How to Edit R Charts in Adobe Illustrator
A detailed guide for R users who want to polish their charts in the popular graphic design app for readability and aesthetics.
When it comes to to visualization in R, most people stay completely in R. This is fine when your charts are specifically for analysis, because you’re the only who looks at them. You don’t need to add context, explain visual encodings, or make things look nice. The goal is to produce graphs in rapid fashion so that you can make sense of your data.
However, when it comes time to produce graphics for a wider audience, it can be useful and more efficient to export your chart as a PDF and edit in vector software such as Adobe Illustrator or its open source alternative Inkscape. We covered the latter already. Inkscape is free, but the usability and setup process isn’t as straightforward as Illustrator.
To access this full tutorial and download the source code you must be a member. (If you are already a member, log in here.)
Gain instant access to step-by-step visualization courses and tutorials for insight and presentation — all while supporting an independent site. Source code and data is included so that you can more easily apply what you learn in your own work.
Members also recieve a weekly newsletter, The Process, which looks more closely at the tools, the rules, and the guidelines and how they work in practice.
See samples of everything you gain access to:
More Tutorials See All →
Transitioning Map, Part 3: Animate Change Over Time
How to make a bunch of maps and string them together to show change.
How to Make Square Pie Charts in R
Instead of traditional pie charts that rely on angles and arc lengths to show parts of a whole, try this easier-to-read version.
Small Multiples in R
Make a lot of charts at once, line them up in a grid, and you can make quick comparisons across several categories.