Chart and Graph Options for Infographics - dummies

Chart and Graph Options for Infographics

By Justin Beegel, MBA, The Infographic World Team

You can use Adobe Illustrator to make charts and graphs for your infographic. This article is about design changes you can then make to those charts and graphs.

Remember to add a title to your chart. State what is being measured as well as what quantities are being used in that measurement. And just like remembering to save your progress at regular intervals, the graphic artist should develop a habit of double-checking data. “Am I really showing thousands of dollars, or is it millions?”

Now you can change the chart font and type size:

  1. Deselect everything by clicking an empty part of your pasteboard.

  2. Click your chart once to select the full chart.

  3. Change the type attributes from the top tool bar.

Now you can choose different chart types to see what your data looks like expressed in different chart forms:

  1. Cmd+right-click your chart without deselecting.

    It’s not uncommon to click and miss the target item, thereby deselecting the target object. If that happens, just click the target object again.

    That brings up a dialog box where you can change many more things about how your chart looks.

  2. Click Type to see a selection of options.

    • Chart type: Along the top are icons for different chart types. If you want to see what your data looks like expressed in different chart forms, change it now. (You can always change it back.)

    • Column/Cluster width: At the bottom of that same dialog box are Column Width and Cluster Width, which control the width of the bar and how far apart the bars are, respectively.

    • Graph options: From the Graph Options drop-down menu at the very top of the dialog box, you can change aspects of the x and y axes, including the range of the numbers and the length of tick marks in your chart.

Time to save your infographic. You can choose from

  • An AI (.ai) or a PDF (.pdf) if you want it to remain editable

    If you choose to save as an Illustrator file, you (obviously) can open the file to edit it in illustrator. For a PDF file (.pdf), you can open the file in illustrator or a .pdf reader program (in case you don’t have Illustrator). And that’s a good thing in the case your client isn’t graphic savvy or doesn’t have the required software to view the graphic.

  • A rastorized JPEG (.jpg) image if you want to include it as an image for use in another program

  • An SVG (.svg), a GIFF (.gif), or a PNG (.png) for web use

If you choose the Save for Web & Devices option (just Save for Web in Adobe CC), you can specify the exact pixel size you want your chart image without physically changing the size of the chart itself or the pasteboard. This is handy if you’re exporting the same graphic for use on multiple platforms.