Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
An important part about creating graphs and charts inside of Illustrator is learning how to format the data correctly. So, let's take a few moments to see how we can actually format the data in the Graph Data window to get the results that we want. I am going to simply start with the regular print document here, click OK to accept that and let's start off just by working with the simple column graph. Just draw out an area right over here, let's get the Graph Data window here and let's start typing in some values. Let's say we want to actually compare, let's say the sales of apples and oranges. So, let's start with apples first. Let's say sales are going to be in millions and we'll say we'll do 12 million the first year, 18 million the second year, in the third year, maybe we had a bad year, 8 million and then we earn up to like 34 million, right. So let's say over 4 years. So, now we'll go ahead and we'll look at the oranges here. So let's say maybe the oranges are a little bit more than apples, right. So, let's say we have around 18 the first year, we have about 22 the second year, again we had a pretty bad year so let's say we only have let's say 13 and then for other year we had a really great year, about 45 million.
So, now if I click on the Apply button here to accept those values, I can see that I could very easily compare the actual amount of revenue between the apples and the oranges for each of these years. Let's say this is 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. But if I'm just looking at this chart right over here, I have no idea what the 0-50 represents. There is also no way for me to know that these black areas are actually supposed to be apples and these lighter gray areas are supposed to be oranges and I certainly have no idea that these are actual years here. So, let's learn how we can format data just a little bit differently to bring that information into play. I'll start here in the Data window by clicking and dragging here to select these four areas. I'll press Command+X or Ctrl +X to cut that content. I'll highlight these four regions here and I'll paste.
I'll also move these values in exact same way by putting them here and pasting them into this location. So, what I have basically done here is I freed up the first row on the top and then first row on the left here, which I can use to actually help me specify value. So, for example right over here, since these are apples, I'm going to type in apples, then I move to this field over here and I'll type in oranges. I'll hit the Tab key to accept that value. Now, along the left side over here in this column I'm simply now going to add the years. So, I'll put a number here 2004, I'll hit the down arrow, 2005 and then I'll add the remaining years as well.
I also want to give it all the decimals here. So I'm simply going to go over here to this button right over here, Cell Style and I'll have the number of decimal set to 0, just to make it a little bit easier to read these values right here. So, now let's go ahead and click on the Apply button and see what happens and right away something seems completely wrong here. As you can see these values over here, shoot from 0 all the way to 2500. Now our values are all from 12 up to 45 at the max. In fact the lowest value here is 8. If you take a look closely over here there are actually three different series of data. There is black, a light gray and then a darker gray. We can see that over here there are oranges, apples and something else.
But if we take a close look at what we are seeing here in the Data window, we actually see that Illustrator is a little bit confused. We typed in values here of 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, we intended for those to be actually years, what we considered specific categories for this particular chart. However because they are all numeric, Illustrator did not know that and Illustrator thought that they were regular values to be plotted into the graph. So, we need to find some way to indicate to Illustrator that these values here are actually to be used as the names of the categories and not to be plotted into the data itself.
To do that in Illustrator we'll actually use the quote marks before and after these particular values. So I'll go ahead now and I'll highlight the first one here. I'll place my cursor right before the two over here and add a regular quote mark. I'll then move my cursor to the end, click and then add a quote mark as well. Don't use the left and right arrows to move over here because that will actually move you between different fields inside of the cells over here. So, now that I have made that change, I'll come down over here where it says 2005. Again I'll put my cursor right in before and after the value and close them in quote marks.
This is actually not a very easy thing to do, basically formatting text in general inside of this particular dialog. It is not very easy to do. That's why it's much more preferred that you actually do all this inside of Excel to begin with. But in this particular case where we are learning about how to format the data we can do that very quickly and easily right here and now it basically accepted all those things and now that they are all in quote marks, Illustrator will now treat these as categories and not as values to be charted in the graph itself. So, now I'll click on the Apply button and I could very easily see now how Illustrator has taken the information I have added and turned that into something useful in the chart itself. I now see values over here from 0 all the way to 50. By the way these were automatically generated based on the values that are inside of my graph.
I can see that Illustrator created four categories basically the four years that are here, based on the fact that I have now added these inside of quotes. Illustrator also created a legend to help me understand that the black rectangles are apples, whereas the gray rectangles are oranges. So, again it's important to realize though that a lot of this formatting can be done inside of Excel. In the fact the more that you do inside of Excel, the easier it will be when you actually need to paste that or import that data, right here into Illustrator, so that you can format it and get ready to go.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
117 Video lessons · 42100 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 53600 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 14021 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 82699 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
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.
Your file was successfully uploaded.