Adobe Illustrator 10 - can I overwrite a text?
Thread poster: Olga Simon

Olga Simon  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
English to Russian
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Jul 28, 2002

A couple of weeks ago I bought Adobe Illustrator 10 and am now getting familiar with it.

Question that I have not been able to solve so far is the following:

Can I overwrite the text of the document somehow where the original text disappears/is not seen?

Say, I have a patent/certificate. The original document is sent to me in .jpg file and looks rather fancy (background patterns etc.) and I would like the translation to look as fancy.

1) My idea was to simply use the original .jpg document, open it in Adobe Illustrator and replace the text.

The thing is not that simple, though.

I figured out by how to select paths/boxes and type the text in them. But it works in a way that I type over the original text that does not disappear anywhere but stays right there, so at the end one text typed over another one creates some kind of unreadable abracadabra.

If I try to use the scissors or Edit>Cut menu some box pops up and tells me that it cannot cut the path.

2) I also tried to cut the text using Photo Editor and then type the text in Illustrator. That works but takes an awful lot of time (to cut every single line separately in Photoshop in order not to damage the background pattern style).

But at the end I have white colored boxes (that remained after cutting the original text) with my translation in them.

So my goal is only half way achieved - that pattern is there, but it is distorted with the white boxes.

Is there a simple solution that I just do not know about? What do you, guys, do with such types of documents?

Or should simply I give up and just deliver a plain .doc translation without any headaches?

Thanks a lot,


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Russian to English
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Don't give up..., I'm kidding. Jul 28, 2002

Why you have to go that way.

I would use Presentation(to get the pattern) or simply word with some picture on background, then you can save as you want.

Other way you can try text recognition program to determinate the text and edit it but it would take twice more time.

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
Member (2003)
Polish to German
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JPG (JPEG) files are not text files Jul 28, 2002

but only compressed graphic files. That means, that they are treated by a programm as a map of points (so called BITMAP). For this purpose, after saving an image as *.BMP, *.JP(E)G, *.PNG, *.TIF and many other bitmap formats you are not able to edit any text in this images. Only the usual effects for bitmaps (eg. smoothing, sharpening, overpainting with another colour/structure and so on) and cutting and pasting of image parts are possible.

What you could do is to select the colour of the text and then replace this colour with the colour of the image in direct neighbourhood of the text. But if the text is ie. black, every black part of the image will be replaced with this otheer colour, so it is not evertime possible to do so.

The other option is to outline the whole text character by character with your mouse, using the cutter tool, and then cut the text out - the text will disapear, leaving blank places, which can then be filled with the colour and structure from the neigbourhood. This is practicable for bigger headlines with not so much characters, but not for normal textes.

But I do not know any possibility of editing text in pictures, saved as bitmaps.

On the other hand, in drawings such as Corel Draw (*.cdr) od Micrographx Designer (*.drw) thi is possible due to other way of saving such drawings. They are called vector graphics. But as far as I know Adobe Illustrator is not a vector graphics programm (I do not have it on my PC).



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-29 19:54 ]

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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
Member (2001)
English to Italian
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Adobe Illustrator IS a vector graphics program Aug 6, 2002


On 2002-07-28 20:23, JCzopik wrote:

But as far as I know Adobe Illustrator is not a vector graphics programm

Adobe Illustrator IS a vector graphics program, and that is why it cannot change directly the content of a JPEG (bitmap) file; that is why when you type the new text it does not replace the \"old\" text: because that is not real text but just a bitmap image.

What you should do really depends on the contents of your JPEG file.

You could try hiding the old text by covering it with a white or background colour rectangle, or editing first the JPEG in an image editing program such as Photoshop (if the text content is not much, you can also add the new text directly in Photoshop). Alternatively, get the original file as PDF, not as JPEG, and the chances are that the text will be retained as text and converted to bitmaps. Illustrator can open PDF files (but the text will be divided line by line and not follow the original paragraph structure).

Or even better, get it in the original format and use the same application that had been used to create the original document.

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:42
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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No way in this case Aug 7, 2002


As the others already explained, it looks like there is no way you could do it in this case. I guess the reason you received the document as a JPG is because it is a printed certificate, and they scanned it in for you. I doubt you could get the original format, as it is most likely that such certificates were printed by the respective authorities on special paper, on a traditional way, not by creating the image on a computer.

JPG files \"lock in\" everything as graphics information, Illustrator or other software cannot differentiate between the text and other pictures or the background. Therefore you cannot extract the text, since it is not like another \"layer\" that can be separated from the underlying background. Imagine, that you have the paper certificate, and you are trying to replace the text on that. (Because that\'s what you are trying to do.) You can cut the text out, but then you would have holes. You can paint it over with white or some other color, but that would show, too. Unless you are into some micro-graphics work to repair the damaged background graphics, almost like forging banknotes, you probably won\'t have the time and energy to do this.

And you don\'t have to. You are a translator, right?

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