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"Text to Shape" Questions in Illustrator

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#1
The Doomed Mapper

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Quick question for all you AI mavens out there. I know in Illustrator there is an option to convert text along a path into individual shapes in Illusrator (Select the text, then "Type->Create Outlines"). No problem, but here is the question I have for all you folks. Is there a way to go in the opposite direction (Convert Shapes to Text)? This does not make a great deal of sense, but we are working with files that a client wants us to work on where they converted ALL the text that they have created to paths (and then wish to have a great deal of that text edited).

*sigh* I think I already know the answer to this one, but feel will decide to ask anyways <_<

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Quick question for all you AI mavens out there. I know in Illustrator there is an option to convert text along a path into individual shapes in Illusrator (Select the text, then "Type->Create Outlines"). No problem, but here is the question I have for all you folks. Is there a way to go in the opposite direction (Convert Shapes to Text)? This does not make a great deal of sense, but we are working with files that a client wants us to work on where they converted ALL the text that they have created to paths (and then wish to have a great deal of that text edited).

*sigh* I think I already know the answer to this one, but feel will decide to ask anyways <_<


There seems to be a way to do OCR in Acrobat. This video explains it quite well. Trying this out on a jpg map now... not a whole lot of luck on the map itself but it did pick up the ads around it quite nicely...

TIFF seems to work better, but it doesn't really play well with large documents. So far, I've only been able to have it recognize a very small amount of text (although it did properly pick up italics! You can save the result as a PDF, then open that in Illustrator.

It shows potential, but I guess it'll need more experimenting and some clever image pre-processing to really make it shine.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
The Doomed Mapper

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Quick question for all you AI mavens out there. I know in Illustrator there is an option to convert text along a path into individual shapes in Illusrator (Select the text, then "Type->Create Outlines"). No problem, but here is the question I have for all you folks. Is there a way to go in the opposite direction (Convert Shapes to Text)? This does not make a great deal of sense, but we are working with files that a client wants us to work on where they converted ALL the text that they have created to paths (and then wish to have a great deal of that text edited).

*sigh* I think I already know the answer to this one, but feel will decide to ask anyways <_<


There seems to be a way to do OCR in Acrobat. This video explains it quite well. Trying this out on a jpg map now... not a whole lot of luck on the map itself but it did pick up the ads around it quite nicely...

TIFF seems to work better, but it doesn't really play well with large documents. So far, I've only been able to have it recognize a very small amount of text (although it did properly pick up italics! You can save the result as a PDF, then open that in Illustrator.

It shows potential, but I guess it'll need more experimenting and some clever image pre-processing to really make it shine.


Interesting. So I'm going to give this a shot. (Its another long story, but we are dealing with a map file that is essentially a form.. pretty crazy I know..). It sounds like it might take care of our issue (bring the PDF into Illustrator, like you say, and then see if we cannot regain some functionality).

Thanks so much Hans! :lol:

#4
cabucor

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OCR is not a perfect science. Depends greatly how clear and readable the text being scanned is, as well as the font type. If you have intersecting lines on the text, you won't have much luck. If you can somehow isolate the text from the rest of the vectors you may have a better chance. If you have text along a curved path, you won't have success there either. Each character will have its own rotated text block, if recognizes it at all. Also OCR works best if text is oriented normally. If you've got text that is angled, the chance of recognition lowers.

Generally, I believe you'll have a lot of trouble. I would just admit defeat, let out a big sigh and proceed with the tedious task of retyping the text along the paths.

Good Luck,
Rob

#5
Kalai Selvan

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Quick question for all you AI mavens out there. I know in Illustrator there is an option to convert text along a path into individual shapes in Illusrator (Select the text, then "Type->Create Outlines"). No problem, but here is the question I have for all you folks. Is there a way to go in the opposite direction (Convert Shapes to Text)? This does not make a great deal of sense, but we are working with files that a client wants us to work on where they converted ALL the text that they have created to paths (and then wish to have a great deal of that text edited).

*sigh* I think I already know the answer to this one, but feel will decide to ask anyways <_<



I understand that you need back the text from the shape file----Is this correct?
If my understanding is correct, then you have lot of macros available online which converts all the paths ( each vertices) from the shape FILE and writes into a shape file.

Happy conversion..

Thanks
GISGURU

Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#6
Hans van der Maarel

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I understand that you need back the text from the shape file----Is this correct?
If my understanding is correct, then you have lot of macros available online which converts all the paths ( each vertices) from the shape FILE and writes into a shape file.


Actually, no. Shape in this context doesn't refer to a shapefile, but to a geometric shape. "The Doomed Mapper" wants to try and get those text shapes back as editable text. Which is hard enough already if the text is on a straight horizontal line, near impossible if it's curved or angled.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#7
The Doomed Mapper

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OCR is not a perfect science. Depends greatly how clear and readable the text being scanned is, as well as the font type. If you have intersecting lines on the text, you won't have much luck. If you can somehow isolate the text from the rest of the vectors you may have a better chance. If you have text along a curved path, you won't have success there either. Each character will have its own rotated text block, if recognizes it at all. Also OCR works best if text is oriented normally. If you've got text that is angled, the chance of recognition lowers.

Generally, I believe you'll have a lot of trouble. I would just admit defeat, let out a big sigh and proceed with the tedious task of retyping the text along the paths.

Good Luck,
Rob


Yup, turned out what both you and Hans said was correct. We actually did everything from scratch, but I figured that I had to at the very least try before said defeat was admited! (someday perhaps.. someday).




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