Options, select one of the following Text Flow options:

    • Rows  : Text flows from left to right in rows.
    • Columns  : Text flows in columns, beginning with the left column.

Add margin

When you work with an area type object, you can add a margin between the text and bounding box. This margin is Inset SpacingFollow these steps to change the inset spacing in your artwork:

Add margin to type area with inset spacing
Add margin to type area with inset spacing

  1. Select an area type object, and choose Type > Area Type Options.

  2. Specify a value for Inset Spacing.

Move the first baseline

The alignment of the first line of text with the top of the object is first baseline offsetFollow these steps to move the first baseline:

  1. Select an area type object, and choose Type > Area Type Options.

  2. Click the drop-down to select any of the First Baseline options:

    First baseline options

    A. Ascent B. Cap Height C. Leading D. x Height E. Embox 


    The top of a lower case "d" starts below the top of the type object.

    Cap Height

    The top of uppercase letters touch the top of the type object.

    x Height in First baseline options


    Distance between the baseline of the first line of text and the top of the type object.

    x Height

    The height of the “x” character falls below the top of the type object.

    Em Box Height

    The top of the em box in Asian fonts touch the top of the type object. This option is available regardless of the Show Asian Options preference.


    Specifies the distance between the baseline of the first line of text and the top of the type object in the Min box.


    Uses the first baseline default used in Adobe Illustrator 10 or earlier.

  3. Enter the Min value for your first baseline offset.

You can also use other Type options to fit a headline across the width of a type area and thread text. Read on to know how to use these options.

Fit a headline across the width of a type area

When you add a paragraph as a headline, you can easily expand it to fit your type area. Follow these steps to fit a headline across the full width of a type area:

Fit a headline across the full width of a type area
Fit a headline across the width of a type area

  1. Use the Type tool   to select the paragraph you want to fit across the type area.

  2. Choose Type > Fit Headline to increase the space between the letters.

Create and break threads between objects

You can link two objects and thread text from one to another. Linked type objects can be of any shape. However, you need to enter the text in an area or along a path.

When your text doesn't fit into your object or area, you can see a   at the bottom-right corner of the bounding box.

Thread text to an existing object
Thread text to an existing object

You can thread two or more text areas or objects to flow your text from one to another. Follow any of these options to thread text:

Thread any text area

Thread any text area

  1. Use the Type tool   or Vertical Type tool   to create your text area.

  2. Click  , and follow any of these options to link your text area to another:

    • Click your loaded pointer   anywhere to create a text area of the same size and shape.
    • Click and drag loaded pointer    to create a rectangular text area.

Thread text to an object

Thread text to an object

  1. Create any shape and enter text.

  2. Click   , and follow any of these options to thread another object (s):

    • Thread a single object: Click the path of the object once your pointer changes to .
    • Thread multiple objects: Hold Shift and select all the objects you want to thread and choose Type > Threaded Text > Create.

 To view the threads you created, choose View > Show Text Threads and select a linked object.

Remove or break threads

Did you create a thread between two objects and now you've changed your mind? Follow these steps to remove or break threads between objects:

  1. Select a linked type object.
  2. Follow any of these options:

    • Double-click the port on either end of the thread. This will break the thread, and the text flows back into the first object.

    • Choose Type > Threaded Text > Release Selection. This will release an object from a text thread, and the text flows into the next object.

    • Choose Type > Threaded Text > Remove Threading to remove all threads.

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