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Glyphs in Illustrator tutorial, how to use

glyphs in illustrator and how to tutorial
  1. window menu in Illustrator

  2. type category

  3. glyphs (to see Illustrator glyphs panel)

  4. select the font to be examined

  5. select show such as entire font

  6. type tool

  7. click artboard

  8. select one of the glyphs by double clicking

How to use glyphs in Illustrator CC etc. The key panel is the window menu and type and glyphs. You can see all the characters in the selected font (or any font you select from the bottom of the glyphs panel). You can also see alternates, superscripts etc depending on the font. The glyph panel makes it super easy to access and see all the designs in a font. To use the glyph panel, you must have created some type or at least clicked on the artboard with the type tool. You can double click the glyph to add the character to the type selection in Illustrator. You can also select type and replace the current selected characters with any glyph double clicked in the Illustrator glyphs panel. You can change the font as well as the font style via the same panel. This tutorial shows you how to quickly use the glyphs panel to change and add characters to any type (point or area or type on a path etc)

Basics of the glyphs

fonts and type tool in Illustrator panel glyphs
  1. Select type tool and apply to current artboard

  2. Go to the glyph panel

  3. Double click character in glyph panel

  4. Repeat with other characters (probably a very slow way to type a letter though)

The glyph panel is a useful feature to quickly access all the characters in a font without the need for any special characters / codes / decorative designs etc. Select the type tool and type something and then select the type. Go to the glyph panel. You can change the font and font style. You can double click the glyph and that will change the current selected character or characters to the new glyph. You can also double click the Illustrator glyphs and that will generate other characters in the current type selection

Glyphs panel

glyphs panel and fonts type

You can show the entire font as well as alternates for the current selection and many more (depends on the font). You can also increase the size of the glyph display by clicking the zoom out and zoom in at the bottom of the glyph panel. You can also change the font for the current selected characters as well as setting the font for any subsequent characters


  1. type tool

  2. add some characters in the current font to point or area type or type on a path etc

  3. select that

  4. go to the glyph panel

  5. change the font from the current font to a new font

  6. change the font style if one exists

If you select something like Myriad Pro then you can show

  1. alternates for current selection

  2. entire font

  3. numerators

  4. case-sensitive forms

  5. lining figures

  6. stylistic alternates

  7. superscript

  8. slashed zero and many others


Change selected type using glyph panel

selected characters and glyphs panel
  1. type tool in Illustrator toolbar

  2. Create some type (point or area etc)

  3. Select some characters

  4. go to the glyphs panel

  5. select the font

  6. double click the character to replace the selected


Add type via the glyph panel

add characters via the glyphs panel
  1. click the artboard with the type tool (or create area type etc)

  2. go to the glyphs panel in Illustrator

  3. select the font

  4. select the font style

  5. double click to add a glyph / character to the type

  6. repeat double click to add more characters etc


This is a great way to add decorative designs such as the ones available in the graphicxtras fonts. Many of the graphicxtras fonts have characters tucked away in the less accesible characters (not characters on the keyboard)


Other resources

1) Star fonts

2) Spiral fonts

Other tutorials

1) touch type font tool in Illustrator

Sources and references

1) Glyphs in Illustrator on

2) Creating type in Illustrator on