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?
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?
@Ian Aberle HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Yes - make better bar graphs by not using Illustrator's built in bar graph feature because it's terrible. This is also a terrible solution - good luck manually entering in and placing the data at the right size. Better build a very high resolution grid.
Adobe - you've topped yourself this time. This is truly embarrassing.
Ian Aberle commented
Even Adobe's own marketing materials are ignoring the chart tool. See "Make better bar graphs with Adobe Illustrator" at https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/make-better-bar-graphs.html.
Just do something, ANYTHING to the graph tool. It is absolutely ridiculous that you've been comfortable shipping this tool in it's same hopelessly inadequate state for years and years
Looks like the last thing from Adobe on this is "Need more information". That is rubbish – you just need to fix it.
I have now requested updates to Illustrator graph tool several times but still no real promise of work on this. Right now I am creating graphs in Apple Pages and copying as PDF into Illustrator to convert to CMYK for print. In Pages I can resize the graph to fit a rectangle the correct size for my InDesign layout. WHY can't Adobe get this right? Datylon is a little too complex for day to day use. The Apple Pages graphs do almost everything I need quickly and easily – and the app is free on my Mac. Come on Adobe. Get this fixed.
Harry Thomas commented
I first tried Illustrator over 23 years ago, along with Macromedia Freehand. I quickly chose Freehand over Illustrator for it's styles and graphic capabilities. Freehand had a great graphing tool - you could create a graph, then size it to fit your space (important in the newspaper business) and then tweak it without ungrouping it.
In 2005, Adobe bought Macromedia to get your hands on Flash. When you killed Freehand as competition, I was forced for years to create graphs in Illustrator, then ungroup them (destroying the ability to do more than minor edits).
As I watched Illustrator grow as a tool, I kept hoping that you would eventually get around to the graph tool. Sadly, it's the one area of Illustrator that you never touched. Now that I've left the newspaper graphics business, I don't use the tool anymore. But it still saddens me that it continues to be the same poor tool that I rejected 23 years ago.
For the sake of your future users, please give it an extreme makeover. Don't make us buy an extra plugin for something you should have fixed years ago.
I beta tested the Datylon plugin. Pretty good BUT doesn't do some of the great stuff promised a few years ago at MAX. and, unfortunately, a bit expensive for me right now as well. I remember Adobe having a technology preview a couple of years ago that also filled me with hope but it got cancelled never to progress any further. Not good enough Adobe,
Scott Wallace commented
Adobe might be allowing Datylon to access code and perform R&D as a beta startup just to measure success and work the bugs outside its house name. Should this prove to fall short, it can be fixed there until it does. If/when adoption has reached a certain mass, Adobe could "acquire" this into their interface, clean it up visually. A bolt-on solution isn't ideal in a "homogenized" Adobe world. But it's awesome to have another option in the meantime.
I'm frustrated that it's another tool I need to pay for though when we're already paying an arm and a leg for Adobe CC.
Thurid & Deller. I've actually been using it for a few months, and really like it. Not without its own bugs, but a thousand times better than anything adobe has given us.
Theresa, I just saw Thurid's comment and agree. I downloaded the 7-day trial from Datylon and purchased a full year subscription 2 days into it. It basically does everything you wish Illustrator could have been doing for 10+ years and all inside of Illustrator. I highly recommend it.