Type in Illustrator is a special kind of object. It accepts many effects, including all Illustrator effects (see Chapter 20, "Working with Placed Graphics and Filters in Illustrator"), but it is not as editable as a shape. Though within fonts, glyphs are merely paths, they also have the added duty in Illustrator of conveying language. Therefore Illustrator does not allow direct editing of glyphs' paths while they are treated as text.
After type has been converted to outlines there is no going back. Outlines cannot be made back into type, nor can their fonts be changed or used with paragraph or character styles. Additionally, outlines are invisible to text functions such as Check Spelling, Change Case, and Find Font.
To modify the shape of glyphsto create a unique effect for a logo, for exampleselect the type object with the Selection tool and choose Type, Create Outlines (see Figure 19.23). This action converts the type into paths that are no longer considered text. From there, anchor points and path segments may be edited like any other path.
Figure 19.23. Point text (left) displays only the point of the type path. After conversion to outlines (right), however, the actual paths that draw the glyphs are accessible.
In addition to the access to paths made possible by converting type to outlines, the process is often employed to negate font embedding and to eliminate the risk of font substitution (the computer choosing a different font) if the document is opened or printed from a system that does not have the same fonts installed as the creator.