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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.
I've saved my progress as From 80 to 100.ai after the range of percentage values that you're seeing over here in the value axis. It's found inside the 27_graphs folder. And in this exercise, I'm going to show you how to modify the data that's associated with an existing graph. So as you may recall a few exercises back, when we first created this column graph, we imported some data as a tab-delimited text file. Well, that data is still up for grabs. So I can change the numerical values, I can change the labels for either the value or category axis, I can change the legend information, and so forth.
To do so, you'd want to click on the graph to make sure it's selected, press Ctrl+H or Command+H in my case to hide those selection edges, right-click inside the illustration window, and then choose the next command after Type, which is the Data command. And that brings up that familiar little spreadsheet window. Now we saw how to import data, and you can import more data if you want to. But instead, I'm going to move to the next icon over, which allows me to transpose the row and column information-- that is to say, I'm going to take the first row and I'm going to transpose it with the first column, so that I'll see the years across the top and Harmony, Joy, and Peace down this first column.
However, I want you to also notice one of these values. Let's say notice in the year 2012 that the Joy index is set to 85%. Well, as soon as I go ahead and transpose the row and column information, not only do I see the years across the top and Harmony, Joy, and Peace down the side, but also in year 2012, Joy is still set to 85%. That's very important. So in other words, all of the information is transposed throughout the chart. Now, as soon as I go ahead and click on the check mark in order to apply that data, I don't switch up the axis information. Notice that.
So the value axis is still set to the numerical information--that is, that percentage information there. What I do go ahead and switch is the category axis for the legend. So now I've got three bars that are grouped together--clustered, that is--for Harmony, and another three bars for Joy and then three bars for Peace, each of which represent information for 2012, 2022, and 2032. Now, let's say I want to switch that information back. Of course, I can click on that Transpose button once again, and then click on the check mark.
But another way to work--and I just want to make this clear because it's easy to think of the check mark is being a kind of preview function, because we do keep the Data window up on screen here. But it's not a preview function. It actually goes ahead and applies your changes. So, if you want to un-apply your changes, you need to go up to the Edit menu and choose one of the strangest commands ever, Undo Graph Data OK. Or better yet, just press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, and that goes ahead and switches that information back to the way it was before. You can also add information.
So I can click in this first empty row here, and I could enter double quote--I know that's impossible to see what that is, but that is a double quote character-- 2042, then press the Tab key. One way to advance to the right is to press Tab. If you want to move down, you press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. However, if you're used to working inside of let's say Microsoft Excel, or really any normal spreadsheet program, then you might press Shift+Tab to go to the left, or you'd press Shift+Enter or Shift+Return to go up. Well, that's not the way it works in Illustrator. So the easiest thing to do is to just use the Arrow keys to move around here.
So you could just press the Right Arrow key, for example to move right and the Left Arrow key to move back. All right! So I'm going to enter 96 for Harmony, press the Right Arrow key, enter 97 for Joy, press right arrow, and 100 let's say for Peace. Press right arrow again, and then click the check mark in order to apply your changes. Now notice that this point that the graph did not get wider. So the graph is still that same 280 points wide, and I say 280 points because that's the size that we made the graph a few exercises back.
Instead, what Illustrator does, if you add more data, it just crams more data into that chart, so it's making the columns and clusters that much narrower. If you decide against that change, then you can go ahead and select multiple cells at a time. So I just went ahead and dragged across this entire row. And then to delete all of that data, you don't press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac, because that'll just delete one cell of data at a time; instead you go up to the Edit menu and you choose the Cut command. Or you can press Ctrl+X, Command+X on the Mac, and that's going to get rid of all of that selected information. All right! Now I go ahead and click the check mark again in order to update that data.
A couple of other things you might want to know. You've got this guy right here, the Switch x/y icon, and you'll notice that it's perpetually dimmed, and that's because it's exclusively applicable to scatter graphs. If you're creating a column graph or a bar graph or a pie graph or a line chart or any of those other things, it's going to be unavailable. Next, we've got this Cell style option; it just affects the cells inside the spreadsheet. So if I click on it and I say you know what, I want the number of decimals set to 2 digits and the column width set to 10 digits. So our columns are going to get a little bit narrower here.
When I click OK, you'll also see that we have two digits worth of precision after the decimal point. However, if I go ahead and click on the check mark, nothing happens to the actual graph, and that's because this option only applies to the cells inside of the spreadsheet window. All right! I'm going to change it back, because I don't like these settings at all, and then I'll click OK in order to restore our original cell settings. This guy right here, Revert, is only useful if you've made some changes and then change your mind before you click Apply.
So let's say I go ahead and transpose the rows and columns, like so. So again, we've got the years across the top, Harmony, Joy, and Peace down the side, and then you think better of it. Well, don't click the check mark; instead, go ahead and click on Revert, and that will send these guys back to the way that they were before, including my cell changes right there, because I neglected to click the check mark after I changed the cell style, which is very ironic because it doesn't actually affect the graph. Anyway, I'll go back, change those. I think that's still fairly illuminating. Click OK. And then I would make sure to click the check mark. But you might notice at this point I'm really haven't done anything.
We're still looking at the same old graph we ever were. I'm going to change the word Joy to Joyful and then press the Tab key and change the word Peace to Peaceful, like so, and then go ahead and click on the check mark. And we now have Peaceful, Joyful, and Harmony-- I guess it should be harmonious. But you know what, I'm going to put that one aside. We're going to come back to Harmony later, because I want you to see that sometimes when you make data changes you can mess things up. And that'll be after we make some manual changes to our graph. For now, I'm going to close this spreadsheet window by clicking on that little close box.
And that's how you make changes to the data that's associated with an existing graph. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to make manual designer- level modifications.
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