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Glyphs in Adobe Illustrator tutorial How To Easily Access All Your Characters Beginner's Guide

By Andrew Buckle, Video Tutorial Creator / Designer

Updated : 2021


How to use the glyphs in Adobe Illustrator for instant access to all the designs / characters / unusal characters in a typeface

  1. window menu in Adobe Illustrator

  2. type category

  3. glyphs (to see Illustrator glyphs panel)

  4. select the font to be examined

  5. select show such as entire font

  6. type tool

  7. click artboard

  8. select one of the glyphs by double clicking

glyphs in Adobe Illustrator and how to tutorialHow to use glyphs in Adobe Illustrator. The key panel is the window menu and type and glyphs.


You can see all the characters in the selected font (or any font you select from the bottom of the glyphs panel). You can also see alternates, superscripts etc depending on the font.


The glyph panel makes it super easy to access and see all the designs in a font. To use the glyph panel, you must have created some type or at least clicked on the artboard with the type tool.


You can double click the glyph to add the character to the type selection in Adobe Illustrator. You can also select type and replace the current selected characters with any glyph double clicked in the Illustrator glyphs panel.


You can change the font as well as the font style via the same panel. This tutorial shows you how to quickly use the glyphs panel to change and add characters to any type (point or area or type on a path etc)

Basics of the glyphs panel in Adobe Illustrator and accessing decorative designs etc in a font

fonts and type tool in Adobe Illustrator panel glyphs
  1. Select type tool and apply to current artboard

  2. Go to the glyph panel

  3. Double click character in glyph panel

  4. Repeat with other characters (probably a very slow way to type a letter though)

The glyph panel is a useful feature to quickly access all the characters in a font without the need for any special characters / codes / decorative designs etc. Especially great if you want to access all the designs in the Apple Color Emoji font, try accessing them easily from the keyboard. The glyphs panel makes it so much easier to get to the various flags, items of food, Chinese symbols etc




  1. Select the type tool

  2. type some characters

  3. select the type.

  4. Go to the glyph panel.

  5. You can change the font and font style.

  6. You can double click the glyph and that will change the current selected character or characters to the new glyph.

  7. You can also double click the Illustrator glyphs (without something selected) and that will generate other characters in the current type selection


Glyphs panel and special features such as alternates, changing size of the glyph etc

glyphs panel and fonts type

You can show the entire font as well as alternates for the current selection and many more (depends on the font). You can also increase the size of the glyph display by clicking the zoom out and zoom in at the bottom of the glyph panel. You can also change the font for the current selected characters as well as setting the font for any subsequent characters




  1. type tool

  2. add some characters in the current font to point or area type or type on a path etc

  3. select that

  4. go to the glyph panel

  5. change the font from the current font to a new font

  6. change the font style if one exists

If you select something like Myriad Pro then you can show

  1. alternates for current selection

  2. entire font

  3. numerators

  4. case-sensitive forms

  5. lining figures

  6. stylistic alternates

  7. superscript

  8. slashed zero and many others


Change selected type using glyph panel

selected characters and glyphs panel
  1. type tool in Adobe Illustrator toolbar

  2. Create some type (point or area etc)

  3. Select some characters

  4. go to the glyphs panel

  5. select the font

  6. double click the character to replace the selected




That is a very quick and easy way of changing designs in any selected type. It makes it a whole lot easier to use the fonts / typeface sets from graphicxtras.


The graphicxtras sets all contain a PDF showing the keyboard and decorative design relationship and that can be printed out and used as a reference but it is a whole lot easier to use the glyph panel in Adobe Illustrator to access the designs and change the curret selected artwork with another unique artwork.


Add type via the glyph panel to the current type in Adobe Illustrator

add characters via the glyphs panel
  1. click the artboard with the type tool (or create area type etc)

  2. go to the glyphs panel in Adobe Illustrator

  3. select the font

  4. select the font style

  5. double click to add a glyph / character to the type

  6. repeat double click to add more characters etc



Foreign type

The Illustrator glyph panel is super useful to access foreign characters as well, not the sort of characters that you can generally type from a standard keyboard