New Ways to Scale Type in Adobe Illustrator 2021

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke considers and demonstrates the new ways to scale your type in Adobe Illustrator 2021.

In this example, he’s trying to get the type lines below to fit in their respective orange rectangles, for which they are currently too short.

Two lines of type on an orange and yellow striped background


Enter this command, located on the fly-out menu of the Character panel in Illustrator 2021 (and, one presumes, beyond):

The menu featuring the new Show Font Height Options item


With it, you can base the height of your type size—which was by default and heretofore always based on the mysterious Em Box—to something more intuitive or predicable.

White letters on a black background with x-height and Cap height labeled


Like the Cap Height for our top line (appropriately set in all caps)...

White type on an orange rectangle, with letters now as tall as the rectangle

...or set to the x-height for the lowercase line below.

White lowercase type with the x-height set to the same hight as background rectangle

If you’d like to try it out yourself, you can download Deke’s exercise files below.

Deke’s Techniques, letting you communicate in words that are just the size they should be.

Related downloads

  • Exercise Files for Deke's Techniques Episode 962

Next entry:Using Camera Matching Profiles in Camera Raw (or Lightroom)

Previous entry:Color Grading: Blending and Balance

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