How to Change Font in Adobe Illustrator

Using the Type menu, click Font and select from the list of fonts. Also, if you have the Control panel at the top, you will see the font menu and you can click and select from the list there.

My name is April, and I’ve been working in the graphic design field for 13+ years now. Illustrator is my favorite software to work with when I am designing. An essential part of graphic design is the fonts you choose, assuming your design will have text in it.

Fonts say a lot about design and can help you convey a message, mood, or attitude with your design. Typography is the study of the art of displaying text. Choosing the wrong font can ruin a design and choosing the right font can elevate it!

Let’s look further into it.

Key Takeaways

  • The font can be changed with the Type menu > Font or the Character panel.
  • Be sure to have your text box or the specific text you want to change the font on selected when choosing your new font.
  • The keyboard shortcut for the Type Tool is T.

What is a Font?

Simply put, a font is a collection of letters, numbers, punctuation, and other symbols used to create text. If you’re confused with the font and the typeface. Here’s a quick explanation.

The typeface refers to a font family or collection and the font refers to the specific style of that typeface. For instance, Arial is a typeface, and Arial Narrow Italic is a font.

How to Change Font in Adobe Illustrator

There are several methods you can use to change the font in Illustrator. 

Note: The screenshots from this tutorial are taken from Adobe Illustrator CC Windows version.

Method 1: Type > Font

In Adobe Illustrator, in the top main menu, click Type > Font, and then scroll through and click which font you want to try. I will warn you though, in my experience the menu often has a hard time loading when you have a lot of fonts installed. 

The other downfall is you cannot preview the text in that new font, but you can see the sample text shown by the font. You have to click it and view it when it changes in your document/design.

Method 2: Character Panel

For this method, you must have the Character panel open. If you don’t see it open, go to the top main menu Window > Type > Character.

Now that you have your Character panel open, you can see all the text formatting options you have.

In the upper part of the panel, you see the drop-down menu for the font. Click the arrow to the right side, and choose a new font.

Method 3: Control Panel

For this method, we need the Control panel showing. If you don’t see it, go to the Window menu, and click Control. This option is in the upper section, unlike the main panels we usually open up.

In the Control panel, which now appears at the top of Illustrator, there is a font selection box.

Be sure that your text is selected, and then click the down arrow. You will see a full list of fonts installed on your computer. The benefit of this method is being able to see your text outside of the font list. 

As you hover over a new font, your text changes in real-time.

Once you have a font you like, click it and it will be applied.

How to Find or Replace Font in Adobe Illustrator

While you can do this method for any document, this is best for a document with a lot of text. This is the only method where you don’t have to select your text before taking action. Go to the top main menu Type, and click Find/Replace Font. 

The upper part of the dialog box will show you all the fonts used in your document and then show the list of fonts you can replace it with. 

You can choose to view Recent fonts (fonts you have used recently), Document fonts (fonts that are used in the current document), or System fonts (all fonts installed on the computer you are working on).

Now that you are familiar with the dialog box, we are going to change the font. Click on the font that you want to change, that is now used in your document. For example, I have Arial selected. 

Now choose and click on a font from the lower section, that is what font your text is going to be changed to. 

Tip: Right-click and hold on the font to see a preview of your text in the new font. 

Click Change, to change one instance of the text that you have selected, or click Change All to change all instances of that font in your document to the new font. When done, click done.


Here are some commonly asked questions that you might also want to know.

Why can’t you change the selected text?

Double-check that you had your text selected before you changed to the new font, either with the Type tool or with the Selection tool.

Why can’t I select or modify the text in Illustrator?

The first thing I would check is to see if your layer or your text is locked in the Layers panel. If the text layer, or the layer the text is on is locked, you will not be able to select it with any of the selection tools or the type tool.

If it is unlocked and you still can’t select it with the type tool, I would check to see if the text has been outlined. If you cannot select the text with the Type Tool, try to select it with the selection tool to check if you see all the edges of the text. If so, the text has been outlined.

Final Thoughts

Changing the font for text in Adobe Illustrator is a foundational skill you will need to design well.

Through the various menus, you can easily change the font for your text. Adobe gives you an option to also auto-change all instances of that text to a new font, or just select some text or a text box and change it that way. 

Have you used any of these methods to change fonts in Illustrator? What is your favorite font to use? Let me know in the comments below.

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