How & where to change your data in Datawrapper

You can always change your data in Excel, Google Sheets, R etc. before uploading it to Datawrapper. But Datawrapper also offers three options to change your data: 

  1. In step 1: Upload data, you can change any data and column name if you've copied & pasted them directly in the text field there.
  2. In step 2: Check & Describe, you can click directly in cells and edit the data and column names there. 
  3. In step 3: Visualize, you can edit all data except values in almost all chart types.

Let's look at all these options in detail.


Change data in step 1: Upload data

To be able to change the data in step 1, "Copy & paste data table" needs to be selected. This is selected by default when you enter the site. You can  copy & paste a spreadsheet in the text field (or write, separated with commas!). If you do so, the values appear separated with commas. You can then go ahead and change the text directly in the text field, like so:

Make sure you keep the commas or tabs in between the values. If you delete the commas/tabs, Datawrapper won't know anymore where one columns ends and the next one begins.

If you change something in step 1, there's no going back (except, while you're still on the site, with Cmd/Ctrl+Z). Once you changed the data and proceeded, you won't be able to go back to step 1 and bring the data back in its original state. Think of the data in step 1 as the "raw" data.


Change data in step 2: Check & Describe

To change data in step 2, simply click in the data cells or header cells and edit the text, date or number. An orange triangle in the upper left of the cell will indicate that this cell has content that differs from the "raw" data in step 1.

Any changes in step 2 will show up in your chart or table, but they won't show up if you go back to step 1: Upload data. The data in step 1 remains the "raw" data. 

Think of your changes in step 2 as "on top" of the data in step 1. 

That also means that if you go back to step 1 and change a data cell or a column name that you already changed in step 2, the changes won't show up in step 2. The changes (in our case "vegetables" and "2011") are on top of the "raw" data from step 1:

That might sound complicated. So why should you make changes to your data in step 2 if you can also change it in step 1? There are several reasons: 

  • In case you want to make changes to your data that you can revert later (with a click on the "Revert changes" button in the lower right). 
  • In case you want to upload slightly different data. Imagine you've uploaded a data set with messy column names, and you cleaned them all up in step 2. Now you found a dataset with the same columns, but for another location. Or an updated data set got released with the same columns. Because you made your changes in step 2 instead of in step 1, you can upload the new data without losing your readable column names.
  • In case you can't make changes in step 1 because you've uploaded an Excel file, link a Google sheets or a CSV instead of copy & pasting your data table. Then, changing column names etc. is only possible for you in step 2.

Attention: Datawrapper will remember where you changed your data based on your row and column index. Meaning, if you change your column names in the first row (= the header) in your second column and then upload a new column at its place, it will get the "old" column name you changed:

In this case, we change the 2nd column name "Cookie" to "Let me change these cookies". We then upload a new 2nd column, "Candies". As we can see, "Candies" turns into "Let me change these cookies" & "Cookies" as a column name becomes the third column.

Every time you upload a data set with new number of columns or rows, check the changes you previously did in step 2 and make sure all column names still make sense. 

If you don't like your changes and want to see the "raw" data in your step 2 again, simply click the "Revert changes" button in the lower right:

To learn more about how to correct & delete data or hide columns in step 2,  visit our article "How to change, correct & delete data in step 2".


Change data in step 3: Visualize

In almost all chart types, you can change the column names (and sometimes also the text in the first column) directly in the chart. This is convenient, e.g. if you want to try out if a shorter variable name would look better in the chart. Simply click on an axis label or in a color key on the text you want to change, and do so.

This will change the data in step 2. You will see the orange triangles that indicate which cells have changed, and you can revert the changes with the click on the button in the lower right.

We hope this was helpful. If you still have questions about how to apply these learnings to your specific data, get in touch with us at And to learn more about how to correct & delete data or hide columns in step 2, visit our article "How to change, correct & delete data in step 2".