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?
I just want to resize a bloody chart – is that so much to ask?
Just add it to illustrator, don't need a seperate app.
Instead of buying up competitors, can you start adding useful and basic features to your existing products? Stuff AI, just let me do the basics – this has been requested since at least 2009...
Jason Deller commented
At this point, any movement from 1997 would be beneficial. The longer this goes, the options are coming out to not use Adobe apps for it period. I think this is more of an internal model discussion, but if a separate app is proposed, I'd hope it gets the same effort behind it that XD got. If it's more like Dimension where the primary feature that everyone wants (modeling your own 3D asset and not relying on expensive stock assets), then I'd want it built into any of the apps.
Bethany Williams commented
I think a separate app could work well, but I would love to be able to transform graphs and charts in Illustrator without distortion. Like a "smart transform" where you can scale horizontally or vertically and the chart, labels, and legend will automatically resize to the new dimensions. I'm not a fan of having to manually resize and scale everything when changing the ratio of the chart.
Aleksander Lenart commented
I've been working with charts for quite some time and honestly I think built-in AI charts will never satisfy everyone, so I'd vote to remove it completely and ease the weight of the already huge app.
Instead, I'd add the ability to easily import *editable* charts from outside. Personally, I'd love to be able to import Observable/Plot/d3.js stuff but a separate app, with proper data handling (like *live* data from an API), custom typography etc. would be great too.
David Creamer commented
RE: One Charts
First, it's only "free" during the beta stage, but will have a credit-purchase system when released.
Second, it exports out as a PNG, URL, and (I believe) iFrame code. I couldn't find anything on the PNG pixel dimensions, so I don't know if it would be suitable for print. (Plus, print would require additional manipulation to prevent RGB black printing in CMYK.)
Third, as far as PNG is concerned, I'm not sure how it would be that different from using Excel and exporting the chart.
Please let me know if I got anything work as I only looked at their website.
David Creamer commented
1. A separate app that can work with various Adobe apps, including Illustrator and InDesign. Similar in nature to the Charts app in Microsoft Office apps.
We can also use One Charts: https://onecharts.io which is a free chart maker that can be used to create various charts, customize them and finally export them in various charts.
Philip Byrne commented
Perhaps a separate app – Illustrator is bloated enough. Just as long as it has vastly improved capabilities in line with the likes of Excel and Word but is still tied in extremely closely to Illustrator. It should feel like the same app. We should also be able to customise the graph and have those customisations retained when data is edited.
Virgil Ierubino commented
A separate app would be fine. A good idea, even, if it can provide highly chart/data-specific tools that would overly bloat main Illustrator. Definitely not a cloud app though. I want a fully featured desktop app that is part of CC. The files generated by this app should be drag-and-droppable into other CC programs, where it can be placed as a link. Hence, the chart can be updated in one place and it can update automatically in multiple InDesign files (for instance). It should also be possible to 'ungroup' it into its basic shapes and text if some really fancy editing is required. The app would need to have features that are as general as possible, and allow loads of customisation – at least as much as the current Illustrator chart tools. There is no end to how customised our clients want graphs to look!
Stijn Simoens commented
For those of you that only occasionally need to create charts, you can use the Datylon online chart maker. It is free and fully featured. Just sign in on www.datylon.com, create your chart and download it as SVG to be used in Illustrator.
If you want, you can expand and ungroup the chart and edit it further in Illustrator.
Keep the original in your Datylon account and update it with new data to create a new version.
when the chart is created in a seperate app, would one need to save two separate files, one for die "data" and one in Illustrator?
if so, it might be risky that only the "illustrator one" gets archived, and the "data"-file wouldn't? or could it be exported in a folder, like it is with linked pictures?
Chris Wells commented
It’s of no importance to me whether you build a separate graphing app or build it within Illustrator itself. The artwork will almost certainly wind up in there eventually. It makes no sense that such a basic feature has been missing for so long. I agree with Isaiah. For those who don’t use the graphing tool it won’t be of interest. But for the Illustrator users who try to use the graphing tools every day it would be a game changer.
There are some lovely new features being added to Adobe Illustrator (retype, updated image trace etc etc), but the graph tool is still completely untouched and as painful to use as ever.
Please look at the original post's suggestions as these are really basic features that would vastly improve the experience working within Illustrator on graphs.
I would also add that the data input palette needs to be easier to navigate – it doesn't work well with the arrow keys and wipes data from cells when trying to edit existing text.
Theresa Paesani commented
It seems that the more AI has evolved the more the graph tool has devolved. I've found it more and more challenging to make a simple readable graph.
– You've removed almost all capabilities for the created graph to be re-sized. There is no bounding box and handles. The only remaining option is to go to Transform > Scale> and then you have to enter percentages rather than any unit of measurement
– The looks for the graphs are minimal. PowerPoint offers a more diverse selection of "looks" for the graphs. Sure it's AI but now I have to make a graph then expand it to make any kind of decent visual improvement and the graph itself is un-editable. If I need to edit the graph data, I now have to re-do the entire process to make it look nice.
– Data editing is archaic. HOW have you still not integrated an easy-to-use table that mimics the interface of Excel/Numbers?!? Just adding the data is one of the most annoying parts of making a graph.
– I'm not sure what's going on with the legend but it's not working. I select options for my graph "Type" and nothing changes. I get a base graph. No data labels, no legend. Nothing.
– Another fun discovery is that I can't expand the graph into shapes. I go to Object > Expand and nothing happens. It's still a united "Graph" object.
I think this tool has been forgotten about in favore of creating other 'useful' features. It's quite frustrating when you need to add graphic visuals and it takes you more time to make the graph than it does the rest of the project.
It's been too too long. Why Adobe doesn't care about one of the critical tools inside Illustrator? It's making me looking for alternatives outside and breaking my workflow. It's frustrating
Paul Sternglass commented
I would not mind that, as long as it was compatible with AI and ID. If you could place them in ID and open and edit them in AI. It would also need to support all color systems: Pantone (spot), RGB, CMYK, Hex, Lab.
It it came as part of basic CC
If you did that, could add more functionality as noted? More chart types, easier formatting and templating, etc. It would also be great to have more creative control, like round corners on bar charts! Make it a powerful tool that will blow us away, and not annoy us!
Paul Sternglass commented
Improve charting so it has more capability and flexibility, more like Excel. Chart function has not been updated ever! When charts are updated with new data, formatting randomly changes, and this is only one of many issues.
Aristarco Palacios López commented
I would like to remind to people posting comments about how good this tool or that is for data visualization is, that the purpose for this space is to vote or share new ideas on how to improve Adobe Illustrator. It is not a forum to post how you solve the problem using another tool, but to suggest Adobe how to improve a tool they make.
phillips salt commented
The best data visualization tools include Google Charts, Tableau, Grafana, Chartist. js, FusionCharts, Datawrapper, Infogram, ChartBlocks, and D3. js. The best tools offer a variety of visualization styles, are easy to use, and can handle large data sets. check https://seotoolsystem.com/open-graph-generator
Aristarco Palacios López commented
Since Adobe is not going to fix the Graph tool ever, at least release a cheat sheet with the codes for the data labels that can be added to the markers. I've been using Illustrator for almost 20 years and all I've learned about this is that if you write a pipe ( | ) it will be interpreted as line break, and if you write a %0n (n = any number) it will write the data with n decimals.
Make a cheat sheet or include this information on the Help.