How to Make Text Follow a Path in Adobe Illustrator

You can make a text follow a path in Illustrator by creating a path and using the Type on a Path tool to make the text follow the path you created. 

Hi, I am Rita. I have been using Adobe Illustrator for over five years. Making text follow a path is a way of animating it and creating unique designs. 

In this article, I will show two ways to make text follow a path in Adobe Illustrator.

Key Takeaways

  • You can customize the appearance of the text on the path by using the Type menu or the Character and Paragraph panels. This includes changing the font, size, spacing, and more.
  • You can apply various effects and styles to the text on the path, just like regular text. This includes fills, strokes, gradients, and more.
  • You can convert the text to outlines (vector shapes) by selecting the text and then going to Type > Create Outlines. This can be useful for further customization or vector editing.

How to Make Text Follow a Path in Illustrator Using the Shapes Tool

To use this method, you must create a shape using the Shapes tool and the Type on a Path tool to make the text follow a path.

Let’s see how this works in practice.

Note: All screenshots are from Adobe Illustrator CC Windows Version. Mac and other versions may appear different. 

Step 1: Make a shape. You can make a shape by going to the toolbar and selecting the shapes tool from the toolbar. 

I’d select the rectangle tool from the shapes tool to make my rectangle shape. 

Step 2: Select the Type on a Path Tool. This tool will make your text follow the path of the rectangle. You will notice the path and dot in the middle when you hover over the shape after selecting the type tool.

Now, click on the rectangle’s path where you want your text to begin. You will notice that your stroke path is now replaced with the default “Lorem Ipsum” text. 

Step 3: Replace the default text (Lorem Ipsum). The program will automatically make the default text follow the path you created with the shapes tool. 

Change this text with your preferred text by selecting it and typing yours. You can also change the font type, color, etc.

I will replace the default text with Be the Beautiful You

If the text is not following the path the way you want, deselect the type on a path tool and use the handle to arrange the text on the path.

That’s it. You have made text follow a path in Illustrator with this method, and you can try it out with other shapes, like the ellipse, round rectangle, etc., from the shapes tool.

How to Make Text Follow a Pen Tool Path

As we said earlier, you can make text follow a shape or a custom path. To do this, you must follow the same process as using the shapes tool. The difference is you create your path instead of using the shapes tool.

Let’s see how this works in practice.

Step 1: Select the Pen Tool from the toolbar.

Step 2: Draw your path. Click the artboard to make your custom path. 

Step 3: Select the Type on a Path Tool to make the text follow the path you have created. 

Replace the default text with your own text and that’s it. You have created text on a custom path.

How to Edit Text on a Path in Adobe Illustrator

You can create other beautiful effects with your text using Type on a Path Options. Here, you can reposition and create stunning effects on your text. 

Let’s see how this works in practice.

Step 1: Select the text on a path, then go to the overhead menu and select Type > Type on a Path > Type on a Path Options

I will use another text on a circle path to see the possibilities of different shapes. You can use the text on the path you already have.

Step 2: Use the dialogue box to edit your text on a path. To create an excellent effect, go to the effects field and click the drop-down to see the available effects. Select your preferred one.

You can try out a couple of effects to discover the one that best meets your design intent. Check the preview box to see the change as you edit your text.

I tried the Skew effect, and this is how the text appeared.

Aside from the Effects option, you will see other options like Align to Path and Spacing Options. 

Align to Path determines the distance between the text and the path. The Baseline option is the default setting (this setting aligns the text to the path). The Ascender aligns the text to the outer path, and the Descender aligns it to the inner way.

While the Center align to path option brings the text to the center of the path.

Spacing allows you to determine the spacing between the letters. 


You can use the Type on a Path tool to add text on a path so that your text can follow along a path or shape. If you need to edit the text at any point, simply go to the Properties or Character panel to edit it. 

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comment section below.

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