Touch Type Tool for Illustrator Tutorial / How to use with text and letters

A quick guide to the touch type tool for Illustrator CC 2017 2015 etc, tutorial for use with fonts and shapes

New features

A new feature of Illustrator works amazingly well with the sets - guess it would being a type or text touch tool. Anyway, the tool is found via the Illustrator toolbox in Adobe AI creative cloud. However, before using it, you have to type some text and that just requires the standard Illustrator type tools and selecting a font from the typeface dropdown list and setting the color and size etc as required. Select the touch type tool and then you can shift and re-size the individual text characters in seconds. Tap or click on the character and rotate and re-size and move the selected character. Obviously, the touch type Illustrator tool not so useful with a single character but if you have multiple contour character shapes then you can play endlessly with the position and rotation of the characters. Sadly, the characters can only be shifted so far using the touch type tool in Adobe AI (hopefully that limitation will be removed in future versions?) Numerous layouts of the characters can be created and they are all still standard vector characters than can be modified by a simple change of letter (via the keyboard). The tool in Adobe AI is a powerful layout tool that I hope will get even better with future versions of Illustrator. Of course, you can also just expand the text and ungroup and move the characters in even more directions but then if you change your mind, you have to delete or replace. If you keep open the character panel, you can see the adjustments to the baseline shift etc as you move the individual characters. You can use the touch type tool with decorative designs and fonts from this site such as square fonts and spiral fonts and stars and starbursts and step type




Exporting the results

You can also still modify the character further in the touch type tool in Adobe AI such as changing the font to another or changing the color of the selected character as well as the blending mode and opacity of the shape decorative graphic. Of course, once you are happy with the artwork, you can now quickly save it to the CC library and then use the same resources in Photoshop and After Effects etc. You can also save the artwork to a new SVG file or export it to a PNG file / TIFF file etc and use the result of the touch tool in Affinity Photo and Designer and PSP etc




Type panel

The touch type tool can manipulate text in numerous ways though all within the bounds of the usual settings for text in Adobe AI so you can also change the size etc while using the tool. You can see the new settings in the type panel for the characters - the touch type tool cannot break away from the actual type settings found in the panel but it does make the whole thing far more interactive than just changing the scaling etc via the panel (which is easy enough but quite time consuming to get the exact rotation and scaling etc required)




Adding color

Color can be added via the tool in Adobe AI as well as opacity etc. Just select the item you want to re-color and then set the color as you would with any other path while using the tool. Quick and easy and very effective for creating some really wow typographical artwork. You can use it to create all those amazing artworks from the 20s and 30s etc


touch typetouch type


Touchscreen in Illustrator

I have been describing the tool totally from the perspective of using the tool with the mouse and a standard screen but you can also use it with a touch screen (if you are using surface etc) and that brings a whole new range of character manipulation. I guess the tool was actually designed for a touch screen (given the name) but as I don't have a touch screen computer, I cannot give any actual tutorial information or ideas / hints about how to use the tool with that.


t o u c h t y p e t o o l


The above artwork is an SVG vector - all created using the tool.


Other tutorials for Illustrator include how to create symbols from Illustrator graphic styles tutorial and how to convert Illustrator brushes from artistic to scatter and how to use Illustrator brushes as symbols tutorial


Video Tutorial

[Youtube] Tool for Illustrator CC basics tutorial A whole range of ideas shown in the video on how to use the new tool in AI