Manipulating text is really quite simple and you can apply these same rules in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and practically anywhere that can create vector graphics.

First step is to get a basic idea of what you want, if you wing it, you might have luck but a lot of the time is just looks like you broke the original font.

So in Expression Design, create a new document and create the text text_icon you want.

Try and get the font as close as possible to what you need, you don’t want to have to re-construct the entire thing.

Original text

I’m going to use ASD because, I’ll be honest, its the first thing I mashed when I hit the keyboard.

Now once you are happy with your text, its time to convert it to a path. Select the object menu up the top and click “convert object to path” or just press CTRL + SHIFT + O

convert object to path
convert object to path

Now once its a path, its just a normal vector, you can’t change the text anymore but you can select different points and manipulate them how ever you like.

Using your “direct select” tool directselect1 you can grab each point and edit the shapes how you wish.


Other cool tools you might use are:

  • Add Anchor Point
  • Convert Anchor Point
  • Delete Anchor Point

All these tools are found under the pen tool fly-out.


Some other tips:

  • Holding shift allows you to grab multiple points
  • If you move them then press shift, you will be constrained to 45 degree increments when moving (great for keeping your lines straight).


You could use these techniques to create a rad logo or by adding this text over the top of some more vectors like in my other vector tutorial can make some other seriously cool stuff…