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EPS, Outlines, and Adobe Illustrator

In the world of graphic design, it’s important how and when to convert text to outlines in applications like Adobe Illustrator that deal with vector based artwork made for print. It’s a typical scenario for fonts to create troubles at the press when the printing house doesn’t have the supported font. If that is the case, the fonts get substituted and don’t match what the designer had intended. This is why in many cases you’ll find that fonts have been converted to either outlines or paths. Essentially, this means that the text is no longer “text” per se, but rather a graphic that can’t be edited in the way that text can.

A good practice is to keep a fully editable copy of your Adobe Illustrator File (.ai) before you convert the text to outlines and save the file as an Illustrator Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) file. This is because in case any edits need to be made to the file, you can do it non-destructively without having to re-create any illustrations or text again. Below is a video on how to create an EPS file from an existing .ai file.

Now that you know how to create an EPS file, we can look into creating outlines out of text in an Adobe Illustrator Document. All you need to do is make sure that you are using the Selection Tool in Adobe Illustrator, right click on the text, and select Create Outlines. Your text should now be converted to graphic outlines. Below is a video demonstrating how to create outlines.

Creating outlines can save yourself a lot of time and stress when it comes to publishing time. 30 seconds is all it takes to ensure a better quality print.

For More information on EPS, please refer to the Adobe Live Doc or the wiki on Wikipedia.

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