In Illustrator CS4 I have a scatter graph with four data sets. Now I want to use dashed and dotted patterns. However the dashes are not distributed uniformly over a plot.

enter image description here
Click here to see a PDF

This is due to a plot consisting of multiple separate line segments instead of connected line segments. In CS5 these line segments are supposedly easily joined by simply selecting the plot and press Ctrl + J.

This is however not possible in CS4, which gives the message To join, you must select two open endpoints. If they are not on ....

Connecting all these line segments manually would be too laborious. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Can someone show me how to obtain a uniformly distributed dashed plot in a scatter graph with Adobe Illustrator CS4?

  • Unfortunately there's no easy solution before the new join heuristics. You could write a script tough that attempts to do this (its not hard but takes some time to develop, and unfortunately i'm developing another solution at the moment). But it may be easier to recreate the graph with colors.
    – joojaa
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:48
  • I thing the area graph creates joined lines but i dont have cs4 to check
    – tim human
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 13:02
  • have you considered using pathfinder options ? pathfinder - outline ,,
    – ahmad-y
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 21:45
  • That's weird, I'm sure I used to do this all the time: create graph, ungroup graph, select line segments using the funny "group select" tool under the white arrow, then join and it joined them all at once. Alternatively Unite in the Pathfinder window should work Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


If you're any good with the pen tool you could manually trace these lines faster than trying to join them in CS4. But the pen tool is kind of like herding cats in Illustrator. I don't know anyone that would claim to actually enjoy using it.

Alternatively you could use Live Trace. This is also like herding cats, but once you get a workflow you can live with you could repeat it on many many graphs much faster than other options.

Some steps to Live Trace.

Isolate the line you want, turn off the dashing and give it an even stroke. Now export it as a tiff. Then re-import by "Place" and start figuring out the myriad of Live Trace options.

Here's a video to get you started with it:


Once you've successfully traced it, and cleaned up the tracing (almost another conversation entirely) then you'll have a nice clean line for equal dashing.

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