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In the Vectornator Mac App, you can easily refine your typography with precision controls to change your font's attributes.

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Adding Text

Insert text to your document by clicking the Text Tool in the Toolbar or by pressing <key>T<key> on your keyboard and then clicking and dragging anywhere on the canvas. A bounding box containing the word Text will appear on your canvas.

When you are in Text Mode, the Text Panel (3) will appear inside the Style Inspector.

⚠️ The text is shown in your currently selected color, and uses the most recent font and font size you have used.

‍The Text Panel

When in Text Mode, you’ll find options for changing how your text looks in the Style Inspector on your right. Here, you’ll find options for:

  • A | setting the Font Family
  • B | Basic Styling (bold, italic,)
  • C | increasing or decreasing the Font Size up to 1000pt
  • D | Alignment options
  • E | Kerning, Tracking, and Line Height
  • F | Fit Bounds to Text
  • G | Create Outlines from Text
text panel vectornator screen
Learn more ➞ Use Mac Shortcuts to edit faster your Text elements.

Editing Text

Double click on any text box when in Select Mode to start editing the text in it.

When you have a text box selected, you can change the text's font by tapping on the Font button (1 - image above) to access the Font Picker.

Pro Tip – You can also add your own fonts by installing them to your Font Book.

By selecting a text box, you will begin editing everything within it. If you want to instead edit a specific word or paragraph in your text box, double tap to select the specific text.

As you see in the image, each Font used in the box will be displayed in the Font button.

The Font Picker

On the Mac App, the Font Picker displays your three recently used fonts at the top of the list.

You can search for a Font by scrolling up or down, or simply tapping on one of the letters on your keyboard to jump directly to the fonts that begin with that letter.

Pro Tip – When you manually adjust the typeface, font size or the line height, it will reposition itself so that the first baseline will always stay in place.

Kerning, Tracking, Line Height

These text transformation options allows you to better manage the spacing between letters and text lines by simply using the slider controls or clicking to change the value numerically.

Remember that all the transformation options are non-destructive, so you can type in regular sentence case and transform your text tracking to 1 at once and then revert the changes anytime.

How to change Kerning and Tracking values

Kerning refers to the amount of space between two individual characters in a line of text. It can also refer to the process of adjusting the spacing to improve legibility and avoid disruptive gaps between your letters.

To change the spacing manually, you can adjust the slider by clicking and dragging on it. The slider allows you to even set the spacing to a negative value, which will probably cause the letters of your font to overlap. You are now able to adjust the kerning of a single character to improve the overall legibility of the text body.

Read more ➞ What is Kerning and why is so important in design?

Tracking instead allows you to adjusts the space between all of your characters of the entire word at once.

In Vectornator you can change the tracking values in a range from 0 to +300 pt.

How to adjust the Line Height

Line Height (also known as Leading) refers to the spacing between the baselines of the typeface.

When you create a new text, its Line Height will automatically adjust to match its font size. To change this setting, you can use the slider in the Style Inspector to adjust the value. Observe how the distance between your lines of text decreases or increases depending on which way you adjust the slider.

If you change the typeface or font weight within a paragraph, the Line Height will remain consistent.

In Vectornator you can change the tracking values in a range from 0 to +30 pt.

💬  At the moment, it's not possible to set a negative value to Line Height, but we're considering adding this option. If you are interested in that, you can upvote the request here to speed up the process of development.

Adjusting the Text Bounding Box

When adding a new text element to your canvas, you also automatically create a bounding box in which the text is displayed. You can click and drag it from the bottom right corner point to manually resize the bounding box or you can click the Fit Bounds to Text Size button to automatically resize the bounding box around your text.

You’ll find this button at the bottom of the Text Panel in the Style Inspector.

purple text in paragrap

Rotating the Text

Click and hold the orange Pivot Point at the top center of your text box and drag it to rotate the text box to the left or the right. You can also do this by activating the Rotate Mode in the Toolbar

Pro Tip – Holding <key>⇧<key> while rotating a text box will snap the rotation to 45º or 90º.

Changing the Text Color

In the same way that you can change colors for a shape, you can also change the color of your text by editing the Fill Color.

Alternatively, you can apply a gradient to the text and change the direction of the gradient. Remember that this will apply the gradient to the whole text inside the text box.

Converting Text to Shapes

To convert text into shapes, select your text box and click the button Create Outlines from Text at the bottom of the Text Context-Aware Options in the Inspector. This will allow you to edit the text in the same way you would edit any other vector paths. Alternatively you can press <key>⌃⌘O<key> to convert your selected text into vector shapes.

But be aware: converting text to outlines is a one-way process. After you change your text into shapes, you won’t be able to edit the text itself again, so it’s better to convert a few words and not an entire paragraph, unless you're certain that you won't need to edit your text again later.

Also, when the text is converted to outlines, all of its text properties (such as font type or font size) are lost and the text can no longer be edited using the text controls.

When you convert text into vector shapes, each letter will be divided, so it's important to group the letters immediately after the transformation if you want to keep the alignment of the letters intact.

Placing Text on a Path

While you have a text box selected, you can additionally activate another button inside the Path Tab with which you can attach a text to a vector path. To do so, you’ll need a text box and a path.

Select both the vector path and the text by using the Multi-Select Mode (1) and then click on the Place Text on Path button (2) at the bottom of the Path Tab. Alternatively, you can click on the new icon (2B) inside the Quick Actions menu at the bottom of your selected shape without the need to open the Style Inspector.

When a text is moved along a path, the specific text properties will be maintained. When the text is attached to the path, the individual text properties are still adjustable.

adding emojis on the ui of Vectotnator
⚠️ Once you hit the button, the path will lose its properties.

Adding Emojis

Inserting emojis into your projects can add a fun personality to your designs. To add a new emoji to a text box, simply press <key>^⌘Space<key> or navigate to the Menu Bar > Edit > Emoji & Symbols. Click the one you need in the window and it will automatically be added to your text.

adding emojis on the ui of vectotnator
⚠️ Outlining Emojis is currently not supported.

Using SF Symbols on Mac

You can add new SF Symbols into your document by opening the Library Tab (1) and choosing the SF Symbol integration (2). Simply type a keyword into the Search Bar (3) to find the symbol you're looking for and then click on it to add it to your document, or drag and drop it into place.

SF Symbols are text objects, which means that they support all of the San Francisco's family font weights and sizes. To change these, use the font-weight selector in the Inspector.

Also, you can easily turn them into vector shapes using the Outline Text feature.

Learn More ➞ What are SF Symbols and how to use them in your design?
Learn Vectornator
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Download the PDF version here.
Last Updated on Aug 30, 2022
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