How to Change a Graph to Shapes in Illustrator

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Compared to shapes and objects, which have few constraints, the Graph tool in Adobe Illustrator may seem quite restrictive. Because all the elements in a graph are grouped together, it's difficult to change a single element and design the graph according to your preferences. Fortunately you can convert the graph into a normal shape by simply ungrouping the elements. Once the graph is ungrouped you can manipulate the elements as you would any other shapes in Illustrator, and create a graph that is both informative and attractive.

Step 1

Select the Select tool. Click the graph to select it.

Step 2

Click the Object menu and select Ungroup. The graph is converted to shapes, with each graph element—such as data, x-axis and y-axis—grouped together.

Step 3

Continue ungrouping the sections until all the elements are separate shapes.

Step 4

Edit the graph as desired using the standard Illustrator tools.


Save a copy of the graph on a separate, hidden layer before converting it to shapes to maintain access to the graph data.


Changing the graph into shapes will render you unable to change the graph data.