Formatting charts in Illustrator CS3
April 23, 2008 12:03 PM   Subscribe

How do I format an entire data series for a chart in Illustrator CS3?

I’m new to illustrator and am having a hell of a time formatting a graph. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to format an entire data series at the same time. Say I have a bar chart with two data series, A and B. I can’t just click on A and change the color for all the bars and the legend at the same time. I have to click each individual bar, and then the legend and change the color, which seems very tedious and needless.
I also have plenty of line charts where I have to select each segment of each line to change the color, which is way more frustrating. I’m sure there’s a simpler way, I just don’t know how. Can anyone tell me a simpler way to do this?

Bonus: Know of any blogs/video tutorials where I can learn to get better at making charts in Illustrator CS3? Book suggestions are also welcome.

posted by special-k to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I found this video but he seems to be doing it the hard way.
posted by special-k at 12:04 PM on April 23, 2008

Here is a good intro article on graphs by Mordy Golding, one of the Illustrator gurus out there.
posted by jeremias at 12:40 PM on April 23, 2008

I frequently have to do charts in Illustrator for medical journal publications. I find designing charts within Illustrator is completely ass-backwards in comparison to Excel.

So what I do is create the chart in Excel, set it as a separate sheet, make all the necessary adjustments to axes, gridlines, labels, and colors, and then copy-paste it into Illustrator. Illustrator does a fine job of importing each part of the chart as a separate vector component. Then group the pieces you want to manipulate together and adjust their properties as grouped objects. Sounds tedious but it's actually pretty quick once you get the hang of it. And it's much easier and faster to design a good-looking chart in Excel than it is to do one in Illustrator from scratch.
posted by junesix at 3:49 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

(Oh, I'll bet the reason why so few people blog or write about creating charts in Illustrator is because they use some variation on this import-into-Illustrator technique.)
posted by junesix at 3:52 PM on April 23, 2008

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