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how can I convert an outlined text back to editable text in Adobe Illustrator?

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I don't think that's possible (I'd be curious to see otherwise). It's my understanding that there would be no way to map the line segments to a specific font (certainly not once you've altered them). You will probably need to manually change things, or throw out part (or all) of it and start from scratch. – Michael Todd May 27 '10 at 17:33
do you know if i can at least detect wich font is used in the outlined object? – Pai Gaudêncio May 27 '10 at 18:02
Maybe export as PNG and upload it to the My Fonts font detector? – hyperslug Aug 11 '10 at 2:51

There is an OCR text recognition option in Acrobat that can do this.

  • Save your illustrator text as a pdf compatible file ( Small chunks is best).
  • In Acrobat select Document/OCR Text Recognition
  • Select file and follow instructions
  • Once done use the text tool in Acrobat to copy and paste your new editable text back into Illustrator.

The font style you can get by uploading your PDF file up to a web program like 'Whatthefont'

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Hmm, cool. Does this OCR feature really work with vector paths, not just raster image data? – Matt M. Aug 7 '11 at 23:13
If it doesn't work for vector paths you can rasterize them youself. I wanted to OCR outline text in Acrobat but Acrobat's OCR first rasterized it to ~72dpi which looked awful and didn't OCR very well either. I opened the PDF in Illustrator, saved to PNG at 1200dpi, and OCR's in Acrobat and it worked great. I used the ClearScan option which builds a font from the OCRd letters and discards the raster so the file size was reasonable too. – User5910 Feb 19 '13 at 2:27

Sorry, no can do. Once text characters have been converted to paths they're just that: paths. Illustrator has no memory of where you got them from. So, no, no font info either.

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