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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.
When working with graphs or charts inside of Illustrator we already know that we can specify the data or the values for that particular chart. We also know that we can format information into it for example, stuff that goes into a legend or stuff that goes into the values or the categories over here. But we can also specify additional options for how the graph itself is generated. Now, it's important to realize that a chart itself or a graph overall is actually a group inside of Illustrator, a special kind of group that is called the graph that allows you to actually modify that data at any time and have that data update inside of the chart.
However Illustrator is really smart about how it built the elements inside of the chart as well. So even though when I click on this it's one overall group which is called the Graph, there are many subgroups or nested groups inside of this overall graph. You can actually see this very easily when you go ahead and you use the Group Selection tool inside of Illustrator. I'll bring my cursor over here to the Tools panel and I'll choose the Group Selection tool. Now you will notice that when I click once on, let's say for example, this data point right here, it selects just this one object. But if I click again it selects the group that that becomes part of.
So, you will see that Illustrator really created an entire group of all these elements, which represent the values for Hawaii. If I click another time, I'll see that this area right over here in the legend also gets selected. This makes it easy for me to format that data. In fact many times it is easy for you to actually select entire series of data, just by using the Group Selection tool and clicking not once, but twice on the legend itself. I'll deselect over here and you will also notice that if I click, let's say for example, on this text over here, a second click also allows me to select all the text in that range.
Likewise for here and then click again. Don't click too quickly because then you will actually have your cursor change to the Type tool to edit that particular text element. So, you can see that Illustrator actually treats these areas as separate groups and as we'll soon see when we actually create a chart inside of Illustrator, we have the ability to actually specify how those groups themselves are created or we could even turn some of those groups off. So, just as a point of reference, it's important to realize that the values that appear along the bottom part of the graph over here are referred to as the Categories. This actual line of the chart itself is called the Category Axis and these are the Category Values. The numbers that appear vertically over here are referred to as Values. They simply represent the actual data that appears in the chart.
These numbers are actually generated automatically, but as we'll soon see we have controls to actually determine how those actually are displayed. Then you will notice over here these little lines over here, which are referred to as tick marks. In fact, there are also tick marks on the Category Axis. They are just a little bit harder to see, but they appear in between each series of data here. The main part of the graph is what is referred to as the Chart and this area is referred to as the Legend. These rectangles are actually the legend itself and these are referred to as legend values, which represent what these rectangles actually mean. So, now that we understand that, let's go ahead and switch to our Regular Selection tool to select the entire chart and we can start to adjust some of these values. Now, there are two ways to do it. You can either go to the Object menu, go down to where it says Graph and then choose Type, or alternatively you can just simply right-click on any area inside of the selected chart and choose the Type option here. In fact there is really a third way as well by simply just double-clicking on the tool itself. In other words the Graph tool in the Tools panel when you have your graph selected.
Now, there are few things to note about the Graph Type dialog box that shows up -- I'm going to position it just about over here. First of all you will notice that there is actually no Preview button, which actually makes it really hard to work with. This is actually one of the things that make it painfully evident that this feature hasn't been updated in a very long time inside of Illustrator. It will be really helpful for us to actually work with graphs if there was a Preview button here, so we could see this update on the screen as we make changes. Unfortunately what we are going to have to do is we are going to have to continuously come back to this Graph Type dialog box to make our changes. Now, obviously the most important change that it could make over here is actually changing the type of graph that I'm using.
For example, let's say I want to display this instead of lines here as columns; I want to use a Line Graph here. So I can actually click on this Line option, click OK and I can see now this gets displayed as line. Again it's just another way to represent that data, depending on the data that you have and depending on how you want people to analyze that data, you would choose a different graph type. I will go back and I'll double-click on the Graph tool again and you will notice that as you choose different types, the settings or the options that you have also updates as well. Notice over here that where it says Options, I have Marked Data Points; obviously there are no data points available for any of the bars or the columns. But let's just stick over here with the Column Graph because that's what we started out with. I'm going to click OK, so we can actually see that we go back to the way that it was before.
So, let's explore some of the settings here. I'm going to double click on the actual Graph tool over here, let's see the Graph Type dialog comes up. Notice over here where it says Value Axis, which again is this area right over here is currently appearing on the left side. Now, I could choose to put it on the right side if I wanted to, meaning that this would now appear on the right side or I can have it appear on both the left and the right. Now underneath Style over here I have the ability to add a Drop Shadow, but again this is an old feature. The Drop Shadow was actually nothing more than just duplicating the shapes that are there. It doesn't add the soft drop shadow, like the Live Effect inside of Illustrator. If you do want to add a soft Drop Shadow to your graphs, you need to do that through the Effect menu after you have actually created your graph.
Now, you will see that right now the legend appears over here on the upper-right hand corner of the chart, but if you wanted it to appear across the top, you could choose the Add Legend Across Top option. In addition you could choose to have the first row or the first column appear on the front of the graph when it is plotted. Now, you also have the ability here in a Column Graph to change the Column Width and the Cluster Width. The Column Width actually refers to the width of each bar that appears in your chart. Now, in this case we are actually comparing two values, so when every section or segment that appears basically inside of this chart, I have two different values that are being represented.
So, the Cluster Width actually refers to how much space both of those areas combined take up. Let me show you clearly what I mean by zooming into the graph over here and unfortunately because there is no Preview button, we'll have to continuously come back to the Graph Type dialog box to see this change. I am going to click OK with the values basically at the default settings. 90 for the Column Width and 80% for the Cluster Width. I'm going to click OK; I'm going to zoom in on just this bottom part of the graph right over here. So, between the tick marks over here is basically the cluster area. So, the actual bars that appear right now in this one cluster area takes up 80% right now of the width of that entire space.
Now, the actual Column Width is set to 90%, which does allow me to see a little bit of a gap in between them. But it's important to realize that you don't even need to use the regular values up to 100. You can even exceed that amount. You can go higher than 100%. So, again I'm going to give you an example of what I mean by that. I will double click on the tool over here to bring up the dialog box. I'm going to leave the Cluster Width set to 80%. So, that means basically I want to have some buffer space between the columns and the actual tick marks that appear on each of these areas. But I'll change the Column Width to about 120%.
Now, when I click OK, you can actually see that right now the columns themselves overlap each other because they are taking up more space than the graph actually allotted for them. As I scroll up over here to the top over, you can see exactly how they appear, you will also see that right over here, see how one value appears in front of the other. So, when I double click again over here, you will see that that's what actually these two values refer to. I'll set the Column Width back to 90% over here, now that I understand what those values are and click OK and let's zoom back out so we can actually see entire graph. Now, there are few other settings that are also important when it comes to actually creating these charts. Once again I'll double-click on the tool here and you will see that, on the top of the dialog box is a pop up. We have been exploring the Graph options, but we also have option for the Value Axis, which again is this particular line right over here, and the Category Axis, which is the axis across the bottom of the chart. Let's start with the Value Axis.
Now, as I have mentioned these values from 0 to 15 were automatically generated by Illustrator based on the values that I put into the graph itself. But I can override those values and I could set the minimum to be 5 for example and the maximum to be 30 and I can set it to have maybe 10 different divisions. In doing so, I can now change exactly how that appears here. Let me double-click on the tool again and I'll actually set it back in the Value Axis to not override the settings and it will just basically work with it on its own. Click OK and it will automatically go back to the way it was before. Let's take a look at some of the other settings. Once again I'll double-click on the tool, go here to Value Axis and I see this setting here for Tick Marks. Now Tick Marks are again are these lines that appear over here on the side. I can either have them set to None, meaning there are no tick marks at all or I can have them set to Full Width, which means the line extends all the way towards the other end of the graph. I'll leave it set to Short though for now and I also have the ability to set individual tick marks in between each of these divisions.
For example, these values probably go in increments of 3. So if I specify two tick marks per division, each tick mark that appears between these would represent a value of 1. I also have the ability to specify a prefix or a suffix for these particular values. A prefix means any text or anything that appears before the number, suffix means that's what would appear after the number. For example, in this case here the chart is referring to how many feet the height of this surface. So, I could type in a value for a suffix over here that says feet.
In doing so, I can actually see that it gets added here to the chart. I probably should add a space before that. There is a space between the value and the word. However, it's little bit too much for me because I see the word feet so many times. I'm actually going to go ahead and double-click on this and change it, go back over here to Value Axis and change it to actually just to have a single quote mark representing feet and click OK and I can see now that I have added that particular value. So, now I have adjusted the Value Axis. Let's take a look at some of the settings for the Category Axis. I will double-click on the Graph tool, I'll choose over here a Category Axis and I'll see that I could choose a length for the tick marks. Again those are the little ones that appear over here on the bottom. I could actually turn them off or had them Full Width. In reality that terminology is wrong. It should be Full Height because those tick marks. They go from the bottom all the way towards the top. Over here I have the ability to also draw tick marks per division and you can choose to draw them between labels as well which are the things that appear down here.
So, finally I want to go back over here to the Graph option. Like I said before it's important to realize when you click on different Graph types, you will see that the options actually change. But at the end of the day you really don't have to worry about every little setting here in this dialog box. See what works for you in each particular case and remember that inside of Illustrator itself, you can always use the entire set of tools, be it your Type tools and your Drawing tools to modify a graph to look just the way that you want it to.
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