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So we know that inside of Illustrator, a graph is simply a special type of a group. That group is actually made up of several nested groups and at anytime I can update the data and the graph will simply update or redraw itself. So, for example if I click on this particular graph right here in this file, I can choose Object > Graph and open up the data window and then for the second value here of Hawaii, I'll change it from 8 to something like 12. When I click on the Apply button, I can easily see that that changes automatically. I will go ahead and I'll close this data window but my ability to actually change and modify this data after I have already created the graph, only exists so long as the graph remains intact, meaning that I don't ungroup the graph.
However with my graph selected, I could go to the Object menu and I could choose to ungroup this. When I do so, a dialog box alerts me to the fact that right now this particular graph can be updated. However once they ungroup it, I'm not going to be able to update the data anymore. When that I actually want to ungroup a graph? Well, there are many times when you might just create a graph so that you can get the proportion for the way the different sizes are represented and you may want to use those paths and those shapes for other purposes. Or you may want to take full control of the text itself, which is something that is not as easy to do when it is in graph form. So, I'll click OK to actually go ahead and ungroup this and you will see now if I go to the Object menu and I try to choose Graph, when I choose the Data option right here there is no information here at all. That's because I don't have a graph selected.
Additionally, once they go ahead and they ungroup a graph, there is no way for me once I save my file and reopen it to actually turn it back into a graph again. So, what you just need to pay attention to, you can ungroup a graph at any time, but in doing so you will loose the link to the data that was used to create that graph. At the same time, you also know that you can use things like graphic styles and paragraph styles to easily modify the appearance of a graph without having to ungroup it at all. But in reality that's really one of the great things about Illustrator in general. The option to adjust things as you need it is always your option.
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