Convert to Editable Text is Grayed Out

Participant ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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I have seen others post about this issue, but have not yet found a solution that works or that makes sense for my situation. I have an AI file that I have imported into After Effects to be animated, but the "Convert to editable text" option appears to be unavailable. I have done the work of separating everything onto its own layer and the text is editable in Illustrator, but just not in After Effects. I have included two screenshots for reference.

 

I am running Illustrator 25.2.3 and After Effects 18.2.0

 

Screen Shot 2021-05-13 at 10.36.09 AM.pngScreen Shot 2021-05-13 at 10.36.48 AM.png

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Dynamic link , Error or problem , How to , Import and export

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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Convert to Editable Text requires that the Layer Source be a Photoshop Text Layer.  Illustrator Type Objects are not supported.  

 

You have three options that I can think of:

1. Copy and paste selected text in an Illustrator Type Object to a selected After Effects Text Layer (that is, you must be actively editing the text).  The Character and Paragraph attributes are preserved, but position must be set manually.  Also, this must be done one at a time.

2. Export the Illustrator document to a layered Photoshop document by choosing File > Export > Export As, then choose Photoshop with Write Layers and Preserve Text Editability enabled while in Illustrator.  Import the resulting PS file as a Composition and then use Convert to Editable Text.

3. Open the Illustrator document in Adobe XD and then export to After Effects by choosing File> Export > After Effects.  While this results in all of your AI Type Objects becoming AE Text Layers, not all AI features are supported.  Be sure to review Supported and non-supported features when you export to After Effects (https://helpx.adobe.com/ca/xd/kb/open-after-effects-files-in-xd.ug.html).

 

Based on your screen shots, you might combine directly importing your layered Illustrator file as a Comp with exporting to After Effects from Adobe XD for quick results while best maintianing the appearance of yout AI design on the AE side.

 

 

-Warren

 

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Participant ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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Is this a recent change because I have been importing text layers from Illustrator for the past three years with no problem?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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No, this is not a recent change.  We've been able to import Illustrator since, well, almost forever - even when it used to be EPS based - but we've never been able to convert Illustrator Text Objects directly.  As long as the Text Object is on it's own layer at the root level of the Illustrator document, you can import and animate it like any other layer.  You just can't convert it.

 

Convert to Editable Text is a direct result of the Photoshop Type Engine being re-written to work inside of After Effects.  As such, it requires that the source layer be a Photoshop Type Layer.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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Only properly set up Photoshop files have the ability to convert a text layer to editable text. Save the text layers in your AI (Illustrator) file as a PSD (Photoshop) file and if the text layer is properly set up in Photoshop you can convert it to editable text in After Effects.

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Participant ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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Is this a recent change because I have been importing text layers from Illustrator for the past three years with no problem?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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Never was an option with AI layers. You have always had to export the AI file as a PSD with editable text. Always. 

 

Here's a tutorial. 

Don't have time to dig through the feature notes from previous versions but I've been using AE for more than 25 years and using Illustrator and Photoshop to create graphics for about the same length of time. AI to editable text has never been an option, but it's been a feature request by many for a very long time.

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New Here ,
Mar 17, 2022 Mar 17, 2022

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ok this photoshop solution dosnt work. when I select convert too layerd comp it just precomps the orginal layer with no seperation. It seems like coverting text from other programs was an after thought to the adobe programsers. Like why is this process still so defficult? I should be able to just drag and drop from phtoshop or illustartor into after effects.  

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 17, 2022 Mar 17, 2022

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Yes, exporting Illustrator to Photosop works; however, there are a few things that must be done correctly in the process.  From what you've described when you convert to a layered Comp, it seems that you still have an Illustrator document.

 

And yes, it would be amazing if we had an "Optimize for After Effects" option on the Illustrator side and a corresponding Illustrator Importer on the After Effects side (something like what we have for Adobe Animate FLA files in recent versions of After Effects).

 

It's not so much an after thought as there are different teams working with different code bases.  When Text Layers were added to After Effects, fortunately the AE team chose to use the Photoshop Type Engine, giving us the ability to Convert Photoshop Text to Editable Text.

 

Remember Mac OS 9?  That support dragging and dropping to the Finder and then that could be dragged and dropped just about anywhere else.  It wasn't an organized way to work (and I think vectors got rasterized), but it worked.

 

Okay... back to option 2 from my post from May 13, 2021:

  • Export the Illustrator document to a layered Photoshop document by choosing File > Export > Export As, then choose Photoshop with Write Layers and Preserve Text Editability enabled while in Illustrator. Import the resulting PS file as a Composition and then use Convert to Editable Text.
  • Here's a timelapse made from screen shots of the process: https://f.io/0tPnj6ZP

 

 

 

- Warren

 

 

 

 

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