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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.
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.
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