How to Convert Text to Outlines in Adobe InDesign

In Brief...

Text is converted to outlines in InDesign for various reasons. One is that it allows the InDesign file to be output without system fonts being installed. In other cases, text is converted for creative intent.


  1. With the Selection Tool, choose the text frame to be converted, then go to the Type menu and select Create Outlines.
    Create Outlines Command in Type Menu

  2. Once the text has been converted, the letter shapes become a compound-path frame in which an image could be placed. Still using the Selection Tool, go to the File menu and choose Place.
    Place Command in File Menu

  3. In the Place dialog box, check on Replace Selected Item and select an image.
    Place Dialog Box

  4. The image is now inside the letter shapes.
    Image Inside Letter Shapes

Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical, and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her class. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint to produce a fully-developed and cohesive brand identity.