Is there a way to input variable excel data into multiple column graphs in Illustrator? So, for example, I need 100 different graphs, like the one shown below, that have the same graph style and the vertical axis (0-100).

The variable data that needs to change based on the excel input are:

  • 2 blue and green bar columns (%Percent1 & %Percent2)
  • the horizontal axis (Year1 & Year2)

Example excel input: enter image description here

I want to avoid manually copying and pasting 100 individual graphs to then manually change the 100 blue and green columns and horizontal axis?

I'm also having trouble figuring out how to put a % to the end of the totals in both column designs. I currently have them set as "%00" to capture the data input as it changes, but when I try to add a % to the end of the text it no longer follows the data input.

enter image description here

  • Please share a screenshot of your excel graph
    – Vinny
    Feb 8, 2019 at 9:35

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you want to use the Variables palette to set up multiple versions of your graph data - there is a ton of info on doing this in the Adobe Help, FWIW.


I rarely link to their stuff, but in this case it's really not worth my going through re-writing what they already have done so well: suffice it to say that with some re-orgnaisation of your Excel data, correct binding of the variables to the relevant items, you should be able to iterate your graphs pretty simply.

If this doesn't do it, you could do it the old-fashioned way, and rename a source file repeatedly to iterate your design.

Edited after reading comments:

Variable in Illustrator when applied to a graph do not capture only one graph value - it captures ALL the relevant graph values, and so can be used to control the entirety of a graph's contents; note also that adding an identity to the definition of a given data range (e.g. Variable1=3) causes those to become legend markers in that saved variable version of the graph:

enter image description here

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  • 1
    This loads each percentage column from excel as their own graph data variables. I need both percentage columns from the excel doc to link to one graph for each data set not 2 graphs for each data set.
    – Jenny
    Feb 8, 2019 at 17:52
  • Is there a way to bind multiple text variables and multiple graph data variables to elements in one graph?
    – Jenny
    Feb 8, 2019 at 18:58
  • Thank you for updating your answer per my comments. I have updated my question with a new screenshot. ...Am I understanding that my questions (multiple variables bound to one graph and adding "%" to the total in a column design is not possible to achieve?
    – Jenny
    Feb 8, 2019 at 19:59
  • I came across this graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/117296/… and attempted using the script without much success....
    – Jenny
    Feb 8, 2019 at 21:16

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