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Riveting Text With Offset Paths In Illustrator
Toby Pitman on Wed, May 22nd 0 comments
When it comes to creating intricate strokes for text or objects, sometimes Photoshop doesn't tick all the boxes. That's when turning to Adobe Illustrator can be useful. Toby Pitman shows how.

There are some things that are really simple to do in Illustrator, creating intricate strokes is one of them. Photoshop has, up until CS6, not given you much options with strokes. If you haven’t upgraded to CS6 yet, then Illustrator can really help you out in this department! Here I’ll create some riveted text in Photoshop using Illustrator's help!


Step 1 - Create Some Text

Create some text in a new Illustrator document (mine is 1280 x 720). I’ve used the font Planet Kosmos at quite a large size with a bit of spacing.

Pic 1


Step 2 - Convert To Outlines

With the text selected choose Type > Create Outlines to convert the text to paths.

Pic 2



Step 2 - Offset The Path

With the new paths selected choose Object > Path > Offset Path.

Pic 3


Set the Offset at 26 px or to your liking. This will create an outside stroke effect. Press OK once your happy with the Preview.

Pic 4


This is the important bit!!! As soon as you hit OK, cut the new paths! Command-X (Control-X on PC). 


Step 4 - Paste In Front To A New Layer

Create a new layer and drag it below Layer 1. Select it with the doughnut on the layer panel.

Pic 5


Now hit Command-F (Control-F on PC) to Paste in Front to the new layer. This pastes the paths to their old location. Regular pasting will not do this!


Step 5 - Offset Again

Reselect Layer 1 and repeat the process, but this time make the Offset negative so it comes into the text.

Pic 6


Cut and Paste In Front to a new layer.

Pic 7


Step 6 - Stroke The Path

Stoke this new path. Choose a round cap and use the Dashed Line function. The Dash should be 0 px and then adjust the Gap to space the dots!

Pic 8


Step 7 - Outline The Stroke

With this path selected choose Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

Pic 9


Open up the layer and select all the new dots inside each group by clicking the doughnuts!

Pic 10


Create a new layer and Paste In Front the dot outlines to their own separate layer.

Pic 11


Step 8 - Transfer The Paths To Photoshop

You can now Copy (Command-C) each layer to the clipboard and paste it into Photoshop as a Shape Layer.

Pic 12


Paste the main text, the outline stroke and the dots to separate layers in Photoshop and arrange them.

Pic 13


Step 9 - Style Your Text

You can now apply some textures and layer styles to these paths to create any effect you like.

Pic 14


If you have CS6, you should be able to create these dotted strokes quite easily in Photoshop. Pre CS6 Illustrator is your best friend for this ‘type’ of thing!


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