New Type Features in Illustrator CC

Body: 

Excerpted from The Adobe Illustrator WOW! Book for CS6 and CC by Sharon Steuer. Copyright © 2015. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press.

Convert Point type to Area and vice versa

Illustrator CC added a new annotator to the type object’s bounding box. After creating a Point or Area type object, select the object with the Selection tool to see a circle on the right side of the object’s bounding box. Double-click on the circle to convert Point type (hollow circle) to Area type (solid circle) or vice versa. You can also toggle text between Area and Point type using the Type > Convert menu item (with no type selected, the menu item says Type Conversion).The flow of the type doesn’t change; soft returns are added to Area type paragraphs to maintain the appearance and overset text is deleted. Once you convert type, you can edit it for a different fit by removing soft returns in Point type or by adjusting Area type’s bounding box to reflow text.

Point type (top) indicated by a hollow widget, converts to Area type (bottom), indicated by a solid widget

Touch Type transformations

Illustrator combined the onscreen interactivity of the Transform bounding box with the ability to use the Character panel to individually rotate, scale, and position characters, and came up with the Touch Type tool (find it in the Tools panel with the Type tools [Shift-T], or click the button in the Character panel). The tool is designed to work with any input device (including your fingers on touch-enabled devices), but there are some limitations to what you can do with it. Unlike using the Character panel to rotate and scale characters, the Touch Type tool directly affects only one character at a time. Unlike placing characters on their own layer with cut and paste, then flipping or skewing the entire object, you can’t flip or skew characters with the Touch Type tool. However, instead of having to numerically rotate a character a negative 27°, scale it by 133%, and reposition its baseline by 35 points, simply click to select the character with the Touch Type tool, then start interactively transforming the character. In order to quickly return to a “neutral” position, create a character style for the base settings before you start playing with the Touch Type tool. To reset the entire text block and remove all character formatting, choose Reset Panel from the Character panel’s pop-up menu.

Using the Touch Type tool to interactively rotate, scale, and position text characters while they remain within one editable block of text (see Steve Gordon’s lesson in the CC lesson and gallery section, later in this chapter)

Limits to the Touch Type tool

The Touch Type tool works on only one character at a time, but several characters may be affected by a single transformation. You can’t reposition a character past the first character to its left. You can’t skew or flip a character. Characters added within a word will take on any transformation of the character preceding them, unless you first select a following character, effectively replacing it with a new glyph, then type it in again. 

Using the disclosure triangle to reveal a choice when restricting a font search

Using the Search field for fonts

Before CC, the search field in the Control and Character panels allowed us to type the first few letters of a font name, and Illustrator would immediately jump to the first exact match in our font list. If we opened the list box, we could then continue to scroll through the list of fonts to find other results manually. Now we have added choices to make it easier to search. You’ll have the option to restrict your results to matching only the first word in the name or to include any font with a matching string anywhere in its name. The list then automatically opens to the first word match (if there is one), plus all the rest that have a matching string, and only matching results are in the list. 

Without applying the Typekit filter, all fonts are displayed that match the search criteria in the search field

You can restrict the number of search results you get for any given string by typing additional strings; type “scri” and all fonts with “script” in the name will get displayed, with those fonts that begin with Script listed at the top. Type a space to add a new string, then “bl”, and now only fonts that contain both those strings, such as Snell Roundhand Black Script, are displayed. Another way to get that particular font listed in the search results would be to type “ro ha” (for “Roundhand”). Really, you can search on almost anything you remember about a font’s name, then narrow the search by adding a new string for any other part of its name. When you have a string in the font search field, clicking on the alphanumeric character X at the right clears the field for a new search. If you just want to browse in the Control panel without searching, the list also indicates if any additional styles of a font are available by displaying a down-pointing triangle. Twirl it open to see all the styles contained in that font family.

Using the Typekit filter to limit search results to display only Typekit fonts that match the criteria entered in the search field

Highlight substituted fonts

Highlighting substituted fonts (Preferences > Type) is now global, rather than document-specific. It’s enabled by default. Substituted fonts in your document will be highlighted in pink. 

Typekit fonts and Illustrator

Whether you have a subscription to the Creative Cloud or a single subscription to Illustrator CC, you are entitled to sign up for a Typekit subscription. Depending upon your subscription, the number of fonts you can have synced at the same time may be limited. Access information about a Typekit subscription account from the Fonts tab of your Creative Cloud app, which will also take you to your account page if you have one. Illustrator files saved with Typekit fonts can be shared with anyone else with CC and Typekit memberships. In addition, when you save an .ai file with Typekit fonts using the default Create PDF Compatible File option, you can have confidence that any missing Typekit fonts can be viewed and printed when placed in InDesign, Acrobat, Adobe Reader, and other applications that can extract the PDF from the .ai file, including by using Place in Illustrator (C-Shift-P/Ctrl-Shift-P). However, in order to properly view your Typekit fonts live in Illustrator, and see which are capable of being edited, the viewer of that file must be either logged into both Illustrator CC and Typekit, or must own that font. To get started, all you have to do is sign in to Typekit with your Adobe ID and password. You can also purchase most of the desktop fonts by going directly to the foundry that owns them. Typekit itself doesn’t sell the fonts.

Without being registered with Typekit, or if the Creative Cloud app isn’t running, you’ll see no results when filtering for them in the Character search field. So long as the Creative Cloud app is running, it’s easy to sign up with Typekit and browse for fonts, or sync missing Typekit fonts to an open document. 

The Fonts tab in the Creative Cloud app is devoted to Typekit, and is your direct link to the Typekit website. Desktop Typekit fonts are cached on your computer, letting you use them in any application, not just Adobe apps, but unlike fonts you have purchased, they aren’t installed and can’t be packaged with your other document files. Currently fonts are managed by the Creative Cloud application; if the Creative Cloud app isn’t running, all Typekit fonts are treated as missing fonts. In addition, in Acrobat you should be able to insert spaces and returns, and even delete characters, but you will need to own the font or have access to Typekit in order to make more extensive edits to the type.

The Missing Fonts screen displays for Typekit fonts and others that are missing when a document is first opened, with a direct Sync Fonts button for Typekit fonts 

When someone opens an Illustrator file containing Typekit fonts that they don’t own or have access to, Illustrator substitutes the Typekit fonts with a default font. Therefore, if your file must always display the exact form of the Typekit font characters you used, even in cases where Typekit fonts may not be available or installed, (for instance, within a logo), then you can convert a copy of your live type into vector objects. It’s important that you convert a duplicate of your text so you can maintain the live type in case you need to replace the typeface or can again access to the Typekit font. To convert Typekit text to outlines, you must currently have the font synced to your computer and duplicate the text, layers containing text blocks, or an entire artboard containing the text. Then with the duplicate text objects selected, choose Type> Create Outlines (C-Shift-O/Ctrl-Shift-O). 

The Find Font dialog where you can sync missing Typekit fonts and see a preview of the fonts you want to replace 

The Proxy swatch and type

The Proxy swatch in your Tools panel now behaves a little differently with type. If the Stroke proxy is active and you select a type object with the Selection tool, when you switch to the Type tool, the Proxy switches focus from Stroke to Fill. If you then click on a swatch in the Swatches panel, you’ll set the Fill color, not the Stroke. The proxy will only switch in this exact sequence, and you can still deliberately target the type object’s stroke to change it.  

Missing fonts

Because Typekit has been integrated into Illustrator, both the search field in the Character and Control panels and the Find Font feature can now distinguish between locally installed fonts and Typekit fonts. If you have a subscription and haven’t reached your limit for the number of fonts you get access to, the Missing Font dialog will allow you to choose Sync Fonts to get the missing fonts from Typekit without further ado. The dialog announces when syncing has been successful, and updates the document with the newly synced font once you click Close. If you open a file with a Typekit font when you don’t have a Typekit subscription, Adobe will display a Missing Font dialog and offer you the opportunity to register for a subscription with Typekit.

Detail showing a raster image placed inside type to act as texture 

You can also click the Find Fonts button in the Missing Font dialog to switch to the full Find Fonts dialog. In this dialog, also accessible at any time from the Type menu, you can sync missing Typekit fonts or choose another font from the document or your system to replace the missing font. To see a large thumbnail for a replacement font that you have installed, you can context-click on its name in the dialog. As soon as you have either synced your missing font or replaced it with another, the font preview is updated in both the document and the Find Font dialog. Once you’ve replaced all your missing fonts and like the results, click Done to dismiss the dialog.

Fine-tuning Touch Type

When manipulating type characters with the Touch Type tool, you can both modify individual characters precisely using the Character panel and delete them easily by pressing the Delete/Backspace key. 

Liked This? Read These!

They’re not just for Web designers anymore! Soon Creative Cloud subscribers will be able to sync and use Typekit fonts in all desktop apps. Read More
The following announcement appeared on the Typekit blog on April 9, 2010. Read More
Newest version of Extensis' font management solution adds Mavericks support and lets you manage your Adobe Typekit desktop fonts. Read More
Adobe adds the Hamilton Wood Type Collection to its growing library of Typekit fonts. Read More