Tips & Tricks for Chart Tools
When it comes to actually representing data, you've gotta go in here and you've actually gotta show the data correctly. So using charts and graphs, people are like, how, you know, doing with the numbers. It's actually really easy, really easy. So, with my charts and graphs here, I'm actually gonna use the chart tools. We've got all the different chart tools in here. I'm gonna start with the pie chart because that's what people use quite a lot of. So with the pie chart, I'm gonna go in to my illustrator file, I'm gonna draw an area in which I want my pie chart to happen. And it comes up with a chart, and I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna put in my percentages here. So I've got 35% here, and I've got another 35% here, 15%, 5%, and 10%, so it makes up 100% of the circle. Then I'm gonna click OK, right there. There's my pie chart. I'm gonna close my editing right here. Well, I'm actually in graph mode right here, and I wanna break this out into its own separate little pieces. So to get out ...
of chart mode, I'm going to ungroup this pie chart. What it does is gonna be like, are you sure, and it's like, I have never been more sure in my life. No, I don't want this ugly looking chart. I wanna make it look awesome. You'll notice, when I go in and I do any of these creations here, I very rarely put a stroke around an object. If I do put a stroke around an object, it's not a teeny little stroke here, because when you put little, thin strokes around the objects, it looks really kind of like coloring book like, and it, to me it really ruins the aesthetic of it. If you're gonna put a stroke around there, put a stroke on there that is gonna hurt somebody. That you're gonna feel is gonna leave a lasting impression. When I go in with my chart here, if I ungroup this after, and I'll break my chart, I'm gonna ungroup this a couple times, and now I have each and every individual shape by itself. The first thing I do is I get rid of the stroke. And then I can go in and I can start changing the colors on each one of these to show my representation as well, of these existing areas. Now this is a perfect example of not going in and using my preset swatches here. I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna pick a color, and this is the color I wanna use for the rest of my chart. When I go in with this chart, I'm gonna select the whole chart and every single one is gonna be this color. Then I'm gonna select each piece, and I'm going to go into my color picker and I'm going to ever so slightly change the values of each one so that I can keep it all in very much the same family and have it be a whole lot less disturbing with multiple colors. So I can make some of these a little bit darker, I can make some of these substantially darker, and break this apart into multiple different colors. That one needs to go even darker, like so. So I have my chart right here. It's a little bit difficult to see though because all my pie pieces come into the middle. A great way to make this a whole lot more simple is to simplify the pie chart and don't have everything go into the middle. So what I do is I take my circle and I locate the center of my chart, and I'm going to draw from the center. But I'm gonna put a donut hole right in the middle of my chart. And when I do that and I put a circle there and I select my entire chart, I'm gonna go over to my Path Finder and I'm gonna use my donut, my punch out feature, and I'm gonna knock a hole in that chart, right there. And when I do that, you'll see what happens is that my whole chart goes and it all chops up those pieces. It sounded great, but here's one of those ones where I'd have to go in and take each piece separately and separate it out. Don't wanna do that. I'm gonna use the divide function and then I've divided the whole thing and I'm gonna ungroup it all. Make sure I ungroup it. And then I just have to get rid of these little pie sections in the middle. Now I have a chart that looks a whole lot easier to read. Instead of having all the pie pieces go in, I've got these pieces right here. So I can control these pieces and I can see very easily how they look. And if I wanted to I could create an interesting look with this, and I could put a stroke around them all of a different color blue, like so, and kind of create an interesting pie chart, if I wanted to do something like that. Like I said, not a huge fan of putting strokes around things. But this, to me, makes it a little bit easier to read, and then if I ever wanted to go in and put type in here, I have some place to put the type in the pie chart. If I wanted to break these out as well, or change these, I have each and every piece separated out. I like really simple pie charts, so I try to include as little information as I can in each pie chart. I'd rather have three pie charts than have all the information just stuck in one. But that's one of the ways that I can go in and enter the information. And I have 35% here, 35% here, 20, 15, and 10 I think it all added up to. Nicely divided, and I can take this and I can rotate this any direction I want. If I want the main portions up here as well. Simple and easy to do. If I want to choose a graph, I can go to my graph, I can do a column or a stacked or a bar graph here, as well. Draw my chart, enter in my values here. And then click okay. It gives me my chart. It isn't pretty. It isn't pretty at all. And it's like, no. And so I'm going to take this and I'm going to ungroup it. Yes I want to break out of the chart. I'm gonna ungroup it so that I can get rid of all this other stuff and just take what it is that I want. Goodbye with everything else. Now I can take my chart, get rid of my stroke on here, and now I can have a little bit of fun with this. I can take my chart, I can grab a color here that I'd like to use. Actually select all of them here. Grab that color, fill it with a color, and then go in with each and every color here. I can make it a little bit lighter or a little bit darker on each one, keeping it all in the family, and doing that. Then if I want to, I could go in and I could hot dog all the ends I want and create something a lot more interesting. Yeah. Strokes around things, unless you're gonna do a lot of strokes. One of the things we have, we have a question here.
If you wanted to add text onto that, that's obviously something you can do, right?
Yup, you just take your type tool and you can click anywhere and you can type in a value, number, text, whatever, and then I could go in and I could set the point size here, and I could pick a font that's going to work really good. And take that, select that, put it right in there. Fill it with a contrasting color. Probably wouldn't do something with an outline, that's for sure. It looks something big and bold. Where's something big and bold that's going to work. Oh yeah, there we go. Nice. Yeah.
A question from Inferno tonight online. Can you put the values into a table directly from an Xcel file? So is there any way to get data into Illustrator when you're making these charts and graphs.
Not that I know of. I tend to avoid anything that has the word "data" involved with it, because data and creativity just kind of clash. I don't think there is. If I go in here, oh I guess you can import the data right from here. That's a good question. Have I ever done it? Never. (audience laughter) Never at all. Because the word Xcel spreadsheet just makes me cringe. So I guess you can go in and import the data. And here you can transport as rows and columns in here and its' like wow, look at that. I learned something new. Well enough about learning something new. Let's just rehash what's old. So apparently you can do that, which could be quite useful to have. This water usage one that I had done, this is exactly what I did. I started out with a bar chart and I had all my bars a certain length. And you can see all the different lengths. In fact, these little white ones are the bars here. And I just split them all apart, and then I went and I created larger rectangles behind them to get that effect. Oh look at that, look at that little water droplet. Isn't that nice. I wonder how that happened. But this did start out as a bar chart right there because trying to figure out the percentages there on a bar chart, trying to manually and do that thing called math, no. Doesn't work at all.
And so to put the rectangle behind it and all of that, so you do the chart first and then do all the other parts afterwards?
I'll show you.
What we have here, and we can put this in, let me get this. Bounding box there, much better, slide that over. So here's my lengths of my items, and I'm going to go with my grid here. So I want to grid this all out so these all snap. So I have equal spacing on everything. There we go, like that. Snap to grid, there we go. There's my data right there. And I'd like to go ahead and I'd like to put that data, so I'm going to go and I'm going to draw shapes that are slightly larger, and using the grid structure is great. So there's my shape and I'm gonna put that behind. And when I copy this shape over everything, and then hit duplicate, this allows me to put this behind here. So I'm gonna select all those boxes the same, fill them with a color, whatever it may be. So I can get something that's going to, oh those all just clash, don't they. I'm gonna go in, here let's use a slight gray. There we go, now you can see it. So there you can see how I can create the background. And then I can take my data, and in the case of the water I just filled them all with white so you could see them. And now I've got my distance over the time. And this creates a whole lot more interesting chart than just a chart with black outlines around them. It really doesn't look that awesome. But this also gives me room to go ahead and put type in here or icons at the end here of something, because we could talk, oh I don't know, something about the amount of eggs that are out there. We can take that little shape and we can put that in there. Great little place for an icon. Take our leaf, put that in there as well. Rotate that, oh my gosh look it. There's that. We can create a little water droplet as well, put that in there. Circle, move that up. Suck that handle in, fill it with blue, scale it down. There we go. Boy, if I ever saw a chart of info graphics, right there. This is the amount of eggs, amount of leaves that fall, water people use, whatever it is, right there. I know. And you know, while I was doing these little fingers, it made me think, because you've seen those drippy painting effects or water going over the side of everything. We're gonna show you a really cool way to do that. Because sometimes when you're having a nice drink or something, you want those little things coming over, you have a paint can or something, you wanna show those drips coming along the sides. Doing the little chart feature just made me think about it.