Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating a chart


Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

with Mordy Golding

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Creating a chart

In this movie we are going to start with the basics. We are just going to create some very basic charts just to get a feel for what it's like to actually create these graphs. Then we'll talk about later how to actually the format data that looks so on and so forth. So I'm just going to start off by creating a regular plain print document here. Click OK to accept that and I'm going to go over here to my Tools panel and I'm actually going to see that there is something here called a Column Graph tool. If I click and I hold my mouse button down, I'll see that there are many different tools. In fact there are nine different Graph tools inside of Illustrator, each of them creating a different kind of graph. But here is a little secret.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 35s
    1. Introducing the trace options
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 57s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 24s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 47s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 58s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 44s
    1. Introducing distortions
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 45s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 56s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 22s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
9h 42m Intermediate Apr 03, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Tracing artwork both automatically and manually
  • Mapping artwork to complex 3D surfaces
  • Using pressure-sensitive distortion tools
  • Recoloring artwork across a document
  • Using Excel data to create charts and graphs
  • Understanding how transparency really works
  • Creating high-quality, press-ready PDFs
  • Building efficient files with graphic styles
Mordy Golding

Creating a chart

In this movie we are going to start with the basics. We are just going to create some very basic charts just to get a feel for what it's like to actually create these graphs. Then we'll talk about later how to actually the format data that looks so on and so forth. So I'm just going to start off by creating a regular plain print document here. Click OK to accept that and I'm going to go over here to my Tools panel and I'm actually going to see that there is something here called a Column Graph tool. If I click and I hold my mouse button down, I'll see that there are many different tools. In fact there are nine different Graph tools inside of Illustrator, each of them creating a different kind of graph. But here is a little secret.

It doesn't make a difference which one of these you choose because the data that you put into it is all going to be the same and in any time you are able to actually change from one different type of graph to another. For example, if I first create a Column Graph and then I later realize I want to display the information as a line graph, I could make that change at any time. So it really doesn't make any difference which of these tools that you are going to use. In my mind, basically, I just really have to differentiate between the Column Graph tools and Pie Graph tools because those are two basic kinds that you would ever create. So in fact, I'm going to start off here with the more simple one. We are going to use a Pie Graph here. So I'm going to choose that one and the way that you actually create a graph inside of Illustrator is not that much different than creating a regular shape inside of Illustrator using things, for example, the Rectangle tool.

The first thing you are going to do is you are going to draw out an area that the graph is going to be contained within. So let's go ahead and do that right now. I can either just drag out an area since it's the pie graph, I may want to hold down the Shift key to constrain this to be, let's say a perfect circle, because right now it's going to maintain within this area here. So I'm just going to go ahead and just drag out again because everything is vector, the size for graphs doesn't really make that much of a difference. And again you could always adjust these things later anyways. So you just want to get some kind of shape or some kind of area on your artboard that you can start to fill it with data. So, now I'm going to go ahead and release the mouse and you'll see that automatically a chart was created but there is no information or no data here.

So right now I basically have just this one pie chart right here and then what I have is this thing called the data window. Now this is actually a very weird kind of element here inside of Illustrator. Normally we have things like tools and we have panels that live inside of Illustrator and they have dockable areas and regions that you can work with. And then you also have menus across the top of your screen and then some features, for example, Recolor Artwork dialog box. This is what we call a modal dialog box. So when that dialog box is open, you can only work within that dialog box and until you click Cancel or OK, you can't really touch anything at all on your artboard. Well this Graph Data window is little bit different. It's not a panel but it's not a modal dialog box either. In fact, you will notice that when this window is open, many of the things inside of your menus here are grayed out.

For example, all the objects and type options are all grayed out because you can't really adjust any of those settings at all. We are basically now in a mode where we are working with this particular graph but we do have the freedom to actually click on this artwork, for example, and move it around on the screen even though this window is open. So it's just something to keep in mind because it sometimes can be confusing, you might want to update your data then try to do something else and realize that options are grayed out. That's because this window is still open. So, the first step here we have the Graph Data window open, we need to actually add some data to create this pie chart. So many times your client might e-mail you values, or you might know them on your own. In fact, there are even ways to import data from other locations, which will get to in other movie, but for now we are just going to enter in some values. So I'll just type in 25, hit the Tab key. Notice that I have a highlighted area around the cell. This looks not unlike Excel, or any other spreadsheet program for that matter. I'll type in a value of maybe 30 here and then we'll do 45.

So now that I have added these values here again because this is not some kind of a specific panel or dialog box either, I need to somehow instruct Illustrator to now update the graph using the data that I have just entered. So there is a check mark all around far right edge over here, which says Apply. I'm actually going to click that button to apply these data settings to my charts. So now you can see that Illustrator automatically split up the pie chart based on the data that I have entered here. Now to differentiate these regions here, Illustrator also generated different values of gray. That's something that happens automatically and the only way to introduce color or your own custom values for that matter is to do so manually after you have created the chart.

Now there are actually a few buttons over here besides the Apply button. So let's take a quick look and see what these are. You know that I can actually click and highlight any of these. The values are displayed in this particular part of the window right here. If I go to this button right over here, this one is called Import Data. We are going to get to this in another movie where we learn about how to actually bring that into Illustrator from sources like Excel, for example. Now this option here is called Transpose row/column. Basically, right now everything is displayed on a single row, but if I were to click this button, everything turns into a single column and this actually does have an effect on how the data is displayed in the graph. For example, if I apply this right now, I can see that Illustrator actually creates three different pie charts at different sizes. I'll go ahead and I'll transpose the data again and click Apply and now I'm back to a single pie chart.

When you are working with multiple series of data, you will see this how this really comes into play especially so, when working with Bar or Column Graphs. Now when you have multiple series of data, you also have the ability to switch the X and Y axis which can be helpful because as we'll soon learned both Illustrator and Excel don't always display data in the same way. Now you will notice that over here even though I type in the values of 25, 30, 45, they are displayed with a decimal then two zeros after it. Well, by default Illustrator always displays values and graphs with two decimal values but you can actually change that. So I'm going to actually go over here to this button which is called Self-style. I'm going to click on it and it allows me to specify the number of decimals and also the column width, which is basically the amount of space that I see here. This is purely a cosmetic setting because your data can actually be made up of many different numbers here.

But obviously once you get beyond seven characters here, you won't be able to see the numbers, these cells don't grow. So it kind of gets truncated right here. So if you want to be able to see your data and if you are working with large numbers, you will want to increase your column width to something more than seven. So just to show you what that looks like, I'll ask you to increase this to around 15. I am also going to set the number of decimals to 0 because I don't want to see those guys and click OK. So now I can see all the fields got wider and I no longer have the decimals here. So there is also one of the buttons here which is called Revert. If I do that, it actually goes back to the last settings that I had.

Great. So we know how to create a chart, we know how to edit some of the data. Let's go ahead and change this to a Bar Graph and then see some of the settings that we have there as well. I am actually going to go ahead and close this graph window. I want the graph still highlighted and selected on my screen. I'm going to the Object menu all the way down to the bottom where it says Graph. I'm going to choose Type. Now you will notice that all different types of graphs now appear listed here at the top of this dialog box, I'm going to go ahead and choose let's say the Column one. As soon as I click OK, we'll see that it now updates to represent the data in that form. I can go back to the Data window to change the data as well by going to the Object menu, choosing Graph and then choosing Data. That opens up the Data window as we have seen before.

So this actually brings out a really important aspect of graphs inside of Illustrator. Even though I have created this graphics on my artboard, they are always tied to the data itself in this Data window right here. So when I create a chart, even though I go ahead and I style it, I may apply different colors so on and so forth, I can always come back here and choose to update the data and then the data will actually update accordingly inside of the chart. For example, let's say I wanted to add more information here. I could, let's say add a second row of values, so let's do 15, let's do 45, then let's do 35, let's say and then click on the Apply button and I could see now that I was basically able to compare values now, as I have added. When I clicked on the Apply button, it simply updated that inside of the chart on the screen.

In reality, a graph is a special kind of a group. As long as your graph stays a graph object inside of Illustrator, you will always be able to return to this Data window and update the information. However, if you were to un-group the graph, you will lose the ability to update that data and the graph simply returns to regular plain basic paths and elements as if they were joined from scratch inside of Illustrator. So once again, I'll close the Graph Data window here and you will see that certain elements have been generated automatically in this graph. For example, these values 0, 10 20, 30, 40, 50, are here automatically but we'll soon learn that we are able to control all aspects of what does or what doesn't appear in each of the graphs that you create.

There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.