How to apply brush on text stroke in Adobe Illustrator

How to apply brush on text stroke in Adobe Illustrator

I have been working on Adobe Illustrator for last five years and learned lots of things which are not available within a courseware. In this tutorial, I will show you how you can convert your text layer into active path and apply different brush style onto it. By converting a text layer into an active path, you will able to play with it more than before. It is almost like creating your own font style within just few clicks. This is really a cool technique and I hope you will find it interesting. You may say that you can still apply stroke to a text layer without converting it into fill but the problem is you will only able to modify the stroke style or weight of it and will not able to apply any brushes to strokes. So I’ll show you how to overcome that problem with this simple solution.

Step 1

First create a new file in your Adobe Illustrator and type a word on the blank canvas. For example I’ve typed CREATIVICA for this tutorial. The font size is 72 pixels and all letters are in uppercase. Step 1

Step 2

Now select the text layer and go to Object > Expand and click on it. Step 2 Right after the clicking on it, the Expand dialogue box will open, check Object, Fill and click on OK. Step 2 Now you’ve converted your texts into shapes. This is how it looks after converting from text to shape. Step 2

Step 3

The converted text shapes are filled with Black Fill Colour (I hope you are familiar with Fill and Stroke colour) and the strokes has no colour or weight yet. For giving a stroke weight, go to your Tools panel and then go to Fill & Stroke section. Step 3 Press ‘X’ for swapping from Fill to Stroke (only if it is not already swapped to Stroke) and click on the tiny black box (it is black because our present fill colour is black) underneath Stroke. Step 3 After clicking on that black box, it will add a stroke weight of 1 point to your shapes. Now you can chose any colour for your stroke from Swatch panel (I’ve selected green colour here) or brush from Brush panel. Step 3 You can also manipulate your stroke weight from control panel. Step 3 Here are few examples of what you can do with this technique to your texts – examples


I hope you’ve enjoyed it. You can really make some cool text effects using this technique and nobody can guess what font you used for it. You can also apply individual colour and brush style to each letter by selecting each letter using Direct Selection Tool. I’ve included the raw file for your better help. Download it from the bellow link and don’t hesitate to ask me if you need any further help regarding this tutorial.

Download Tutorial Files


Nilotpal Singha

A professional graphic web designer, blogger, writer.

You may also like...