How to flip text on a path in Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a great graphic design program to use when you want to create editable vector graphics. A vector graphic can be scaled without losing any detail, so you can create artwork, including typography, that will look just as good on a billboard as it does on a business card.

Imagine you are creating a round badge or logo and want to type some text around a circular path. You might want the text at the bottom of the circle to flip to the opposite side of the path, so it’s easily readable. In this Illustrator tutorial, we’ll teach you how to flip text on a path in Illustrator, so the text isn’t upside down.

How to flip text on a path in Illustrator

Whether you’re using Adobe Illustrator CC or an earlier version of Illustrator, a path is simply one (or more!) straight or curved lines. A path can be open or closed, depending on whether the ends are joined or not.

We’ll start with a simple circle design. We’ll create a circular path, and then we’ll use the Text tool to type some text along that path. Finally, we’ll flip some of the text so it appears right-side up along the bottom of the circle.

  1. Select the Ellipse tool.
  1. hold it Change key and draw a circle on the canvas. Holding down the Shift key will force the ellipse you create to form a perfect circle. Any stroke or fill color will disappear once you add text.
  1. In the Input tool drop-down menu, choose the Tap on a path tool.
  1. In the The window menu, select Text > Paragraph > Center to center the text you are about to type. The Windows shortcut for the Paragraph panel is CTRL + Other + J. Mac users can use Option + Order + J.
  1. With the Tap on a path tool still selected, click on the top of the circle you created in step 2. Illustrator will add lorem ipsum text parallel to the base line path of the circle.
  1. Select font and font size from Character tab on the Type character panel or display the character panel by selecting the Windows > Type > Character.
  1. Enter the text you want at the top of the circle.
  1. You will see three handles (also called alignment brackets) near the text: one on the left, one in the middle, and one on the right. Use these handles to rotate the text around the circle until it’s exactly where you want it.
  1. Next, we are going to copy what we have so far and duplicate it. By using the Direct selection in the toolbar, select the circle, then choose Edit > Copy or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + VS.
  1. Next, paste what we copied in front of what’s already on the artboard. Do this by selecting Edit > Paste in front. Depending on the font you used, you might notice that the text looks slightly darker because there are now two copies stacked in the text path. An easier way to confirm that you have two copies of the text is to look in the Layers sign. You should see two entries for your text. If you wish, you can rename one to indicate that it is the copy in front.
  1. In the Layers panel, turn off the visibility of the bottom layer.
  1. Select the Input toolselect the text on the path and type the new text—the text you will move to the bottom of the circular path.
  1. Now comes the fun part. Open the Path Options dialog box by selecting Type > Tap on a path > Input options on a path. For the text effect, choose Rainbowand in the Align to Path drop-down list, select Blocker. Also check the To return to box, and select the Okay button. (Check the Overview box to achieve an advanced look.)

To note: For the Align to Path options, choosing Baseline will place the text directly on the path. Blocker places the text outside the circle. Descender will locate the text inside the circle. At last, Center will place the text in the center of the path.

  1. Click anywhere outside the text to deselect it, and again use the handles to adjust the spacing and move the text along the path to the bottom of the circle.
  1. Next, re-enable the visibility of the top layer of text.

This is how you add and flip text on a path in Adobe Illustrator.

Insert a symbol into your design

An easy way to add an extra element or two to a design in Adobe Illustrator is to insert something from the Symbols panel. Follow the steps below to add a symbol to your design.

  1. Display the Symbols panel by selecting The window > Symbols.
  1. Use the Symbol Library drop-down arrow to display a list of all libraries installed on your computer. Select one of these to launch a panel where you can use the navigation arrows to navigate through each symbol library.
  1. When you find a symbol you want to use, drag and drop it into your design.
  2. Use the Selection tool to resize the symbol to suit your design.

Adobe apps have all kinds of hidden features like symbols that you can’t take advantage of unless you know they’re there. We have tutorials on how to achieve many effects in Adobe Photoshop, like how to add a border to images, shapes, and text or use masks to hide layers, or even how to do a face swap.

And if you’re new to Adobe Indesign, you’ll want to check out our tutorials on how to link text boxes or flow text around an image.

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