Convert Illustrator Point/Path Text to Area Text

Point text in Illustrator is a text field that is generated by a click of the text tool. Area text is generated by dragging a rectangle with the text tool. You can scale a area text to make room for more text or to control where the lines end. When you try to scale point text, however, the text itself grows or shrinks to fill the rectangular area. If you inherit a file with lots of point text, it can be difficult to edit.

This script will convert point text and text on a path into area text. You select multiple text fields and the script will convert them all. It does not take into account stories (linked text fields), so use with caution in those cases.

Download

(Compatibility: Illustrator CS & up)
Convert to Text Area.js
[right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) and choose Save Link As…]

Installation Instructions

Place the Convert to Text Area.js file into the Scripts directory within your Illustrator application directory:

Windows > C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator {version}\Presets\Scripts
Mac OS X > Applications/Adobe Illustrator {version}/Presets/Scripts

Note: In CS4, the directory path will include a region directory (e.g., Adobe Illustrator CS4/Presets/en_US/Scripts).

Usage

Select text field(s), choose File > Scripts > Convert to Text Area.

Looking for the reverse?

Don’t worry we won’t leave you hanging. Download the file below. Installation and usage are similar to above.

Convert to Point Text.js
[right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) and choose Save Link As…]

Another Utility Script

If you want to select only text frames, to scale them or otherwise you can use the script below. If you already have a selection, it deselects anything that is not text (i.e. it selects within your selection), otherwise will search the entire document.

Select Text Only.js
[right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) and choose Save Link As…]

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Join the Conversation

  1. JD says:

    Thanks Justin! The script works great!

    I am running across some text which is editable by double-clicking with the Direct Selection tool but isn’t recognized as text objects for the “merge” command. This was text generated by “placing” a pdf page into the AI document. I am not sure what is going on there. I am thinking that may not be the best way to import the text from those documents.

    The good news is that both scripts work very well on text that I have created and some of the imported text.

  2. Justin says:

    Hi JD,

    Glad it’s working!
    The text that you have to double-click on may be in a group or a clipping mask. Try ungrouping or removing any clipping masks. Both options are available via right-click (ctl-click on Mac) on the text object (before you double-click on it).

  3. Zack says:

    Hi Justin. The Merge Text and Convert To Text Area scripts are working great for me. Thanks very much for these! I should be punching my monitor and my own face much less frequently now when I have to import a pdf into Illustrator.

  4. Justin says:

    Great to hear it, Zack! Less punching is good!

  5. Great scripts. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jorge says:

    Sir, YOU ARE AMAZING!!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
    Cheers!!=)

    1. Justin says:

      Much appreciated, Jorge!

  7. Kerstine says:

    Hi Justin,

    Thank you so much for charing this script and solution! I have search for this solution in the Adobe help website with no result. Thank for sharing it with so detail instruction!

    Thank you for your time,
    Kerstine

  8. Chris says:

    Thank You for this script. Combining it with the MergeText script creates a more powerful and productive Illustrator. Much appreciated!

  9. Justin says:

    Glad to hear it. Thanks for your comment, Chris!

  10. Jack Photomorgana says:

    You’re great! Thank you for this script. It works fantastic!

  11. Justin says:

    Thanks, Jack! Always nice to hear!

  12. A FIENDISHLY useful script! I used it today after encountering this problem just last week, until I read this (almost completely at random) I had no idea what was causing it and it drove me spare for a good hour or so until I ragequit Illustrator.

    Thanks for making such a valuable little scriptlet available to the general community! 🙂

  13. Justin says:

    Glad you found us, Christopher! Thanks for the kind words.

  14. Sudhir says:

    Thnx for the script., Can you suggest any script to fix the decimal point font for example ‘12.3’ to ’12’ or ‘12.6’ to ’13’ like that. Please do the needful.

  15. Justin says:

    Hi Sudhir, are you referring to the font size, like changing 12.3 pt to 12 pt? I don’t know of a script like this, but if there’s a lot of demand for it, I could probably write one.

    If anyone else is interested in a script like this, please post a comment.

  16. mapsy says:

    Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing this, and for continuing to offer it here. I just disccovered it today, and I’m using it now… gratefully!

  17. Justin says:

    Great! Glad to hear it, Mapsy!

  18. Larosse says:

    This is great, thanks!

  19. Justin says:

    Glad to hear it, Larosse! Thanks for your comment.

  20. Jannah says:

    You are AWESOME – thanks so much for sharing this 🙂

  21. Justin says:

    You’re welcome, Jannah. Thanks for your comment!

  22. Zombie says:

    Do you have a script that will do the opposite? Convert area type to point type?
    I downloaded another one, but it rotates my text 90 degrees.

  23. Justin says:

    Hi Zombie,
    I threw a Convert to Point Text script for you. Enjoy!

    [right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) and choose Save Link As…]

  24. Chris says:

    Great, the script worked just fine with CS5 (Illu). Thank you sooo much 🙂

  25. Fran Davies says:

    Convert to text area didnt work for me.

  26. Justin says:

    Hi Fran,
    Could you provide info on your setup? OS, AI version, what did, if you received error messages, etc…

  27. Fran Davies says:

    Hi Justin, and thank you for coming back so soon..
    OS 10.6.8
    Illustrator CS4
    No error message. Thanks once again.

  28. Justin says:

    Hi Fran,
    I was able to test that exact configuration and it worked as expected. If you’d like to post a file somewhere, I’d be happy to test it.

  29. Fran says:

    it must be me then, I’ll post one tomorrow
    Thanks Justin

  30. Justin says:

    You never know…it’s difficult to test every scenario…I’ve missed things before.

  31. Fran Davies says:

    Hi Justin

    do you have an email address I can send the file to please?

    Thanks for all your help. Donation on way

  32. Bryan says:

    Very cool. SO MANY TIMES!!!! “Why can’t I make this Area Text!?!?” Problem solved.

  33. Justin says:

    Awesome, Bryan! Glad to hear it.

  34. Ian says:

    Both scripts are hugely useful, thank you so much! Perhaps you could highlight that you have a script for area text to point text in the entry, as I only found it by reading the comments. One slight issue with this script is that it puts the text on the top layer, not the layer the text started on. The point text to area text doesn’t do this.

  35. Justin says:

    Hi, Ian. Thanks for your comment! That’s a good suggestion; I’ll add the second script to the post. I’ll see if I can fix that issue at some point as well.

  36. godspeed says:

    Need help!

    I am working on a project which needs –

    Text frames to be converted as flash text >
    property changed to dynamic text > writing instance name “_txt”.

    so how can i write scripting on above process.

    Thanks in advance!

  37. Justin says:

    Hi Godspeed,

    I suggest using Extendscript. I see you’ve posted in the Adobe forums. That’s a good place to start. It’s also worth looking at these documents:
    http://www.adobe.com/devnet/illustrator/scripting.html

  38. Prem says:

    Super, helped me a lot. Apriciated

  39. Justin says:

    Glad to hear it, Prem!

  40. John H. Moore says:

    Hi Justin,

    Wondering if you have thoughts on this: I have a file with several hundred text objects. All point text. The group of all the objects in the file was made to the wrong aspect ratio… slightly, and I need to compress it vertically a smidge (call it 10%). I can use your script to change all my hundreds of text objects to area text, but when I then Command-A to select everything and resize to compress everything vertically a smidge, the text in all the new area text objects also gets compressed vertically. Somehow the fact that I’m adjusting EVERYTHING is messing things up. Any ideas?

    Illustrator CS6 on Mac OS 10.8.2

    Thanks!

    John

  41. Justin says:

    Hi John,

    If they’re getting compressed, it’s likely they haven’t been converted. Make sure everything is ungrouped before running the conversion script.

  42. John H. Moore says:

    Good morning, Justin. I checked, and at least the ones that I tested were converted. I can send you a file if you email me…. Thanks.

  43. Justin says:

    John sent a file as an email. It looks like text frames scale like objects when non-text frames are also selected. If you select only text frames, they will scale as expected. For anyone with this issue, here’s a script to select only text frames.

  44. mahboob says:

    Justin ur a Life Saver!!!

    I create a lot of hot food menus that have so much text, and now to convert text to point text, uve made my life so easy.

    Thanks a Lot…

    Your website definitely deserves a donation. Keep up the good work.

    Mahboob

  45. Justin says:

    Thanks, Mahboob! Much appreciated!

  46. Shiv says:

    thank you very much… for guide me….

  47. Carlos A says:

    Awesome! Thank you for so great script!

  48. Justin says:

    You’re welcome @Shiv and @Carlos!

  49. W Kansepa says:

    thanks for such a great collection of scripts!

  50. Justin says:

    You’re welcome, W Kansepa! Thanks for your comment!

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