Scaling a text box in Illustrator CS6 (without scaling text)

Ok, I have a fresh Illustrator document. Pasted some copied text into the “artboard” (the clipboard is severely broken, but that’s for another day).

The textbox that gets pasted is one huge line that goes from here to Timbuktoo.

So I need to resize it to 1/3rd of the page. I presume, as happens in every other sensible tool in the world, the text would flow to the width I give the textbox. The text itself will NOT get resized.

However, this is not what happens. THe text gets scaled completely. No exceptions.

I’ve been googling for the last 2 hours. Nothing works.

  1. Some posts say I must “show bounding borders”. Doesn’t help at all.
  2. Other posts say some nonsense about main selection tool and direct selection tool. These tools do nothing. Both the arrow-icons, when used to drag the corners of the box, lead to the text getting resized anyway.
  3. Someone suggested that when I copied and pasted text from a text file into Illustrator, this became an object, not actually text. Well, in that case, how should we paste text? Not everyone working on an Illustrator document is always and forever expected to write all the text manually, is it?

Seriously, how does this work? Any preferences I need to change? I used to work with CS4 and I recall it was much easier.

Would appreciate any inputs. Thanks!


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

With Area Text, you need to use the bounding box handles to resize the area text box. Any other scale or transform tool will alter text as well.

resize area text

You can also use the Direct Selection tool (White arrow) to click and drag the side of an area text box.

If you wish to alter the text box numerically then you must use the Direct Selection Tool to select the box (not the type) and then you can enter values for the width and height in the control bar without altering the scale or size of the type. See here.

Method 2

In Illustrator, there are two ways to control your basic block of text:

  1. Point Type object: Select the Type tool, click on the artboard, then press Paste.
  2. Area Type object: Select the Type tool, click and drag on the artboard to create a text box, and then paste the text into there.

You’ve been doing number one; number two should get the behavior that you want.

Method 3

It can also be helpful to select the raw text, as in an Excel document, etc., instead of a block of text or cell. Then you should be able to select the text tool, click on the artboard and past the text without boxes. I have worked with text in Illustrator for years and have never found a reason to use a text box.

Method 4

If you want to scale all text in any Area Type box / object, this is what I do:

  1. Select all Area Type objects you would like to scale (either up or down)
  2. Group them together (Ctrl + G / Cmd + G).
  3. In the Transform Panel click the LINKED CHAIN icon at the upper right to Constrain Height and Width Proportionately.
  4. Enter the final size into either the Height or Width box and apply (Press Enter).

That should scale your text and not just alter solely the boxes / frame area.

Hope this is helpful! 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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