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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I'm going to tour you through the other options that are available to you in the Graph Type dialog box. I'm still working inside of Baby's first column graph.ai. I am going to go ahead and click on a graph to select it here inside the illustration window, press Ctrl+H--or Command+H on the Mac--to hide the selection edges, and then right-click anywhere inside the illustration window. It doesn't matter if you right-click on a graph or not, to bring up that Shortcut menu and choose the Type command. Now, I've already shown you how these icons allow you to switch the graph variety, the kind of graph that you're working with.
These other options are a little more nuanced, sometimes; some of them are quite dreadful. Actually, this is a great example of a dreadful setting right here, Add Drop Shadow. I want you to see how that looks. I'll go ahead and turn on Add Drop Shadow, and let's try out a few other things. I am going to add the legend across the top. So instead of seeing the legend over here on the right-hand side, we'll see it along the top of the graph. I'll also say, instead of having the value axis, the percentage points over here on the left-hand side, you can put them on the right-hand side or you can put them on both sides.
Let's do that, just to see what it looks like. I'll click OK, just so that we can get a first sense of what's going on here. So there is the legend at the top. There's the value axis over here on the left-hand side and the right-hand side, and there are those utterly horrible drop shadows. Notice that you have no control over them whatsoever. They're always black and they appear up and to the right, which is just crazy. Anyway, you don't want those. If you want to add a drop shadow, by all means go for it, but use the Drop Shadow effect under the Effect menu instead.
All right, I am going to right-click once again and choose the Type command, and let's go ahead and reset a few of these options. I am going to switch the Value Axis back to the left side. I'm going to turn off the drop shadow, but of course. I'm going to set the legend back where it was. So instead of having the legend across the top, the other alternative is that it appears on the right-hand side. I'll show you also, you can manually move the legend around if you want to. We'll see that in a future exercise. Notice down here at the bottom, we've got these options, these numerical options: Column Width and Cluster Width. Now, what that means, the cluster width is the width of all the columns together.
So if it was set to 100%--I'll go ahead and take it up to 100% for a moment-- then the 2012 columns would touch the 2022 columns, like so. I'll go ahead and click OK so you can see what that looks like. Notice that there's no space between the bars anymore. I'll right-click again, choose the Type command again. And this time in order to get a sense of what the column width looks like--and it's kind of silly that I keep moving the dialog box, because there is no preview to check out in the background here. But I do want you to be able to very easily see the difference between the graph that you're seeing now on screen and the one that you see after I click the OK button.
All right, let's say I decide to take the Column Width value down to 50%. That means that each one of the columns is going to be 50% of its current 100% width. So I'll click OK, and notice that the columns shrink, but they're evenly spaced because the Cluster Width is set to 100%. All right! Now, I'll go ahead and right-click. Choose Type again. This gets very fun after a while to have to choose that command over and over. Imagine now that I take the Cluster Width value down to say 80%, and then I'll increase the Column Width to 120%.
You can go beyond 100 if you want to. Notice that it says First Column in Front; the First Column in Front check box is turned on. I'll click OK, and notice now that these columns overlap each other. Because they're 120% thick, they're spaced between one group of columns, one cluster and the next, because I took that Cluster value down to 80%. But let's say we want the Peace bars to be on top instead of the Harmony bars. Well, then you'd right-click again, choose Type of course, and then you turn off First Column in Front. Click OK.
That means the last column becomes in front. So either the first column is in front or the last column; you cannot set one of the middle columns in front. And you end up getting this effect here. So different ways to work. None of these are really what I'm looking for, so I'll right-click, choose Type again, and I'm going to go ahead and reset these values to the way they were. I'll change the Column Width value to 100 and the Cluster Width value to 90%. Because the columns aren't going to be overlapping each other, it doesn't matter what the First Column in Front check box is set to. All right, so let's check out a few of the other options.
I am going to switch over to Value Axis, and you can override the calculated values. So we're looking at the Value Axis, which is over here on the left-hand side, the percentage points, and currently the Minimum percentage is 0 and the Maximum is 10. And that's something that Illustrator has determined automatically for us based on the values that we're graphing. Well, you can override that information. Notice that the distance between these values is not very significant. The people of our island here have been very high on the Peace, Joy, Harmony index for a long time--ever since 2012 when the island was first invented, and so we need to be able to stretch out these differences.
So I am going to turn on Override Calculated Values, and I'm going to change the Minimum value to 80. And I will leave Maximum at 100, that's just fine, because you can't go beyond 100%. And then, I'll dial in some random Divisions value, let's say 6. We'll see what that looks like. And then I'm going to change the length of the Tick Marks from Short--and the Tick Marks are these little guys right here on the left-hand side of the graph-- I am going to change them from Short to Full Width. Then you can draw in a certain number of tick marks per division as well. So in other words, instead of just seeing one tick mark per every numerical label here, you can see many more.
We're not going to do that, however, so I'll just go ahead and click OK to see what this looks like. We end up getting these tick marks that go across the full width of the graph. That's great! I've also restored my column widths, as you can see. So the columns inside of a cluster touch each other, because they are 100% thick, but the clusters themselves leave a little bit of room, because they're 90%. However, because I started at 80 and ended at 100 and I have these six divisions in between, we end up getting this ludicrous amount of distinction here. And Illustrator adds all these decimal places, because after all, 83.333333 involves an infinite series of 3s after the decimal point.
So anyway, it's my fault. I need to change the number of divisions. So I'll right-click, once again, choose the Type command, and I'll switch from Graph Options to Value Axis, and the number of divisions we really need to make things work out is 5. So I'll just take that one down and click OK, and sure enough, that absolutely resolves our problem. And these are the five divisions, by the way. 80 is our starting point, then and 84 is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, up here to 100, just something to bear in mind when you are trying to figure out divisions of your own.
All right! Now, I'm going to right- click, choose the Type command. There is one more group of settings we can edit, and that's the options for the Category Axis. The Category Axis, by the way, is going to be the bottom axis in this chart-- that is to say the years. And right now we have short little tick marks that are located in the centers of the clusters. So we can't see them; they're covered up by the bars. But you can move them if you want to. Instead of having them be centered, you could say, you know, I want the tick marks to appear between the labels and you know what, I want them to be the full width. Notice it says Width. It really means height, but that's okay.
The full width will make these lines a full height of the graph. Now, I'll click OK, and we'll end up getting this effect here. So the tick mark has moved in between the clusters, like so, and it is now the full width--that is, height--of the chart. All right, I don't want that though, so I am going to just go ahead and right-click, choose Type, and I am going to switch back to Category Axis, and I'm going to go ahead and turn off Draw tick marks between labels. That will center those tick marks and they'll appear right through the center of each cluster, like so. Again, not exactly what I'm looking for, but I just want you to see how it works.
Right-click again, choose Type. Here is what I am looking for, what I had before, in fact. I'll go ahead and switch to Category Axis, and I'll set the Length, which is really the height, to Short, and then I'll click OK. And that is the initial graph. That's how I want to position things at the beginning here. That isn't the final effect we're going for, of course. In the next exercise, I'll show you yet another way to modify graphs automatically inside of Illustrator, and that's by adjusting the data.
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