If you want to play with the fonts, make changes to them to create a logo and stuff, and you will need to outline your text.
But sometimes, you may be unable to expand or outline it, even whatever you try. This blog post will discuss why you can’t outline it and how to do it in a few seconds.
Why is Text not Expanding in Type?
The way adobe illustrator works, you can not outline a text item if you have an active Type Tool open and select a part or the entire text inside the type tool, as shown in the image below.
Now, nothing will happen if you select the text inside the type tool and go to Object > Expand.
To expand a text, you must select the text under the Selection tool and then go to Object > Expand to outline it.
If you select a text in the selection tool to outline it, you may sometimes find the Object > Expand option non-selectable and only see Expand Appearance.
In that case, click Expand Appearance and then come back to Expand it to create an outline, as shown in the image below.
Overall, it’s an easy task to expand or outline a text in adobe illustrator, as shared in the blog post.
Other Reasons: Text not Outlining or Expanding
There can be other reasons you cannot outline a text in adobe illustrator.
Text in Locked Layer
You may be unable to outline a text if the primary layer is locked. Check in the layer section to confirm if it’s locked or not.
Make sure to unlock it before you can make changes to it.
If the text is locked, you will again be unable to outline it. You can use the keyboard shortcut CMD+2 (CTRL+2 for windows) to unlock all objects and text sublayers.
Another reason you cannot outline a text is being under a clipping mask.
To confirm, right-click on the object and see if you can find an option to “Release Clipping Mask.” If you get this option, release the clipping mask before seeing the handles and anchor points.
Its a Symbol
If a text item is a symbol, you cannot change it. Symbols are more like patterns and brush sprays which can be easily duplicated and placed.
You will have to open the symbol window to outline it.
The object is inside an Opacity Mask
Just like photoshop, illustrator also offers a few features around masking. One of them is in an Opacity mask. Ensure the text you trying to expand is not closed under an opacity mask.
Either isolate it or release the mask to make the changes if it is.
Inside an Envelop
If the text is inside an envelope, you will still be unable to make direct changes to it. Therefore release it from the envelope before you can outline it.