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Designing Presentation & Research Posters with Illustrator

Learn the six basic tools for designing and creating posters with Adobe Illustrator.

Type Tool

Illustrator toolbar with circle pointing towards type tool.

Create a New Textbox: Select the Type Tool from the Toolbox, draw a box on the screen, then type in the box. Use the Character or Paragraph choices in the Options Bar or the Type menu.

Add existing text from a file: Get on the Black Pointer Tool then go to the File menu and select Place and choose your text file. If the placed text looks strange, try this: 

  1. Select the text box or shape with the Selection Tool
  2. Click on the Character Panel link in the Options Bar and set the font sizes to any value you like.
  3. Set the leading to Auto – this should fix the overlap problem.


Edit Your Text:

Image of the text properties menu open in Illustrator interface.

To change all of the text in a text box or shape: Use the Selection Tool (the black arrow) to do the below steps. If you want to affect only certain words or characters, use the Type Tool:

  1. Select the text
  2. Use the choices in the Options Bar to set font, size, etc. For more specificity, click on the Character Panel or Paragraph Panel links in the Options Bar or use the Type menu

To change the color of the letters (the fill color), use the solid color square in the Options Bar. To change the outline color (stroke), use the color square with the white square in the middle.

To change the fill or the stroke of the text box itself:

  1. Choose the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) from the Toolbox.
  2. Click and release once on a corner handle of the text box itself – the Options Bar should change from Type (as shown in the screen shot above) to Anchor Point.
  3. Change the stroke and fill as described in the Working With Color section.

To move a text box, use the Selection Tool (black arrow) to click and drag it to its new location.
To resize a text box, drag the “handles” with the Selection Tool – hold down the Shift key to keep it proportionate.

Remember that fonts used in an Illustrator document can only be displayed and printed correctly when the viewer has those fonts installed on their computer.  If working on more than one computer, you may have to carry font files along with your Illustrator file.

Video Reference

Using Text in Illustrator In-Depth Handout