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Create Outlines Adds Width - Adobe Illustrator Windows

The create outlines feature under the Type menu adds extra width the the characters. I am told it adds about 1/4 point. This is not a problem with large fonts, but when you get down below ten point you end up with something other than planned. Yes, I know you can use thinner fonts to start with, thereby approximating the end result. This seems like a poor solution. I know this problem exists in Illustrator CS and many earlier versions. Does it exist in CS2? Are there after market programs or plugins I can use to work around the problem?...

  1. #1

    Default Create Outlines Adds Width

    The create outlines feature under the Type menu adds extra width the the characters. I am told it adds about 1/4 point. This is not a problem with large fonts, but when you get down below ten point you end up with something other than planned. Yes, I know you can use thinner fonts to start with, thereby approximating the end result. This seems like a poor solution.

    I know this problem exists in Illustrator CS and many earlier versions. Does it exist in CS2? Are there after market programs or plugins I can use to work around the problem?
    David_Daboll@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    David:

    In older versions of Illustrator the stroke is centered on the outline stroke. A 1pt stroke thus adds 0.5pt to the text (or whatever other object you are working with). In CS2 you have the choice of making the outside or inside of the stroke width you apply lie on the stroke, as well as on the center as before. steve
    Stephen_Fish@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    Stephen,
    I think the assumption here is that the text converted to paths would not have a stroke applied.

    David,
    As I understand it, I don't think anyone can say that the difference you are seeing is any particular measure (quarter point or whatever). That would depend upon the resolution of the output device.

    The "problem" exists in all programs. It's one of the reasons why converting small type to paths is not a great idea. (Frankly, I think people do this far too often).

    The actual measure of the smallest line a device can render depends upon the device's resolution. That's why, for examle, an eighth-point rule printed to a 300 spot-per-inch printer will be thicker than one printed to a 3000 spi device.

    Fonts contain "hinting" data (and/or specific-size bitmaps) which instructs a printer what to do when a character's points land "between" the spots the printer can physically address. When you convert type to paths, those instructions are lost. That accounts for the "fattening" commonly seen when you convert small type to paths.

    JET
    James_Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    I just made a few 12 point letters in my favourite font, outlined copies, and increased to 6400%. I cannot see any difference.
    Jacob_Bugge@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    Jacob:

    I also tried it and can't see the difference between unstroked outlined text and text. I am using CS2. steve
    Stephen_Fish@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    David,

    You are talking about the "extra width" occurring in print, correct?

    Jacob, Stephen,

    If David is talking about a "fattening" of small type converted to paths in print, the difference he is talking about will not show up on your monitor by zooming in or scaling up converted characters.

    JET
    James_Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    JET:

    Aha! I will give that a try. steve

    EDIT- Tried it on a LaserJet, no difference with a 10X magnifier. Is this something that happens at a print shop?
    Stephen_Fish@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    Thanks for the responses. I agree that there is usually no noticeable difference on 12 point fonts, but when you get down from about 6 point to 9 point the fattening effect ranges from just noticeable to unacceptable.
    James Talmage stated, "It's one of the reasons why converting small type to paths is not a great idea. (Frankly, I think people do this far too often)."
    The printer I use wants eps files with text as curves -- that's why I do this. It is not because I want to. (He works cheap so I hate to switch.)
    Steve mentioned the change in CS2. I will monkey with this when I upgrade.
    David_Daboll@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width



    The printer I use wants eps files with text as curves -- that's why I
    do this. It is not because I want to.




    Sounds like a prime candidate for PDF. ;-)

    Steve,
    It depends on the font and the device. The difference is more noticeable on imagesetters. Can be problematic on things like those lengthy 6 pt. disclaimers at the bottom of the satellite dish brochures. ;-)

    JET
    James_Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width

    JET:

    I understand now. It is the great micro disclaimer font plot. steve
    Stephen_Fish@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Create Outlines Adds Width



    I just made a few 12 point letters in my favourite font, outlined copies,
    and increased to 6400%. I cannot see any difference.




    As Jet mentioned, you will need to print it out to see the difference. (it can be simulated in a pdf and zooming out without smooth line art preference, but it is a cheat to show an exaggeration of the issue.)

    Thanks for the responses. I agree that there is usually no noticeable
    difference on 12 point fonts,




    Loss of hinting is very noticable in 12pt text regardless of printing to an imagesetter, laser printer or inkjet device.

    When printing, make sure you are not flattening upon output with convert all text to outlines checked in the flatterner. (this defeats the purpose of the test)
    John_Kallios@adobeforums.com Guest

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