How to Change a Graph to Shapes in Illustrator

By Joshua Mcgee

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.

Tips & Warnings

  • 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.