Design templates for reports and charts automation with Datylon Report Server

Learn how to build solid templates for the Datylon Report Server with Datylon for Illustrator


The Datylon Report Server is a platform which allows organizations to automate the production of charts, pages or complete reports based on graphically rich and on-brand templates created with Datylon for Illustrator. 

This article focuses on how to design failure free templates in Datylon for Illustrator and export them to the Datylon Report Server online. If you want to know more about how to integrate the Datylon Report Server, click here.

At first, start small. Build a template with a single bar or line chart and a small data set for your developer who is getting started with the integration.


Creating templates with Datylon for Illustrator

Before you start

Design, Formatting & Styling

  • Make sure the Datylon chart box falls within the borders of the Illustrator artboard. Charts outside the artboard borders will be ignored during export. 
  • Test the data range.
    • Some charts give an error with zero or negative values in uploaded data sets.
    • Check the behaviour of empty cells if the uploaded data might contain those.
    • If you use Min & Max value in axes (Styling > X or Y axis > Min value and Max value), make sure those fall within the expected range of the uploaded data. 
  • Test the category range of the expected data set. Some datasets might come with more or less categories as in your template designs. Check also for overlapping labels etc.
  • In case of multi series charts, test the minimum and maximum number of series. Make sure you have enough series created as can be expected in future data sets.
  • Test the labels with the expected minimum and maximum number of characters and words. Note that labels which run outside the chart box will be clipped. This can be avoided by using Autofit (Styling > Position And Size > Plot Area). 
  • If possible, avoid the use of data point styling (Styling > Series > “Series name”  > All Data). It is supported, but only works well if the number of data points is exactly the same in each data set.
  • Data formatting settings (under Formatting tab), are kept on condition the input data set is formatted the same as the template data set. 

Data sheet Manager

  • Only use the default workbook called quite logically “default workbook”. The default workbook shall contain one or more datasheets.
  • Give the charts and specifically the data sheets logical names as they need to be referred to in the data which is sent to the Datylon Report Server.
  • Remove unused datasheets before exporting the template (Manage data > Remove unused).

Export to Datylon Report Studio

Illustrator menu > Window > Extensions > Datylon Import & Export

  • One or more artboards can be exported. If multiple artboards are selected, the number of the Illustrator artboard, not the name, will be added as a suffix to the template name. 
  • If a template name already exists, you will need to confirm to overwrite or add a new template. 
  • Fonts need to be embedded in the template. Make sure the Embed fonts radio button is enabled.
  • You can export your template to any Datylon account as long as you have the Datylon account email and password.
  • The Illustrator document has to be saved before it can be exported to the Datylon Report Studio

Known limitations

  • The Datylon Report server can only address Datylon accounts with password and email sign-in. So please refrain from using a Datylon account with Google sign-in. 
  • Text, created in uppercase, i.e. when using the Illustrator feature Type > Change Case > UPPERCASE, will not show in the data story as uppercase when exported to the Datylon Report Studio. 
  • Small Caps, All Caps and some other character styling settings are not supported in Datylon charts, nor in Datylon templates or designs which are exported from Datylon for Illustrator to the Datylon Report Studio.
  • Images are not always rendered pixel perfect in Adobe Illustrator. A soft pixelated edge might be visible when exporting a data story with images to the Datylon Report Studio.
    To avoid this, draw a mask around the image using one of Illustrator's drawing tools and define it as a clipping mask in the Illustrator menu Object > Clipping Mask > Make. The edges of the image will then appear sharp.
  • Datylon chart area box(es) should be positioned completely within the Illustrator Artboard bounderies. Datylon charts with a chart area box outside the artboard, will be ignored and are not exported.
  • Different Illustrator color blending modes (e.g. Darken, Multiply, Lighten,...) are not supported when exporting an Artboard to Datylon Report Studio. Normal color blending mode will be applied instead on all objects. 
  • Datylon export feature is not working with Adobe Illustrator 26.3.1. 
    See here for more info. 
  • Empty Datylon Text objects are not exported correctly to Datylon Report Studio. Their position changes. A simple work around is to add an empty space to the data of the Datylon Text object. 


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