I am generating a custom report with custom graph data for each record. Since I need to generate the graph data I am stuck with Illustrator as the program to develop the unique designs for each record.

I am running into an issue that illustrator drops apostrophes and quotation marks in the intro paragraph on the design. It just removes them and no error is generated. This happens for both xml and csv variable library files. Here is an example of my xml code:

      <p>John, you've successfully completed All sessions of the Academy. You often try to build consensus around a common set of values for the organization and often ask, "What can we learn?" when things don't go as expected.  You always treat people with dignity and respect, as well as make it a point to let people know about your confidence in their abilities. You always seek challenging opportunities that stretch your own abilities and skills. Thank you for attending the Academy as part of that "stretch".  We know how busy work/life is, and we appreciate you taking the time to be apart of this initial cohort.</p>

Even when imported with the apostrophes and quotation marks in the xml file it drops them in my illustrator document:

enter image description here

Can this issue be solved? There are very limited resources on Variable data sets for Illustrator. Am I better off just generating the graphs in Illustrator and then importing them in another data merge program such as Indesign?

  • You probably shouldn't generate graphs in illustrator, or any adobe software for that matter. Rest of the stuff is probably ok to do in illustrator.
    – joojaa
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 15:53
  • My client wants the graphs to be well designed. Unfortunately, Excel is not the best program for creating clean/print friendly graphs. Illustrator has an entire tool dedicated to graphs. What program would you recommend instead? Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 20:26
  • 1
    I dont think Excel is best or even good. Id say Mathematica or write your own in EPS.
    – joojaa
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


Seems to work fine for me, so i can not replicate the problem. Check what your file encoding is?As in: What does it say in the <?xml> tag and what does your text editor say that the file is saved as? Many simpler editors resort to code page ASCII text which is not what illustrator expects I can replicate the problem it works fine as long as my file really is utf-8 encoded file. You may want to change your editor.

Anyway even if you have encoding issues you can allays change the apostrophe to &apos; and it should work mostly regardless of the encoding issue.

  • I think the issue was due to a converter I was using to convert my csv to an Illustrator xml file. If I import the data into Illustrator as a csv and then export from Illustrator as an xml I can update the copy to add the quotes/apostrophes using a find/replace command in Dreamweaver. That updated xml file imports without any issues. Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 20:23

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