Improve Graph / Chart tool
Current graph tool in Illustrator has many limitations that need fixing. Following are some of the problems in Graph tool:
- No value labels
- Data window that requires you to remove characters such as commas
- Resetting of chart upon making changes
- Resizing issues (e.g. with bounding box)
- Missing basic chart types like *****
- No support for templates
- Also the tool doesn't support making new chart types, such as attaching data to any attribute of the artwork.
Please share your thoughts on the following:
1. Would it make sense to have a separate desktop app, just to create charts, and bring them inside Illustrator or InDesign? It may not be on cloud.
2. Or would you rather have us work on building it within Illustrator?
Fernando Lasagna commented
Happy to find my people here! I used to use a hateful little program called DeltaGraph to create all my graphs at a previous job... powerful program, but with so many bugs and quirks that my whole department despised it, and I tried and failed to find a workable alternative. I see that it's still on the same version it was when I left that job in 2018, and does not work on MacOS 15 because it's 32-bit software, with no update in sight. Lovely.
Current job has me creating a dozen graphs a day in Illustrator, and it's so much worse than DeltaGraph. I seriously can't make a pie by entering 25%, 50%, 25%? The percentage signs make it not recognize that these are numbers? Seriously? This is embarrassing stuff. Just installed Illustrator 2022 and, yep, Graph tool still has not been touched at all. Why even include it at this point, if it's clear it has absolutely never been a priority for the team?
On the question separate desktop app vs. tool within AI it depends:
1. if Adobe would be able to prepare a comprehensive tool with various types of charts, import tool and fancy tools for data viz then probably an separate app would be easier to work with. This would make AI a powerhosue for production of infographics and would simplify the workflow tremendously (which now involves vectorising charts produced in other software).
2. a tool within AI would probably have only limited funcitionalities.
3. a plug-in development and integration with some third party software for data analysis & data viz - the least favour option as it requires extra costs to purchase the third party software.
Seriously the graphing in illustrator is rubbish - you style something, change the values and all your styling disappears - why cant they make this work!!! been so bad for so long ...
Yogesh Sharma asked on Oct 9, 2017
Prefer separate desktop app, but will accept either (JDI)
45% of Adobe profits goes into marketing, 45% in dividends, 9% are used into developping new buzzword features that no professionnal user would want and 1% is used to not actually fix bugs but to create new ones. Numbers are made up but they reflect pretty well what Adobe has become.
Just use this: https://www.datylon.com/
Lindsey Thomas Martin commented
I checked in today to see if Adobe's engineers were paying attention this thread, which has been running since August 2017. Apparently not. They have, however, managed to break something else: the highlights on items selected with the group selection tool now (version 25.2, Mac OS 10.14.6) do not get turned off when one switches to another tool and clicks.
I had a look at the tutorial for creating cheerful dead bar graphs and I think it illustrates why there is no action on this feature request: the folks at Adobe don't know that graphs are data-driven.
This is definitely one of the most lacking and weakest areas of AI. In the age of data viz and infographics to have a graphing tool look and perform like in the 1990s is just embarassing.
There should be new chart types available (map, chloropeth, sankey, sunburst, multiple ring donuts, etc.) to avoid workarounds of doing charts in e.g. Tableau or Excel and importing them for cumbersome manipulations.
This is easily the most obvious feature of AI that requests not tweaking, but a revolutionary thorough reworking.
Stijn Simoens commented
Datylon has developed a plugin for Illustrator to create, edit and share captivating charts in an efficient way including all the features mentioned in this thread . See https://www.datylon.com/product/datylon-for-illustrator
We offer yearly but also monthly subscriptions for designers that do not use it all the time. Or, if you design charts only occasionally, you can use our free online Datylon Chart Maker and import your charts as SVG in Illustrator or Indesign. Check it out here: https://insights.datylon.com/
I wish I could vote this a thousand times. Once Affinity get a chart tool together, you're going to see a lot of designers out of the Adobe ecosystem altogether.
Hey @Yogesh why ask and then not even provide us with an update or any other response for over 3 years? This is infuriating.
Ian Aberle commented
Since no one from Adobe is listening to this, I'm heading over to Twitter to see if I can give this thread a bump. https://twitter.com/ianaberle/status/1287784427322593286
Thanks to Martin Cross for inspiring the tweet.
I think the problem is that for a good number of years now Adobe has been run by bean counters rather than people who really understand and are passionate about developing and improving their products. There are now a good number of free 'Open Source' alternatives to the holy trinity (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) and if Adobe are not careful people will start turning to these alternatives in the same way that a lot of companies are using 'Open Office' and Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office.
Martin Cross commented
This particular thread is not really a bug/improvement thread any more. It evolved into a kind of support group for those that have to constantly fight with Illustrator's graphing tool to get it to do basic things.
It barely works, Adobe, and you know it. It's embarrassing to have a client with you who has built a graph in Excel and watch you try and bend Illustrator's arm behind its back to get it to display the data in the same way that Excel managed to do in minutes.
It's been 3 years since anyone at Adobe has even recognised this thread. 3 Years.
Thanks for highlighting this dreadful tutorial. Words fail me. What muppet at Adobe thinks this is good?
I thought that when Adobe went to the subscription model, it was so that they could dedicate resources to improving their package products. Although that seems to have been the case in the first few years, it just seems like updates and improvements have slowed to a trickle... prices keep going up and return keeps going down. Seriously, why hasn't Illustrator evolved much in the past 10 yrs? It is essentially the same software since Illustrator '88. Even the most basic features like folders don't exist in the software. I can only imagine how much more Adobe is making each year with the subscription model but the return on investment is really sucking these past few years.
Well said Donna!
The first version of Adobe Illustrator I ever used used was Illustrator '88 because it was launched in 1988. In all this time I have seen a lot of bells and whistles added to Illustrator but the graph tool has never been touched since 1988. It's really not fit for purpose in the year 2020. At the very least couldn't you link it to an Excel file so that when the data changes it would update the graph via the links panel. This already happens in InDesign. Some preview check boxes in the dialogue boxes would be useful too and a way of creating a simple 3D graph would help. Surely these are minor tweaks and NO - we don't want a separate app or plugins or anything that costs more money. It should be par for the course in something that is supposed to be a premium vector drawing application.
Sandra Lockwood commented
I think you REALLY need to re-write the graphing tool in illustrator. You have a lot of illustrator users who create graphs and information graphics using illustrator. Why hasn't it been updated in years? It needs up to date charting features and a better interface. Users shouldn't have to pay out for another plugin such as datylon to get the job done!
I hate your guts for this tool Adobe, now symbol on bar charts are bugged…
How do you manage to make this **** even worse?