How to achieve the type in this chart.

Flipside927's picture

Hi this is my first post and I need help on something.
I can't figure out how to make the type "fan" out on a path like they do on the left side of the chart. Does anyone know how to do this in Illustrator?


Ricardo Cordoba's picture

I suppose you would have to do it "the hard way":
1) Draw a line in Illustrator,
2) Rotate it 5 degrees, say, and copy,
3) Repeat #2 until you have enough lines. At this point they will begin to look like the spokes in a wheel.
4) Start typing on each line. :-)

Maybe someone else knows an easier way. But that's how I would do it.

Bruno Bruno's picture

Just as Ricardo says,
but then in stead of lines use text boxes and link them to each other so the text flows automatically.

nina's picture

"Repeat #2 until you have enough lines"
They really never did implement that great old Freehand feature into Illustrator where you could specify a transformation, and then say to apply the transformation to so and so many copies of a given object? I always wonder if it's just me and I'm not finding it.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Oh, my bad... Illustrator has Transform Again, but I forgot about it when typing up my instructions. :-/

nina's picture

Ah, right (didn't think of that either).
Still not as handy as old Freehand though. :-/

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

No, it's not... Is it QuarkXPress that has Step and Repeat? That's closer to the Freehand feature.

Graham McArthur's picture

oh, how I miss the old Freehand.

paragraph's picture

Me too, Graham. The world was a better place then.
A simplified (or demented to FH users) version is still in Illustrator: copy, paste in place, transform (alas, only once, I think), command-D, repeat as needed?

type.nasos's picture

The closest i get to that in illustrator is:

1) made 2 circles, align them (easier to find the center in the small one)
2) Use smart Guides to find the exact center
3) make a path line, select it use rotate
4) move the rotate point to the center of the small circle
5) when u realese the button you choose your deggres, i made 2 for example
6) After Command + D repear your last step, so keep pressing to make the pattern.
7) type in each line your text (use Type on path option to find exact what you want)
in my fast example i used on center (rainbow)

type.nasos's picture

@Bruno Bruno Doesnt illustrator not rotating the Text that is inside
the Text Boxes? if i recall right. i mean u can rotate the textbox, but the inside
text wont be rotating, except if they fixed that on newer versions (no idea in that)

type.nasos's picture

ok just tried it, cant rotate from start a text in the textbox,
but as Bruno said, at least on my example you can link the
pathtype lines so to paste whole paragraphs, nice thought.

nina's picture

Ricardo, it's InDesign that has Step and Repeat. I wonder why it's not in Illustrator too.

"i mean u can rotate the textbox, but the inside
text wont be rotating, except if they fixed that on newer versions"

Hey, I remember that, but indeed it appears to be working now in CS4.
That actually makes things pretty quick. No need to copy and paste in place – just make your one text box (or path) and then in the Transform/Rotate dialog hit "Copy" instead of "OK", then do the Command+D thing.

Bruno Bruno's picture


It does work if you use the rotate function.
And even smarter the Transform Each Function (Alt-Shift-Apple-D) so you can move and rotate at the same time.

Bruno Bruno's picture

@ altaira
and if you click Apple D again it will do the same again, so that is a kind of step and repeat, If you call op the dialog box its the same as clicking copy.

Bruno Bruno's picture

Or make an artbrush of a 90degrees rotated textbox, specify the distance and draw a circle.

Rene Verkaart's picture

I've just sent Quentin an email about this thread. Perhaps he will sign in and explain a bit of his magic.


Rene Verkaart's picture

This is the reaction directly from Quentin about how he made the chart:


This is really funny to see some people debatting on something I didn't sleep because of.

So, here is my "hard" way (you found the solution on the forum):

1- draw one line, and then rotate with the angle you want.
2- pathfind the lines with one circle to have the size you want.
3- ungroup.
4- link the lines with the threated text option (CS4, CS3?)
Sometime, the links between the text field are not really good. Try linking only 5 to 7 lines, after that you link the blocs each other. If it really doesn't work, try making it one by one (I did it :-S).
5- You can now import your text.

- no hyphenate (hand made in my case),
- sometimes when you press "enter", the next line will jump 3 or 4 lines. To correct: double enter + apple (ctrl) Z

I know it's quite complicated and not really quick. But I didn't find other way. So if you find something better?


Thanks a lot for your input.

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