How to Make a Pie Chart in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a popular tool that allows graphic designers, artists, and professionals to create many types of projects. You can take raw data and transform it into different types of visuals, including pie charts. 

My name is Kerry, and as a designer who is passionate about visual storytelling and graphic design, I am excited to dive deep into the powerful tools and techniques that Adobe Illustrator offers.

In this article, I will go through the steps to make a pie chart in Adobe Illustrator. This can be extremely helpful if you are looking to turn data into engaging visuals that can captivate your audience.

Are you ready to learn how? Let’s go! 

Key Takeaways

  • Users can use the Pie Chart tool in Adobe Illustrator to create data visuals for different projects and presentations.
  • While you can manually type in data sets into the tool’s chart, users can also import data from other programs by clicking on the Import Data button within the pie chart.
  • By clicking on the pie chart and using the Properties toolbox, you can customize your chart even further by adding colors and adjusting visual options. 

How to Make a Pie Chart in Adobe Illustrator

Specifically in the world of design and data visualization, Adobe Illustrator stands apart as one of the most versatile and powerful tools. Whether you’re a graphic designer or a data enthusiast, Adobe Illustrator empowers you to create visually stunning and impactful charts.

Before diving into the creation of a pie chart, it’s crucial to have your data organized and ready for visualization. Identify the information you wish to represent in your pie chart and ensure that it is accurate, concise, and properly sorted. 

Adobe Illustrator works seamlessly with external data sources, so you can easily import your data from spreadsheets or databases.

Here are the detailed steps to create a pie chart in Adobe Illustrator:  

Step 1: Select the Pie Graph Tool from the toolbar on the left-hand side of the screen. It can be found under the Column Graph Tool in the main toolbox.

Step 2: Click and drag on the canvas to create a circular shape, which will serve as the base of your pie chart. 

Step 3: A box will appear, allowing you to customize various aspects of your pie chart. Here, you can specify the number of data entries, labels, and colors you want to include.

Step 4: If you are looking to manually enter your data in the table, click on a cell and then type the value you want to represent in the pie chart. (Each horizontal row represents an individual single pie chart. If you type data in any row but the top one, another pie chart will be created within the file.)

Also, the values that are imputed into the vertical columns are the data for the individual pieces or slices of the pie chart. (For example, if you type 10 in the first column, 50 in the second column, and 40 in the third column, your pie chart will have three pieces included in it 10%, 50%, and 40%.)

Step 5: If you want to import data from an external source by clicking the Import data button. This will enable you to link your data directly to the chart.

Step 6: Once you have selected your desired options, click OK. Adobe Illustrator will generate a basic pie chart on the canvas, using the default settings. 

If you would like to change the color or other properties of your pie chart, click on the select tool (the arrow) and then on the part of the design that you want to change. A properties toolbar will appear and you can use those tools to change various visual aspects of your chart. 

How to Make a Donut Pie Chart in Illustrator

Depending on the ideas and vision that you can for your pie chart and presentation, you may want to change the style of it to appear more as a “donut” shape with an empty middle section. 

Here are the detailed steps to create a styled donut shape pie chart in Adobe Illustrator:  

Step 1: Click on the pie chart that you just created and navigate to the top menu and select the Object tab. Within the submenu, choose the option that is labeled Ungroup

A message will pop up on the screen asking if you would like to continue with this action. Make sure to click Yes.

Step 2: Choose the Ellipse tool from the left-hand toolbar and create a circle in the middle of your pie chart. If you need to move it around, just use the select arrow and move it as needed. 

Step 3: Next, you are going to select both the pie chart and circle in the middle and click on the Shape Builder tool from the toolbar. 

When you do this, you will see that now your pie chart is visibly divided into the corresponding sections (or percentages) under the inner circle. Using this tool, click and draw within the circle shape to combine the shapes within the circle.

Step 4: Then you are going to select that inner circle and delete it. (Note that this will only work once you have used the Shape Builder tool to combine each of those pieces as stated above.)

Once you delete the inner circle, you will have a pie chart that resembles a donut! 

Tips to Make Style Your Pie Chart in Adobe Illustrator

If you love adding little elements of creative design, you can make customized revisions to your pie chart and take it to the next level! Here are some examples of how you can amplify your data designs.

  • Add a Legend: Create a visual legend to help viewers understand the different sections of your chart. Use the Type Tool to insert labels and color-coded shapes, arranging them neatly beside the chart.
  • Apply Visual Effects: Explore Adobe Illustrator’s vast range of visual effects to add depth and dimension to your pie chart. Try applying shadows, gradients, or transparency effects to make it stand out.
  • Incorporate Typography: Integrate text elements, such as a title or a brief description, to provide context and enhance the overall visual impact of your chart.
  • Export and Share: Once you’re satisfied with your pie chart, export it in a suitable format, such as PNG or PDF, for further use in reports, presentations, or online platforms.

Final Thoughts

Adobe Illustrator empowers designers and data enthusiasts alike to create visually stunning and informative pie charts. By utilizing features such as the one that we went through in this article, you will be able to unleash your design potential and bring your ideas to life! 

Do you have any tips or tricks or resources for creating charts, specifically pie charts, in Adobe Illustrator? We would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts and advice in the comments down below!

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