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In Illustrator, click the corner of the standard Type tool to find the Type on Path tool. Select it, then click on any existing path or shape in your document.

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I created this path using the Pen tool before selecting the Text tool. Prior to clicking on the path, I picked a font and letter height in the Text tool settings, and in this case, set it to Left Justify.

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For this image, I replaced several of the letters with a new font and increased the letter height of those letters. I switched the original Type Orientation from “Rainbow” to “Skew” using the Type On Path Options. Lastly, I selected one of the vertical bars (circled in red) to slide the text to a new position along the path.

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Text will follow the path, defaulting to alignment along the bottom and in “Rainbow” orientation. To adjust kerning, click the Type on Path tool between two problem letters, then hold down the Alt/Option key and tap the left or right arrows.

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For this image, I drag selected the entire line of text to highlight it, then changed the font. I also used the Type on Path Options (Type on Path>Type on Path Options) to change from Rainbow to Stair Step, and I changed the option to align the option to run the path over the center of the text.

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In Illustrator, the Spiral Tool is located in the tool bar, hidden under the Line Segment Tool. Click and drag out a default 10 segment spiral. To change the features, try holding down the Control Key and/or the Up/Down arrows while creating the Spiral.

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In CorelDraw, enter some text and select both text and path. Click Text>Fit Text to Path.

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Simple enough! Adjust the global spacing by dragging the scratchy arrow.

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In this image, I adjusted the Bezier handles on the path, switched out the font for two letters, and changed the original Text Orientation to “vertical”

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Use this tool to slide text along the path or offset it from the path. Note the different set of adjustments available in the top menu bar when this tool is selected.

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Use this tool to adjust kerning between individual letter pairs, or use the scratchy arrow to make global spacing adjustments. Fonts can be adjusted from this tool, too.

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When the Pick Tool is selected, this dropdown menu lets you pick from a variety of Text Orientation Options. You’ll probably use the top and middle options the most.

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For this image, I added text atop an oval, adjusted spacing, letter height and tweaked the inter character spacing (kerning) on problem letter pairs.

Placing text on a Path

By Mike Jackson

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

When designing signs, you’ll likely run into times when you need to make text follow along a path of some sort. The path might be a simple ogee curve, an oval or ellipse, or a more complex shape like a spiral, octagon or star. Here’s a quick look at how that’s done in two of the more popular design programs: Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw.

I believe the tools and steps shown here should be available in most reasonably current versions of the programs. You should find similar utilities in dedicated sign design programs like Gerber Omega, SignLab and FlexiSign.

Adobe Illustrator In Adobe Illustrator, all you have to do is select the Type on Path tool in the Text tool fly-out menu, then click on an existing path. The text will be generated from that insertion point based on using your current Justification settings: Left, Center or Right. Once entered, text can be “slid” along the path by holding the cursor over either of the beginning/end vertical bars or the center bar, then clicking and dragging.


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Mike Jackson

Mike and Darla Jackson operate Golden Era Studios in Jackson, Wyoming, and do a variety of sign-related projects. Mike’s website is www.goldenstudios.com. His email address is golden@goldenstudios.com. You can see more of Mike’s photos at www.tetonimages.com and www.goldenstudios.com.