Adobe Illustrator: Touch Type, Editable Text for Translation

February 05, 2015

Adobe's dedication to continually update their vector software, Illustrator, with the latest features has been a huge asset to those involved with translation projects. The latest Illustrator feature available is the Touch Type tool. This new option allows users to design with text by manipulating characters as individual objects, giving users a new fluidity to graphic work.  Adobe named Illustrator's new tool "Touch Type" because not only can you use a mouse, it is also accessible via touch-based devices, such as tablets and drawing screens.

Touch Type and Translation

Previously, the process to manipulate a character in text was to convert that text into an outline and then make the necessary changes as individual objects.  This process resulted in losing the option to edit the text and any reference about the front used.  If this type of file required translation, it could take a considerable amount of additional time to turn that content into an editable format, which is needed for translation projects.  It also took time to track the font used.

Benefits of Touch Type Tool for Translation Projects:

  • Move, rotate and scale the text or character while leaving it editable simplifies the preparation of the file for translation.
  • The option to select and change the font gives you the ability to know what font was used in the design and to change it if the target language requires different font.
  • Reduces the time spent to preparing the file for translation.


Steps to Modify Text

  1. Pick the Touch Type tool (Shift + T) from the Toolbar or Control Panel.
  2. Select a string or character of text.
  3. To modify the character (rotate, scale, move), manipulate the control handles that appear around the text.



  • The bottom left handle is the move function. (You can also move the character by clicking inside the frame.)
  • The top right handle controls the proportional scale.
  • The top left handle control the vertical scale.
  • The bottom right handle controls the horizontal scale.
  • The top center is the free rotation of the character.




The Touch Type tool allows users to edit, move, scale, rotate text and even change the font with ease. The ability to keep the text editable and avoid having to convert it to outline, makes it easier and time-efficient to prepare the file for translation and the DTP work.  These tools will have a huge and immediate impact on the daily workflows of translation projects.

Further Information on Translation and Desktop Publishing Services

Globalization Partners International (GPI) offers comprehensive document translation, e-book translation and desktop publishing services ranging from initial glossary development and translation to graphic design and desktop publishing in a range of formats including InDesign, Illustrator, Epub and Print-on-Demand formats.

For more information about our multilingual graphic design and desktop publishing services, please feel free to download our Language Globalization Guides. You may also benefit from some of our other Adobe related blogs:

Feel free to contact GPI for more information via e-mail at, by phone at (866) 272-587or by requesting a free translation quote on your project.

Instructions and lists abstracted from Adobe Application Manuals. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Captivate, FrameMaker, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and RoboHelp are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © Adobe Systems Incorporated.

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Adobe, Illustrator, Touch Type, tool, Editable Text, Translation

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