How to Use Text to Vector Graphic in Adobe Illustrator

So, just type in the text in the text box and click “Generate”? I know, it sounds super easy, but it’s quite a challenge to get the ideal result if you don’t have the right type selected, or using the “correct” prompt. 

I mean, obviously, there’s no right or wrong prompt, but the choice of words really makes a difference. 

I remember when this feature first came out, I was so excited to try it out. Honest opinion? I didn’t like it. Then I gave it more tries, and got the trick to “use it right”. For example, it’s awesome for generating image backgrounds and simple icons/graphics! 

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Text to Vector Graphic (Beta) feature in Adobe Illustrator. 

Let’s begin with the panel options. 

Note: All screenshots from this tutorial are taken from the Adobe Illustrator CC version. Windows or other versions can look slightly different.

Adobe Illustrator Text to Vector Graphic Panel

If you don’t know where to find the Text to Vector Graphic tool in Illustrator, you can open the panel from Window > Text to Vector Graphic (Beta)

You can actually find this option under the Properties panel as well. So this is what the panel looks like, and I’ll go over the options one by one. 

As you can see, you can choose the type of image you want to generate, such as Subject, Scene, Icon, and Pattern. Then you can type in your Prompt in the section below. 

If you already have an artwork created and want to generate a graphic that matches the style of your existing design, you can switch on the Match active artboard style option. 

Below the prompt text box, there are three options: Style picker, Select a sample prompt, and Settings.

Style picker allows you to sample/extract the style (color, elements, etc) from a reference image or artwork. 

If you don’t know what prompt to use, you can get ideas from the Select a sample prompt option.

Settings allows you to adjust the details of the generated image. 

Okay, so that’s pretty much all you should know about the panel. Now let’s create something cool with this feature.

How to Generate a Vector from Text in Adobe Illustrator

If you want to get the best result using this generative AI tool in Illustrator, again, the key is the prompt and the right settings. So it’d be nice if you already have an image in mind or a reference image. 

For example, I want to create an image of a cat traveling in space with a Japanese temple in the background. I’ll show you my steps below. 

Step 1: Choose the image type. Let’s start with the background. So I’m going to select Scene from the Type dropdown menu.

Step 2: Type in the text prompt in the Prompt section and click Generate (Beta). Try to be as descriptive and detailed as possible. For example, you can type in the style, color, and elements you want.

So, this is my text prompt.

And here are the variations I got.

If you don’t like the result, you can always go back to edit the text prompt and click Generate (Beta) or hit the Enter key again. 

Still not ideal?

Step 3: Open a reference image in Illustrator, click on the Style picker, and click on the reference image.

For example, I want to extract the style of this image that I generated from Adobe Firefly, so I click on this image using the Style picker

When you click on the image, you should see a message like this: 

Then you can type in the text prompt (or use the same one before), and hit the Enter key to generate the image again.

Well, not quite the same style, but I’ll give it a pass since it’s a lot better than the result before. 

If you want to add or remove details, click on the Settings option, move the slider to the left to reduce details and to the right to add details. 

Note: Whenever you adjust the settings or prompt, you need to click Generate (Beta) to re-generate the image. 

Okay, now let’s use the same method to add a cat to the image. The only thing you need to change here is the Type. 

Step 4: Change the Type to Subject and type in the prompt to describe the cat. 

Step 5: Turn on the Match active artboard style option, and hit the Enter key.

Not bad! I like that. 

If you want to create icons or patterns, simply follow the same method. Just remember to change the Type to Icon or Pattern.

How to Edit Generated Vector in Adobe Illustrator

Since the image you generate in Illustrator is a vector, you can ungroup and edit it using any vector editing tools! 

For example, you can resize the background image that you generated, and it’s not going to change the resolution because it’s a vector. 

If you don’t like the colors, you can also change the object colors

Quick tip: When the image has a lot of colors and it’s super complex, you can use the Select > Same feature or the Magic Wand to quickly change areas with the same colors all at once.

Wrapping Up

The Text to Vector Graphic feature in Illustrator can turn text into a logo, icon, pattern, or image background. It’s easy to use, but you do need to practice a bit on the prompt. 

The image result might not be as good as the one from Adobe Firefly or Midjourney, but the cool thing is that your Illustrator-generated image is a vector, so you can edit it easily.  

About June Escalada
Graduated from Creative Advertising major, worked more than eight years as a graphic designer focusing in branding and Illustration. Yes, Adobe Illustrator is my best friend and I’m passionate about art and design.

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