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

touch type tool for Illustrator fonts

A quick guide to the touch type tool for Illustrator CC 2017 2015 etc, tutorial for use with fonts and shapes. Illustrator has a huge number of type features, touch type tool is another great addition and can manipulate type in 1000s of ways The touch type tool is found via the Illustrator toolbox in Adobe AI creative cloud.

  1. Create some type for use with the touch type tool in Illustrator

  2. Select the touch type tool (beneath the type tool) in the Illustrator toolbar

  3. Select a character

  4. shift and re-size the individual text characters in seconds by tappling the character with the touch type and then selecting the bounding box and move as well as the corner handles to re-size the artwork (which is a vector)

  5. Tap or click on the character and rotate by using little dot at the top of the character

However, before using the touch type tool in Illustrator, you have to type some characters to work with. Create some characters and then go to the touch type in the toolbar. Click on the individual character with the touch type tool. You can only shift and rotate and scale etc the characters so far, there are limitations. The limitations are the same as if you use the character panel and try and push characters too far with the settings. You can also use the touch type tool for Illustrator to add color to the individual selected characters. You can export the results of the touch type to SVG and other vector formats from Illustrator. You can see the changes reflected in the character panel of Illustrator. You can also apply live effects at the same time as using the characters with the touch type tool. The tool clearly is more for a touch screen but it can still be used effectively with a mouse or pen. This tutorial shows you how to use the touch type tool in Illustrator with different characters and different colors and settings.

How to use the powerful touch type tool with multiple text characters in Illustrator to create wonderful type designs

touch type tool and illustrator rotate

Obviously, the touch type Illustrator tool not so useful with a single character but if you have multiple 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 the character panel open then you can see the adjustments to the baseline shift etc as you move the individual characters.

You can also add color to the artwork using the touch type tool in Illustrator as well as transform and rotate type

touch type illustrator color

Color can be added via the touch type tool in Illustrator as well as opacity etc.

  1. Just select the item using the touch type tool

  2. 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 also use the touch type with the color guide to generate some nice color touches. You can use it to create all those amazing artworks from the 20s and 30s etc

How to export type from Illustrator after using the powerful touch type tool in Illustrator

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

You can also see the effect of the touch type tool via the character panel in Illustrator such as leading, rotation, scaling etc

type panel for characters in touch type in Illustrator

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)


You can also use the touch type tool along with live effects such as adding blurs and extrusions and gallery effects to the type

touch type tool and extruded type in Illustrator

You can also apply effects and then move the type via the touch type tool.

  1. 1. Select the type

  2. 2. Effects menu

  3. 3. 3D and extrude

  4. 4. Touch type tool in Illustrator

The touch type tool works even better with a touch screen (though personally I use it with a mouse or artpad)

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.

Other tutorials

1. how to create symbols from Illustrator graphic styles tutorial

Other resources

1. square and rectangular eps shapes and fonts

Sources and references

1. Touch type tool on Adobe