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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.
As you already know, when Illustrator plots graphs and charts, it does so using just values of gray. The main point here is simply to actually plot information and then you can style it the way that you need to using Illustrator's full range of tools. There are really two ways to go by doing this. I can either ungroup my entire graph so that the elements are just regular paths inside of Illustrator and I'm free to do with them as I please. However I then loose by ability to update that data once they ungroup the graph. So instead, I would like to work with the graph leaving it intact and then using a variety of both paragraph styles and graphic styles to actually apply a look to my chart.
For example, on this document over here, I can see that if I go to my Graphic Styles panel, I have a style called California and one called Hawaii. Let me zoom at this little bit so we can see this better on the screen and in addition, if I go to the Window menu and I choose Type and I go to Paragraph Styles, I'll see that I have also created two paragraph styles in this document, one called Graph values and one called Legend values. Now because Illustrator actually builds a graph out of multiple nested groups, it does make it easy for me to select these areas of a group to easily format them. Now I can either use the Group Selection tool to this or if I want you could really use the regular plain Direct Selection tool. You will notice that when you are working with the Direct Selection tool, holding down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on Windows actually converts it to the Group Selection tool. So I basically now have the ability to use my regular Direct Selection tool and let's say I want to format Hawaii first for example. I'll click over here once, I'm holding down the Option key or the Alt key to select it once and I'll click one more time now to select that entire data series and I'll come to where it says Graphic Styles and I'll simply click once on the graphic style called Hawaii to style it accordingly.
I will move back to the artboard here again holding down the Option key or Alt key on the Windows. Click on a blank area to deselect everything and then again click twice on this region right here to select the California data series. Now, I'll apply this graphic style called California. So now it comes to actually style in the text itself. Again, these are set up as groups, so I can us the Option key to click and then click again. Don't click too fast because otherwise your cursor will actually change to the Type tool because Illustrator will think you want to actually edit the text itself. With these two type objects selected, I'll now go over here to where it says Legend values and click on that particular graphic style.
Now it's important to realize inside of Illustrator, whenever I apply a particular style, I get a plus sign here which means that it's simply adding that particular style there but actually want to replace that entire type object with this particular style. So what I'll do is again I'll use that Option key. In this particular case here, the Option key is going to be used a lot or the Alt key on Windows and simply Option-click or Alt-click on the word, Legend values. Again with the Option or the Alt key still to press, then I'm actually going to go ahead and click once on one text object, click again to select all those and then Option-click on the Graph Value option and I can do the same here. Click once, again click again to select the entire particular data series and then Option-click where it says Graph Values. So with just a few clicks of a mouse, I can very easily style a chart to make it look just the way that I want to, especially if I'm doing many of different charts and I want them to all match the same in appearance. The beautiful thing about working in this way is that I do not need to actually ungroup my graph at all.
So the data is still intact. If I now get a last minute change from a client and we know that is going to happen, I could simply open up the Graph data dialog box to that particular graph, change the information, it will update automatically once I apply it. Now of course you don't need to use graphic styles or paragraph styles for that matter, but it just makes life so much more easier when you do so. Let me show you one of the possible ways to stylize the chart pretty quickly and easily, for example, adding 3D effects. In fact, I'll just create a really quick Pie chart right here. I'm going to go ahead and choose the Pie Graph tool. Let me just go ahead and draw a shape right over here.
Let's type in values that we did before around 25, 30 and then 45. It will accept those particular values. We actually want to change some of the colors here. I don't want to work with it this way. First, what I'm going to do is I want to get rid of the stroke on this. So, I'm actually going to go ahead and choose to get rid of the strokes, set that to None. Now I'll use my Direct Selection tool to select individual parts of this chart, maybe I have to see range of these colors right here just to make it a little bit easier to work with. Do kind of little monochromatic type of look to this particular chart. Now, I'll go ahead and I'll select it with my Regular Selection tool. Now again remember that a graph inside of Illustrator is a group. So if I apply any kind of live effect inside of Illustrator to that object, it's being applied to the group level. So if I want to have a 3D appearance to this Pie chart, I can simply go to the Effect menu, I could choose 3D Extrude & Bevel. Let's move it to the side over here. Click on the Preview button. I can actually rotate that and see that I have created a 3D Pie chart, pretty cool. Let me adjust Extrude depth to make it around 30 point, let me get the angle to be just about something like this and now I'll click OK to apply that 3D effect.
So now, I get the 3D appearance, I get the shading, remember just regular artwork inside of Illustrator, it's still a graph. I have not ungrouped it so I could fill Update the Data at any time. But I can make other modifications as well. Fro example, sometimes you have seen these things like exploded Pie charts, where you want to call out one particular part of the data in that chart. Well here is how you can do it. I'm actually going to switch to my Direct Selection tool and I'll deselect this. I'm going to go to View menu. I'm going to turn on my Smart Guides. It just makes it easier to see artwork when you actually overlap those areas. So you see how these read as now highlight and remember this is applied as a live effect. So because this is a group, I can just click in that area right there and drag it outward just a little bit to pull it away from the center of that Pie chart. In doing so, I now create that exploded look with that particular Pie chart. Again the 3D is actually still live, I can still modify the way that the 3D looks and the data in the chart is also live so if I need to, I can always go back to the Graph Data window, update the data and make a change. So using a combination of graphic styles, of paragraph styles and live effects inside of Illustrator, you can quickly get just the look that you want for your charts without giving a benefit of editability.
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