How to Make a Graph in Photoshop

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Illustrate your information with Photoshop graphs.
Image Credit: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

You may rely on Adobe Photoshop to crop graphics, tweak pictures and create new images for your company's website and publications; however, don't rule out the program for creating new designs from scratch. Take advantage of Photoshop's tools to create infographics, charts and graphs, all of which can add new dimensions to your materials. Making a graph in Photoshop is simply a matter of deciding on the shape and style of the graph, and then customizing it with your preferred colors and text.


Step 1

Launch Adobe Photoshop. Click the "File" menu, and then click "New." Set up the image parameters to fit your requirements for the graph, such as a width and height of 5 inches each. Click the "OK" button to open the work area.

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Step 2

Check the color in the top-left square of the Color Picker on the Tools pane. If the color showing isn't what you want for the first color in the chart, double-click the square, choose a new color, and then click "OK."


Step 3

Select the Rectangle Tool, marked with an icon of a shaded square, from the Tools pane. If you do not see the square, right-click a shaded star or circle, and then choose "Rectangle Tool" from the fly-out menu.

Step 4

Position the cursor in the gray area below the white portion of the work space, and then drag the cursor straight up to form a bar. Don't worry if the cursor begins in the gray area – this won't be part of your image, and simply helps you align the bottom of the graph evenly. The first bar of the graph forms.


Step 5

Move the cursor to the right and draw another bar. Keep in mind that you need to leave room for bars of other colors if you're doing a comparison chart, for example. Draw as many bars of this color as required for your chart.

Step 6

Double-click the Color Picker and choose another color. Draw the first bar of this color next to the first of the original color or in your preferred placement. Keep in mind any differences between the bars, such as whether this bar should be taller or thicker than the first.



Step 7

Add additional bars and change their colors as necessary to complete the visual portion of the chart.

Step 8

Click "T" on the Tools pane to launch the Type Tool. Choose a font from the toolbar, and then click into the colored rectangle and choose a font color, such as black or a dark blue to stand out on the graph.


Step 9

Position the cursor over the chart's bars, and then adjust the type size as necessary. Click and type graph information, such as percentages for each of the bars in the charts, an "X" and "Y" axis, or a chart title. Adding text is optional, but gives chart readers more information.


Step 10

Click the "File" menu and select "Save As." Leave the format as the default option, PSD, so you can keep the chart's layers accessible for changing at a later time. Leave the name you chose when setting up the chart, or enter a new one, choose where to save the chart on your network, and then click the "Save" button.

Step 11

Repeat the save process to save the chart in a flattened graphic format, such as PNG or JPG (see Tips).

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