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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.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to make some manual, designer-level modifications to your graphs. Specifically what we're going to do is add some much-needed colors to our columns. I've saved my progress as Peaceful joyful.ai. It's found inside the 27_graphs folder. And there is a variety of ways not to modify your graph. Let me just show them to you, for starters. I'm going to click on my graph with the Black Arrow tool to select it. This time around you do want to see your selection edges, so if you're not seeing them, press Ctrl+H, or Command+H on the Mac, to bring them back.
Then let's say that you don't care at all anymore about the data or the type settings or any of that stuff; you just want to bust up the graph and change it out as you see fit. Well let me show you something. Here in the Layers panel, I'll twirl open layer 1. You may recall we have a special graph object, it's selected; just want to bring that to your attention. Now I'll go up to the Object menu and choose the Ungroup command, or press Ctrl+Shift+G, or Command+Shift+G on the Mac, and this is going to bust of the graph, so much so that Illustrator is going to present you with a warning. It's going to say, hey, after a graph is ungrouped you will no longer be able to access its graph style, its data, or change its graph designs.
And we haven't seen graph designs yet, but that is something we will see in the future. If you don't care about any of that stuff-- you're just like, fine, make it go away-- click on the Yes button, and now you've got all of these subgroups that you can tear into and modify to any extent you like. However, that graph object goes away, and now if you go to the Object menu choose graph and then choose let's say the Data command, then you get this empty data Window because there is no data associated with this non-graph. All right, so I'm going to go ahead and close that window.
If that's not the way you want to work-- and in our case it's not, because we want to preserve that graph information just in case-- then go up to the Edit menu and choose Undo Ungroup, or press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Another way to work--although this is not a way to work at all, you would think you'd be able to enter an isolation mode, just by double-clicking for example someplace on the graph, or right-click and choose Isolate Selected Graph. My gosh, there is an isolation mode, and you can get to it either way. So you can double-click or you can choose this command. The problem with this isolation mode, this so-called isolation mode, is it does isolate you from the rest of the illustration, but what it doesn't do is allow you to gain access to anything inside the graph.
Notice over here in the Layers panel we still have this item called Graph. And if I click anywhere with a Black Arrow tool on this graph item, it selects the entire thing, and so you might think, okay fine. I just didn't isolate enough, I really want to enter the darn thing by right-clicking and choosing Isolate Selected Graph. This time really do it for me Illustrator. And when you choose a command, you're right back where you were a moment ago, which is nowhere. It's only good if you're just trying an isolate yourself from the rest of the illustration; otherwise, it's no good at all. So I'm going to press the Escape key-- because we don't have anything else going on-- in order to exit the isolation mode instead what you do is you have to dig into this item using the White Arrow tool.
So select the White Arrow or press the A key, and then let me show you how it works. It's basically a matter of Alt+ Clicking or Option+Clicking multiple times inside of the graph. So you can press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click once on that first column, for example, to select the entire thing. Still with the Alt or Option key down, click again to select all of the columns that are associated with Harmony. Alt+Click or Option+Click again in order to add the box in front of Harmony here inside the legend. Alt+Click or Option+Click again to select all of the columns and all of their legend boxes.
Alt+Click or Option+Click now a fifth time in order to select the entire graph. So you're ultimately selecting up the hierarchical stack as you Alt+Click or Option+Click with the White Arrow tool. If that's not your cup of tea, you can click and hold on the White Arrow tool and switch over to the Group Selection tool. That way you don't have to press Alt or Option. So this can be a useful tool. I'm not sure I've even mentioned it before throughout this entire series because I never use the darn thing. But this can be a fairly useful tool when you're working inside of graphs, because after all, if you select that tool, click off of the chart in order to deselect, notice my White Arrow cursor has a little Plus sign next to it.
If I click, I'll select that entire first column. Click again--I'm just clicking this time--select all of the columns associated with Harmony. Click a third time; you select his box as well. Click a fourth time, even on this box this time around, and I'll select all of the legend boxes as well as all of the columns, and then click a fifth time and you select the entire graph. So choose your poison however you want to work. That is either with the White Arrow tool or with that Group Selection tool. I'm going to click off for a second here. I'm going to keep my Group Selection tool active, and I'm going to go ahead and scroll over to the hummingbirds, and the reason I'm scrolling here is because these are the colors that I want to use.
So with this tool, don't get your Black Arrow tool because that will mess things up slightly. And then just drag across these lower hummingbirds, the ones with the gradients extending below them, and then I want you to go over to the Swatches panel, make sure it's up on screen, and click on the little Folder icon that has a Plus sign next to it in order to create a new color group. And let's go ahead and call this hummingbird colors, like so. And I want Selected Artwork turned on, as it is by default, and that's it. Click OK and you'll create a new group that includes all six of these colors, that is dark and light shades of green, orange, and blue respectively.
All right, now I'm going to click off of the hummingbirds to deselect them, and I'm going to switch the order of my colors a little bit. I'm going to drag these greens to the front of the stack like so, so that we have dark green, light green, dark orange, light orange, dark blue, light blue. And that's, by the way, completely optional. I'm just doing that to keep things straight. Now I'm going to zoom out a little bit, and I'm going to scroll back over to the graphs, zoom in on it, and I'm going to click one, two, three times on that first column in order to select all three black columns and the black square in front of the word Harmony. And I'm going to switch them out for the dark green by clicking on that dark green there inside the Swatches panel, and then I'm going to do the same thing for this light-gray column.
So I'll click once, twice, three times to select all of the light-gray objects, and then I'll switch them out for orange like so, that dark orange. And then I'll click one, two, three times on that third column, and I'll switch it out for the dark blue, and we now have a more colorful graph. That's a pretty straightforward modification, quite frankly. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to make more nuanced designer- level changes.
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