How to Convert Fonts to Outlines in Adobe Illustrator
Your work isn’t necessarily over after you’ve designed your vectored artwork. What happens when you send the file to someone else and then realize that he or she doesn’t have your chosen font installed? If you haven’t converted your fonts to outlines, then Adobe Illustrator will automatically fill in a substitute font in place of the desired font—which could throw off your entire design.
“Converting fonts to outlines” is a fancy term for changing the font in the Adobe Illustrator file from text to an object in order to preserve its integrity. If your specialty font is not installed on the recipient’s computer and you do not catch the error, then opening the file could compromise it and completely change the way it looks. But, if the font is converted to outlines in the first place, then the computer can read it as an image object rather than as text, which fixes the problem. You should always convert fonts to outlines so that any specialty fonts you use will not be replaced with generic ones you don’t want.
Please note that Adobe Illustrator must be installed on your computer in order to convert your fonts. All you have to do is open the file, select the font only, right click, select “Create Outlines”, and save. See the following screenshot for further clarification:
When or if a font is automatically substituted by Illustrator, verify that the font is installed locally on the receiving computer. Sometimes a different file name (such as “Arial Black” instead of “ArialBlack”) can result in an unnecessary font substitution. Taking this extra step can cut down on time and prevent the recipient from having to ask you for a new art file with converted fonts.
Vector art and converting fonts to outlines work very much in tandem. It would be a waste of your recipient’s time (and yours) to send art files back and forth until you get it right. Mistakes happen regardless, but they’re less likely to happen if you know all of the ins and outs. Converting fonts doesn’t take very much time, but it can sometimes make or break your reputation with a customer!
Need more help with vector art? Click the link to read our Guide to Vector Artwork. You can also opt for a PDF version here.
Do you have any other pressing questions about Adobe Illustrator? Have you ever had a font-converting fiasco?