If you or your company regularly handles vector files from outside sources, you’ve probably run into an issue where the file that you would like to edit contains fonts that you do not have installed on your system. In cases like this, you have two options: Identify and download the fonts (which can get expensive), or convert the fonts contained within the document into outlines. This missing font work-around tutorial will cover the latter method.Note: The following technique will preserve the exact appearance of the existing text in the document by converting it to outlines, which destroys the ability to edit the text directly. If you’ll need to edit the text directly, you will need to find and download the missing font(s).
Let’s demonstrate what happens if we try to open the file in Illustrator as normal.
Illustrator displays a warning message listing the fonts that are in the document, but are not installed on your system. In our example, the missing fonts are Antenna Extra Light and Antenna Extra Condensed Bold.
If we open the file despite these warnings, Illustrator will use a substitute font in place of the original font that was used. This is not desirable. Close this document without saving.
Open up a new Illustrator document. Click “File” and select “New” from the drop-down menu.
Now we are going to bring our file into Illustrator. Click “File,” and select “Place” from the drop-down menu.
Next, we will have to navigate to our file. Make sure that both the “Link” and “Show Import Options” check boxes are both checked. Select your file and click “Place.”
The above dialog box will appear. Click “OK.”
If desired, center your artwork on the art board. To do this, make sure your artwork is selected and click the “Horizontal Align Center” and “Vertical Align Center” buttons.
With your artwork still selected, click the “Object” drop-down menu, and select “Flatten Transparency…”
The “Flatten Transparency” dialog box will appear. IMPORTANT: Make sure that the “Convert All Text to Outlines” and “Convert All Strokes to Outlines” boxes are both checked. Click “OK.”
The missing fonts in your file should now have been converted to outlines, and should be fully editable as such. Enjoy!