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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
We know that how you actually present data has a huge impact on how people perceive that data. Now, in this particular example here in this file called customizing.ai, I'm actually comparing surf heights over time across a week basically between both Hawaii and California. However there may be times when working for example, with a line chart also makes sense. Where I can actually click on this, double-click on the Graph tool over here, choose the Line option and click OK and change and see how that data is now represented by a line. But what if there was some way to actually combine the two? What if I could overlay data presented as a line on top of data that's presented as columns? Well, Illustrator does allow you to do that and let me show you how.
I am actually going to press Command+Z to go back to the original graph the way it was before, basically a regular plain column graph. I'll deselect the artwork right now, so I have nothing selected and I'm going to select my Group Selection tool. If you don't actually have it appearing here inside of your Tools panel, you will see that it's beneath the Direct Selection tool. So, I'm going to use the Group Selection tool here and what I would like to do is I would actually like to have the Hawaii data set displayed in columns, but I would like the California data set to be displayed as a line. So, you remember that before when I wanted to actually the type of graph, I would select the entire graph and then I would open up the Graph Type dialog box to change the type. Well, now instead of selecting the entire graph, I'm only going to select the range of data that I want to change. So, I come over here to the legend and I'll click once on this square right over here, just to select that one and I'll again to select that entire group and now I have the California data series selected.
Now, I can go to the Object menu and I can choose Graph, Type to bring up the Graph Type dialog box and now I'll change it to the Line option. But again because I only had the California data selected, the changes that I'm making right now will only apply to that particular data set. So, now when I click OK, I can see that I have now the original columns which represent Hawaii and I have the California data displayed as a line. What's great about this is I don't have to actually have two separate graphs overlap on top of each other, the data all comes from the same location, the same place.
That means if I now need to edit or change data, I would update the data in just one data window and my graph which is made up of both columns and lines, a combination of those two, all gets updated at one time. In addition, from a pure formatting perspective you might even say that the data as it's represented right now is more readable or more understandable than it was before. Again it's really important to realize that how you present your data has a huge impact on how people actually read and perceive that data. This is just one example of how that might be possible, but again for each project that you are working on, it's important to realize what the most important information is and it's your job to try to find the way to best present that.
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