Center-Stroking Letters in Illustrator

Greetings, dekeRevelers. In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, you’ll see how Deke finally answered a question from our dekeFriend Peter about how to create inline strokes down letters to recreate the effect found in an a poster for the musical White Christmas.

Of course, given the backlog of Deke’s Techniques requests, we’re going to have to change the message, since Deke’s just getting to it now, in the Spring of the year following the two years that followed Peter’s actual request.

Inline text in Adobe Illustrator

Last week, this message might have seemed appropriate, but alas today in Boulder, it’s looking more like White Christmas. Well, at least it was this morning. But since this is Boulder,  tomorrow the nine inches of snow that fell today will be melted and we’ll be back to newly budding crocuses and sprouting leaves on the aspens.

In the meantime, see how Deke made the inline stroke on the "easier" letters in this video. Along the way, you’ll get a basket full of very useful Illustrator tips, including:

  • How to use the Appearance panel to make text fills, strokes, and shadows.
  • How to cut-and-paste whilst keeping Illustrator’s cryptic features out of your way.
  • How, to use the old-school Blend command to make Illustrator do the math between edges of the letters for you, to precisely set your stroke down the middle.

Alas, some of these letters (E, F, P, and R to be exact) are going to need some hand work to finish the effect. Fortunately, even when Deke uses the dreaded phrase "by hand," he still has ways to get Illustrator (and any calculator you might have nearby) to do some of the work for you. If you’re a member of, you can check it out here.

Deke’s Techniques, filling your Christmas wish just in time for Easter two-and-a-half years later!


Next entry:Masking Inline Text Strokes in Illustrator

Previous entry:Fixing Jagged Illustrator Artwork in Photoshop

Be the first to drop some wisdom...