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I'm using Adobe Illustrator CS4. I have text that is along a path that looks like this:

Adobe Illustrator Text on a Path

I would like to be able to color the gaps within the font like this:

Adobe Illustrator Text - Colored

I'm having trouble finding how to do this. I'm guessing that I need to somehow convert the outline of the text into a path and then paint the gaps but I'm not sure how. Any guidance would be appreciated.

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5 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can do it with Live Paint.

Type -> Create Outlines
Object -> Live Paint -> Make

Then select the Live Paint Bucket to fill in any shape with any color

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First, convert the text to outlines by choosing Type -> Create Outlines. (I'm not sure if this is the exact wording, but it is something like that)

Next, ungroup the text. Now each letter is a compound path. Right click on each one and choose Release Compound Path. Then you can choose the individual parts of the letter and color each one. By changing the z-order and the color of each part, you should be able to get the effect you want.

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The Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) lets you add layered fills, strokes and effects, so it's possible to get that effect without converting the text to shapes/Live Paint/whatever.

Just set it up so it looks something like this:

  • Fill (brown)
  • Stroke (white, 5pt)
  • Stroke (brown, 8pt)
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I have never used illustrator before but one simple way of doing this would perhaps save the file and open it in photoshop then fill in the colors that way? maybe even in paint?

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I could do that but I would prefer to keep the image as a vector since it will be used for both print and online. –  Dave Forgac Sep 5 '09 at 1:45
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Illustrator is using Vector format; I've never used Illustrator but I know the procedure using Inkscape.

Vector images are usually manipulated using binary operators. In this case, you're looking for "Difference" (XOR).

High level idea of what to do:

  1. duplicate the orange background
  2. perform binary difference operator on both the '2009' and the background, it should give you the outline as well as the holes inside the 0's and the 9
  3. erase the above mentioned holes (I think you first need to "break apart")
  4. you are now left with an orange outline - color it

That should be it - sorry I don't know illustrator to tell you the exact steps.

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This would work well, and in Illustrator the binary operation are going to be in the Path Finder. Luckily, Illustrator has an easier way to do this, that I explained in my answer. –  Mike Cooper Sep 5 '09 at 1:52
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