How To Skew Text In Illustrator

Understanding how text may be skewed in Illustrator to get the appropriate appearance is crucial when dealing with text. There are several methods for skewing text, and each has advantages and disadvantages of its own.

You can easily skew text in Illustrator by any one of the three methods discussed in this article; which includes using the shear tool, using the shear dialog, or by using the rotate tool.

Keep reading for more information.

How To Skew Text In Illustrator

You can skew text in Illustrator via three methods, all of which are discussed in this section.

For more information on how to skew text in Illustrator, watch this video below:

Using the Shear Tool

Follow the steps below to use the shear tool for skewing text.

Step 1: Select Text

  1. The “Selection Tool” may be found in the Tools panel; alternatively, you can hit “V” and then click the text item you wish to skew. 
  2. Click “Windows” and then “Tools” to reveal the Tools menu if you can’t see it. 
  3. By selecting the circle on the relevant layer or sublayer, you may also choose the text from the Layers panel. 

The Shearing Tool runs on properly formatted text objects, so you are not required to change the text object beforehand, such as by transforming it to outlines.

Step 2: Select Shearing Tool

  1. From the Tools panel, select the “Shearing Tool.” 
  2. You may be required to click and hold the “Scale Tool” to view the Shearing Tool option because by default, it is hidden below the Scale Tool.

Step 3: Position Anchor Points

  1. To position the anchor, simply click anywhere within the current document. The anchor’s distance from the text object’s horizontal or vertical center determines how much the horizontal and vertical shearing shift compared to this point, with a closer anchor indicating a somewhat more subtle skew. 
  2. Place the anchor towards the middle or leave it out altogether for dramatic effects. Without an anchor, the text object’s vertical and horizontal centers are taken into consideration.

Step 4: Skew Text

  • To skew the text left or right, drag it horizontally while holding down the “Shift” key. 

This will keep the text’s natural height. Holding down the “Shift” key will keep the text’s normal width as you drag the mouse cursor vertically to slant it.

Using the Shear Dialog

Step 1: Use Shear Tool

  1. Double-click the “Shear” Tool to launch the Shear window after selecting the text that you wish to distort. 
  2. Similarly, you may shear the text by selecting it with the right-click menu after selecting “Transform.” 
  3. You may also select “Transform” and afterwards “Shear” by clicking “Object” in the top menu.

Step 2: Check Preview

  • For a real-time demonstration of the shearing result as you input values, select “Preview.”  This selection is not made by default.

Step 3: Add Shear Angle 

  • Fill out the “Shear Angle” section with a value within -359 and 359 degrees. This figure indicates the angle of tilt off the shear axis in relation to a perpendicular line.

Step 4: Transfer Shear Angle to Axis

  1. To transfer the shear angle to the proper axis, choose “Horizontal” or “Vertical.” 
  2. As another option, to vary the shear angle by that many degrees off the horizontal axis, specify a number between -359 and 359 inside the Axis Angle box.

Step 5: Apply Shearing Effect

  1. To use the shearing effect, click “OK”. 
  2. Alternatively, you can select “Copy” to make a distorted copy of the text while leaving the original content intact.

Using Rotate Tool

Honestly, the Rotate Tool (keyboard shortcut R) skews text just as well as the Shear Tool.

  1. Following the addition of text to the artboard, select the Rotate Tool from the toolbar. To adjust the text’s layout, either manually enter the angle or click and drag over the text.
  2. An anchor point will appear on the text if you use the Rotate Tool, much like when you use the Shear Tool. The rotation anchor may be moved by clicking on the text, and the text can also be rotated by clicking and dragging.
  3. For instance, if you click on a letter’s middle region and drag it, the text will rotate in accordance to that anchor point.
  4. Double click on the Rotate Tool to specify the rotate angle directly.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Skewing Text

It’s critical to be mindful of the following while skewing text:

  1. Text that has been skewed might have a different meaning.
  2. Skewed text can have a different look.
  3. Text that has been skewered may have a different arrangement.

Thus, skewing text in Illustrator may have unforeseen and unfavorable outcomes. When skewing text, proceed with caution and think about different ways to get the desired result.


Although Adobe Illustrator doesn’t have a dedicated skew tool, you may simply skew text using the Shear Tool or Rotate Tool. Try to avoid dragging excessively when skewing text utilizing the Shear Tool so as to avoid distorting it.