In Illustrator, you can create different types of graphs and customize them to suit your needs. Click and hold the Graph tool () in the Tools panel to see all different types of graphs you can create.
Select a graph tool.
The Graph tool you use initially determines the type of graph Illustrator generates. For example, to create a column graph, select the Column Graph tool. However, you can easily change the type of graph later. For details, see Change graph type.
Drag diagonally from the corner where you want the graph to begin to the opposite corner. Alt‑drag (Windows) or Option‑drag (macOS) to draw the graph from its center. Hold down Shift to constrain the graph to a square.
Click where you want to create the graph. Enter a width and height for the graph, and click OK.
Note: The dimensions you define are for the main body of the graph and do not encompass the graph’s labels and legend.
Enter data for the graph in the Graph Data window. For more details, see Enter graph data.
Graph data must be arranged in a specific order, which varies by graph type.
You use the Graph Data window to enter the data for your graph. The Graph Data window appears automatically when you use a graph tool and stays open until you close it.
|Enter the data|
|B||Import data||Import data saved as a text file|
Switch the columns and rows of data
Switch the x and u axes of graphs
Adjust the column width or decimal precision of cells
|F||Revert||Revert the changes you've made in the graph data|
|G||Apply||Apply the changes you've made in the graph data|
Select a cell in the worksheet, and enter the data in the text box at the top of the window. Press Tab to input the data and select the next cell in the same row; press Enter or Return to input the data and select the next cell in the same column; use the arrow keys to move from cell to
cell;or simply click another cell to select it.
Copy data from a spreadsheet application such as Lotus® 1‑2‑3 or Microsoft Excel. In the Graph Data window, click the cell that will be the upper‑left cell of the data you paste and choose Edit > Paste.
Create a text file using a word-processing application. While entering your data, separate the data for each cell by a tab and the data for each row by a paragraph return. The data should only contain decimal points or decimal commas; otherwise, the data is not plotted. (For example, enter 732000, not 732,000.) In the Graph Data window, click the cell that will be the upper‑left cell of the data you import, click the Import Data
button () ,and select the text file.
- If you accidentally enter graph data backward (that is, in rows instead of columns, or vice versa), click the Transpose button () to switch the columns and rows of data.
- To switch the x and y axes of scatter graphs, click the Switch X/Y button ().
Labels are words or numbers that describe two things:
- The sets of data you want to compare
- The categories across which you want to compare them
A. Data set labels B. Blank cell C. Category labels
|A||Data set labels||Enter labels for the different sets of data in the top row of cells. These labels appear in the legend.|
|B||Blank cell||To generate a legend for the graph, leave the upper-left cell blank.|
|C||Category||Enter labels for the categories in the left column of cells.|
For column, stacked column, bar, stacked bar, line, area, and radar graphs, enter labels in the worksheet as follows:
If you want Illustrator to generate a legend for the graph, delete the contents of the upper‑left cell and leave the cell blank.
Enter labels for the different sets of data in the top row of cells. These labels will appear in the legend. If you don’t want Illustrator to generate a legend, don’t enter data‑set labels.
Enter labels for the categories in the left column of cells. Categories are often units of time, such as days, months, or years. These labels appear along either the horizontal axis or vertical axis of the graph, with the exception of radar graphs, for which each label results in a separate axis.
To create labels consisting only of numbers, enclose the numbers in straight quotation marks. For example, enter "2013" to use the year 2013 as a label.
To create line breaks in labels, use the vertical bar key to separate lines. For example, type Total|Sales|2013 to produce the following graph label:
After you enter the labels for your graph, you’re ready to enter each set of data under the appropriate column.
Stacked column graphs
Stacked bar graphs
A scatter graph differs from the other kinds of graphs in that both axes measure values; there are no categories.
- Enter dataset labels in every other cell along the top row of the worksheet, starting with the first cell. These labels will appear in the legend.
- Enter yaxis data in the first column and xaxis data in the second column.
Note: Disable the option Connect Data Points to remove connecting lines.
You can organize data sets for pie graphs similarly to other graphs. However, each row of data in the worksheet generates a separate graph.
- Enter dataset labels as for column, stacked column, bar, stacked bar, line, area, and radar graphs. Enter category labels if you want to generate graph names.
- To create a single pie graph, plot only one row of data, either all positive or all negative values.
- To create multiple pie graphs, plot additional rows of data, either all positive or all negative values. By default, the size of the individual pie graphs is proportional to the total of each graph’s data.
To view more or fewer digits in a column, adjust the column width. This change has no effect on the width of columns in the graph.
You can combine different graph types in one graph. For example, you may want one set of data to appear as a column graph and other sets of data to appear as a line graph. You can combine any type of graph with any other, with the exception of scatter graphs. Scatter graphs cannot be combined with any other graph type.
- If a graph uses more than one graph type, you may want one set of data along the right axis and the other set of data along the left axis. In this way, each axis measures different data.
- If you use stacked column graphs with other graph types, be sure to use the same axis for all sets of data that are represented by stacked column graphs. If some sets of data use the right axis while others use the left, the column heights may be misleading or may overlap.
You can format graphs in a variety of ways. For example, you can change the appearance and position of the graph’s axes, add drop shadows, and move the legend.
Moreover, you can change the colors of shading, typeface, and typestyle; move, reflect, shear, rotate, or scale any or all parts of the graph; and customize column and marker designs. You can apply transparency, gradients, blends, brush strokes, graphic styles, and other effects to graphs. Always apply such customizations in the end, because regenerating the graph removes them.
Select parts of a graph
A graph is a grouped object that is related to its data. Ungrouping the graph may disable you to make the desired changes. To edit a graph, select the parts you want to edit without ungrouping the graph, using either the Direct Selection tool () or the Group Selection tool ().
Elements of a graph are related to each other. The entire graph with its legends is one group. All the sets of data are a subgroup of the graph; in turn, each set of data with its legend box is a subgroup of all the sets of data. Each value is a subgroup of its set of data, and so on. Avoid ungrouping or regrouping objects that are within the graph.
Without moving the Group Selection tool pointer from the legend, click again. All of the columns grouped with the legend are selected.
You can also select a group by clicking one of its parts, clicking again to select columns grouped with it, and clicking a third time to select the legend. Each click adds another layer of grouped objects to the selection, beginning with the next group up in the hierarchy. You can click as many times as the number of groups to add to a selection.
Do one of the following:
- Choose Object > Transform > Scale or double-click the Scale tool () and specify the desired values in the Scale dialog box.
- Select the Scale tool () and drag anywhere in the document window until the object is the desired size.
For details, see Scale, shear, and distort objects.
Change the graph type
In the Graph Type dialog box, click the button that corresponds to the desired graph type, and click OK.
Once graph objects are painted with gradients, changing graph types can cause unexpected results. To prevent undesirable results, either do not apply gradients until the graph is finished, or use the Direct Selection tool to select gradient-painted objects and paint those objects with a process color; then reapply the original gradients.
Format a graph's axes
With the exception of pie graphs, all graphs have a value axis which displays the unit of measurement for the graph. You can choose to display the value axis on one side or both sides of the graph. Bar, stacked bar, column, stacked column, line, and area graphs also have a category axis which defines the categories of data in the graph.
You can control how many tick marks appear on each axis, change the length of tick marks, and add a prefix and suffix to numbers on the axis.
To format tick marks and labels, select an axis from the pop‑up menu at the top of the dialog box, and set the following options:
Determines the placement of tick marks on value axes, left axes, right axes, bottom axes, or top axes. Select Override Calculated Values to manually calculate the placement of tick marks. Either accept the values set when you created the graph or enter a minimum value, a maximum value, and the number of divisions between labels.
Example: Enter a minimum value, a maximum value, and the number of divisions between labels Example: To determine the placement of tick marks, specify the Tick Values.
Determines the length of tick marks and number of tick marks per division. For category axes, select Draw Tick Marks Between Labels to draw tick marks on either side of the labels or columns, or deselect the option to center tick marks over the labels or columns.
Example: Select None as the length of tick marks Example: Select Short as the length of tick marks Example: Select Fyll Width as the length of tick marks
Specifies a prefix and suffix for numbers on value axes, left axes, right axes, bottom axes, or top axes. For example, you can add a dollar sign or percent sign to axis numbers.
Assign different scales to the value axes
If your graph has a value axis on both sides, you can assign a different set of data to each axis. This causes Illustrator to generate a different scale for each axis. This technique is especially useful when you combine different graph types in the same graph.
Format columns, bars, and lines
For column, stacked column, bar, and stacked bar graphs, you can adjust the amount of space between each column or bar in the graph. You can also adjust the amount of space between the categories, or clusters, of data in the graph. For line, scatter, and radar graphs, you can adjust the appearance of lines and data points.
To adjust the space between columns and bars in a column, stacked column, bar, or stacked bar graph, enter a value between 1% and 1000% in the Column Width, Bar Width, or Cluster Width text box.
A value greater than 100% causes the columns, bars, or clusters to overlap one another. A value less than 100% leaves space between the columns, bars, or clusters. A value of 100% moves the columns, bars, or clusters flush against each other.
To adjust lines and data points in a line, scatter, and radar graph, set the following options:
- Mark Data Points: Places square markers at each data point.
- Connect Data Points: Draws lines that make it easier to see relationships among data.
- Edge‑to‑Edge Lines: Draws lines that extend across the graph, from left to right along the horizontal (x) axis. This option is not available for scatter graphs.
- Draw Filled Lines: Creates a wider line according to the value you enter in the Line Width text box, and which fills the line with paint according to the specifications for that series of data. This option becomes available when you select Connect Data Points.
To change how columns, bars, and lines overlap, set the following options:
First Row In Front: Controls how the categories, or clusters, of data in a graph
overlapwhen the Cluster Width is greater than 100%. This option is the most useful when working with column and bar graphs.
First Column In Front: Places the column, bar, or line that corresponds to the first column of data in the Graph Data window on top. This option also determines which column is on top for
columnand stacked column graphs with a Column Width greater than 100% and for bar and stacked bar graphs with a Bar Width greater than 100%.
Always select First Column In Front for area graphs. Some areas may not appear if you don't select this option.
Format pie graphs
You can change the placement of the legend and how wedges are sorted in pie graphs. You can also specify how you want to display multiple pie graphs.
- To change the placement of the legend, select one of the following options for Legend:
- No Legend: Omits legends entirely.
- Standard Legend: Places column labels outside the graph; this is the default. Use this option when you combine pie graphs with other kinds of graphs.
- Legends In Wedges: Inserts labels into the corresponding wedges.
A. Standard Legend B. Legends In Wedges C. No Legend
Stacked: Stacks each pie graph on top of the other, and each graph is sized proportionally to each other.
All: Sorts the wedges of the selected pie graphs from largest to smallest value proceeding clockwise from the top of the pie graph.
First: Sorts the wedges of the selected pie graphs so that the largest value in the first graph will be placed in the first wedge, and the rest will sort from largest to smallest. All other graphs will follow the order of the wedges in the first graph.
None: Sorts the wedges of the selected pie graphs in the order in which you entered values proceeding clockwise from the top of the graphs.
- To change the placement of the legend, select one of the following options for Legend:
Change the position of a legend
By default, the legend is displayed to the right of the graph. However, you can choose to display it horizontally across the top of the graph.
Format the text in a graph
Illustrator uses a default font and font size when generating text for the graph’s labels and legend. However, you can easily change the formatting of type to add visual interest to your graph.
Add drop shadows
You can use graph designs to add illustrations to columns and markers. Graph designs can be simple drawings, logos, or other symbols representing values in a graph; they can also be complex objects that contain patterns and guide objects. Illustrator comes with a variety of preset graph designs. In addition, you can create new graph designs and store them in the Graph Design dialog box.
You can apply graph design to columns in several ways:
Uniformly scaled design
Is scaled both vertically and horizontally. The horizontal spacing of the designs is not adjusted for the different widths.
Stacks a design to fill the columns. You can specify the value that each design represents, as well as whether you want to chop or scale designs that represent fractions.
Is similar to a vertically scaled design, except that you can specify where in the design to stretch or compress it. For example, if you were using a person to represent data, you might stretch or compress only the body, but not the head. Using the Vertically Scaled option would scale the entire person.
Illustrator comes with a variety of preset designs that you can use in your graphs. You can also transfer the graph designs you create between documents.
To import preset graph designs, navigate to the Cool Extras/Sample Files/Graph Designs folder inside the Illustrator application folder. Then select a graph designs file, and click Open.
To import graph designs from another document, select the document, and click Open.
Initially, all that appears is a new panel with colors, gradients, and patterns from the imported file. However, the imported graph designs will be available when you open the Graph Column or Graph Marker dialog box.
If you choose Repeating Column Type, enter a value in the Each Design Represents text box. Alsoselect whether to chop or scale any fractions of the design from the For Fractions pop‑up menu. Chop Design cuts off a fraction of the top design as necessary; Scale Design scales the last design to fit in the column.
Click and type a percent sign (%) followed by two digits from 0 to 9. The digits control how the data is displayed.
The first digit determines how many places appear before the decimal point. For example, if your total was 122, a digit of 3 would display 122. If you enter 0 for the first digit, the program adds the number of places necessary for the value.
The second digit determines how many places appear after the decimal point. Zeros are added as necessary, and values are rounded up or down as necessary. You can vary these numbers, depending on how many digits you need.
You can reuse a graph design that you created and edit it to make a new design. If you have the original artwork, you can alter it and then rename the design using the Graph Design dialog box.
If you don’t have the original artwork defined as a graph design, you can retrieve the original by pasting the graph design into your artwork.