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Selecting text with Direct Selection Tool.

Feb 27, 2010 2:47 PM

I'm trying to modify text in an existing Ai file. I'm using the direct selection tool and for the most part things have been going well until I encountered a problem I can't work through.


I try to select separate lines of text in a paragraph, 5 lines to be specific, 3 are no problem, a solid line appears under the entire line of text but with the 2 lines which are causing me grief, the little square box turns to white when I attempt to select and it appears all of the characters have points and paths around them.


Any suggestion?



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2010 8:46 PM   in reply to auctioneer

    It sounds like the text has been converted to paths. Select the text, then take a screen shot and add it to a reply using the Insert Image button (Camera icon in the toolbar of the forum).

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2010 9:31 PM   in reply to Scott Falkner

    I do  not think it has bee outlined but perhaps it was copied and pasted form another application or from a different version of AI.


    Where was the text created and what version are you using tell us all of the information please do not edit and tell us what you think is important just tell us about the system the text the applications the versions and you system.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2010 4:56 AM   in reply to auctioneer

    Obviously, the two lines of text in question are not live text. They are paths. The text was converted to paths. It cannot be edited as text. You'll have to re-type it if you want to edit it.


    This original file was provided in .pdf from a client for mods.

    If the file was originally created in Illlustrator, the PDF was exported without the Maintain Illustrator Editability option. The PDF therefore just contains PDF content; it does not contain the native Illustrator content. That's why the text is busted up into individual lines.


    The original designer used Illustrator CS3 to create, but I wasn't able to get the orig file. I used the 'touch up object tool' in Acrobat 8 to edit in Illustrator.

    What do you mean by "used the touch up object tool in Acrobat 8 to edit in Illustrator"? Acrobat's Touchup Text Tool can perform minor edits to text, but its Touchup Object Tool cannot. I don't know what you mean by "to edit in Illustrator" here.


    Once in Illustrator the revisions were going well until I hit this 'text' snag.

    What you have is a document which, by export to PDF, has been "dumbed down" to simple constructs suitable for printing and viewing, but not for editing. You don't have the properly editable version of the file. When you import (Open) such a PDF into Illustrator, it's just that dumbed-down content. Illustrator doesn't magically convert it back into the original fully-editable objects.


    Given that some of the text was converted to paths, and other parts of the same paragraph were not, the document looks like it's already a "patchwork" that has made other such previous round trips.


    This is really no way to work. If it were me, I'd refuse to further patchwork the piece. If the client wants me to edit it, I would insist upon having the original native file. If it's absolutely not avaialable, I would require sufficent fee to rebuild it correctly, so I could then provide the client a properly editable file for future edits.


    Many Illustrator users (and therefore their customers) suffer under the gross misconception that just because Illustrator can import (Open) a PDF file, the PDF file is equal to an Illustrator file. That misconception is primarily Adobe's fault, with its marketing-speak about 'PDF being the native format of Illustrator.'


    The ugly truth is, when you Save an Illustrator document as a PDF, the content gets dumbed-down to simpler constructs, just as it does when exporting a PDF from any other program. A program can, however, also include a full copy of its native content "hidden away" inside the PDF. That's what the Maintain Illustrator Editability option is all about. But when an AI user (in this case, the original designer) chooses not to use that option, the native AI version is not included. So when someone (in this case, you) later opens that PDF in Illustrator, it's the same as opening (ought to be considered importing) a PDF created by any other program--all you get is the dumbed-down PDF objects--and editing is ridiculously tedious. Such a PDF is not really meant to be edited; it's supposed to be finished--suitable for final delivery, but not for routine editing.


    That the original designer did not intend for the PDF to be edited is further evidenced by the portions of body text (assumedly the original text) being converted to paths. Many AI users also inappropriately over-use the Convert To Paths command, and some even use it in an attempt to prevent future edits.



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