An illustrated guide to outlining text in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Home — TheInternetPrinter > Preparing files > Illustrator CS3 — How to set up Adobe Illustrator CS3 files for a commercial printing company. > Illustrator CS3 — How to outline text

Why text and fonts can be a problem.

Fonts are easy to use when you are working on your own PC or Apple-Mac. However, many problems can occur when your file is sent to your commercial printing company.

Put quite simply:

  • The fonts you use might not be transferred to your commercial printer when you send the file; or
  • If the fonts are sent, your commercial printing company might not be licenced to use those fonts; or
  • even if your commercial printing company is licenced to use the fonts, that company might not have all the various sub-groups of those fonts (e.g.: the company might not have the bold version or italic version of your font).

So, the best and easiest way to resolve the font issue to to outline all the text on your file — and this page shows you how to outline text and fonts.


A visual guide on how to outline fonts and text in Adobe Illustrator CS3 files.

The process of outlining text and fonts is incredibly easy, and you will now be shown how to outline the text that appears in the below screen shot.


First, choose everything on your file. The shortcut keys to "Select All" are:

  • "Control + A" on a PC.
  • "Apple + A" on an Apple-Mac.


If you are not sure how to use the shortcut keys, then go to your menu and choose: "Select" > "All".
The below screenshot shows you where to find the "Select" and "All" options on an Apple-Mac.


Your screen should now look like the image below: everything is now highlighted (i.e.: the text is highlighted, as are the bleed and saftey margin lines).


You now choose "Type" > "Create Outlines" — the below screenshot shows where to find this option on an Apple-Mac.


Your text is now outlined, and your page should look similar to the screen shot below — all the text should have the 'dotted' outline.


Your text is outlined, so save the file, but save the file with a new name (e.g.: "TheInternetPrinter Bus card"). This will allow you to alter the text in the OLD file at some later stage.

Now your fonts will not cause you or your commercial printer any problems.