The Create Outlines command takes text and converts the outlines of each individual letter shape to a path. Essentially, this command turns a letter form into a closed path that you can then fill, drag to edit the shape of, or treat as a container. This can be useful if you want to place an image inside the text, place other text inside a letter shape, or alter the paths of individual letters to create a special effect of custom letter shapes.
To create path outlines, select your text using the Type tool to highlight it, or select the text frame itself. Choose Type, Create Outlines.
Your text will look the same, but the in port and out port have disappeared from the bounding box of the resulting frame. If you select the text with the Direct Selection tool, you see anchor points around each letter (see Figure 30.7). Your text has ceased to exist as type and has been converted to pathsa phrase that might sound familiar to you if you've ever worked with the Illustrator or Freehand application. Converting to paths takes away all text characteristics, meaning you cannot edit the type you've converted (you can't change or add letters). So make sure you're happy with your spelling and font choices before you create outlines, or you'll have to start the process over by retyping your text and converting it to outlines again.
Figure 30.7. Outline text with an image and text placed inside. Notice the anchor points on the individual letters, which can be used to alter the shapes of those letters.
You can use any of the appropriate tools to alter the anchor points and paths created by the Create Outlines command: