Wondering how to change text to vector so I can align things better
For aligning please take a look at the text options in the align panel and at glyph snapping options.
In order to outline text: Type > Create Outlines
IMO that is not required. There are several ways to align characters as live text.
But nevertheless: menu Type --> Create Outlines
😄 Monika beat me
for a second I thought I was in the wrong forum...
In a somewhat recent update Adobe added a couple options for vertical text alignment with other objects in the Align palette. Click on the options fly-out menu on the upper right corner of the palette. Go down to "Align to Glyph Bounds." Choose either Point Text or Area Text (or both). Usually I have to vertically center-align Point Text objects to other objects. The alignment trick also works best if you start out aligning a squared off cap letter like "E" into position and then using that dummy letter to enter your text. Otherwise the overall size of the letters will be aligned, including anything rising above the cap line or hanging below the baseline.
Speaking of baselines, it would be nice if Illustrator could align (and distribute) text objects according to their baselines. I've requested the feature a while back but haven't seen any developments thus far. I do like some of the other recent additions, like the font height sizing options. I'd like to use something faster than Smart Guides to position point text objects though.
you can try this script snippet that I wrote two years ago.
If that works for you
Your script snippet could be useful in some cases. Usually I need to align point text objects to other kinds of non-text objects. I almost always need key-object functions (one object of choice staying locked in place while others align to it).
CorelDRAW doesn't have anything similar to Illustrator's Font Height Options, but point text objects in that application are always referenced according to their glyph bounds. Only area text objects in that application have a bounding box containing them. The alignment functions in CorelDRAW always hold the last object shift-clicked into a selection locked in place. No extra clicks are required to define a key object like in Illustrator. Plus the T, B, L, R, C & E keys are shortcuts for alignment functions (btw there are more shortcuts than that, but those are the major ones). CorelDRAW also includes options for aligning text objects to other objects according to baseline. For multi-line text objects you can align using the top or bottom baseline of the text object. You can also distribute multiple text objects according to their baselines. All of this allows for certain kinds of tasks to be done very quickly and easily. I'm just mentioning that rival application as an example of features I'm requesting already being available elsewhere. I still prefer Illustrator for a lot of other kinds of tasks.