A first tour through Datawrapper

So you just signed up to Datawrapper and opened it for the first time. Great! And a warm welcome from the whole Datawrapper team. We're happy to have you on board and we hope that Datawrapper will help you to create beautiful charts, maps, and tables. 

This article gives an overview of Datawrapper. In the end, you will have a better sense of where to find settings, help or more information. Let's start!

The Dashboard: See your latest charts

When you open the app for the first time, you will see the following:

You're on a page we like to call the Dashboard. It shows all the last visualizations you've created or edited with Datawrapper. Since you haven't done this yet, it shows you an introduction video. 

Right of the Dashboard, you will see two panels: 

  • Datawrapper River The Datawrapper River is a gallery of user charts that you can re-use for your own purposes. The Datawrapper River panel shows you the titles of a mix of our favourite and more recent charts, maps, and tables that you can re-use from the Datawrapper River. Clicking on the titles will bring you directly to the visualizations in the River. 
  • Below the River panel, you find the Changelog: Here you can see our latest improvements. To find out more about this, head over to datawrapper.de/changelog.

The menu bar: Access everything important

At the top of each page – including the Dashboard – you will see the same seven elements: A logo and a menu bar with six options. Let's walk through them:

  • In the top left is the Datawrapper logo. If you're ever lost, you can click it and it will bring you back to the Dashboard.
  • New Chart will bring you to the first step of our chart creation process. That's where you'll first upload your data and then start designing your chart. Available chart types can be found under Step 3: Visualize in the Chart type grid. These include bar charts (simple bar chart, stacked bar chart, split bar chart and grouped bar chart), column charts (simple column chart, stacked column chart, and grouped column chart), line and area chart, dot plot, range plot, arrow plot, scatter plots, pie charts (simple pie chart and multiple pies chart) and donut charts (simple donut, multiple donuts, and election donuts).
  • New Map will bring you to a page that lets you choose if you want to create a choropleth, symbol or locator map. The images and descriptions explain the differences between these three maps. 
  • New table will bring you to the first step of our table creation process (which looks very similar to creating a chart).
  • River will lead you to river.datawrapper.de/. The Datawrapper River is the gallery of user charts that you can re-use for your own purposes– click on the menu item to have a look; you can always come back to the Dashboard.
  • My Charts will bring you to an overview of all your charts, maps & tables, not just the most recent ones like in your Dashboard. In My Charts, you can organize your visualizations in folders. As soon as you're part of a team, My Charts will be renamed in Team Charts and will bring you to not just your personal charts, but also all the ones that your team has created. Pro tip: When you click on the little arrow next to My Charts / Team Charts, it will show you your last ten visualizations. 

  • (also called "hamburger menu") will open a little menu with the four points Settings, My Teams, Language and Logout. When clicking on Language, you can choose if you want to see the whole Datawrapper app in German or in English. We will talk about Settings and My Teams in a bit.

The ?: Find help

There's one last element you see on the Dashboard and any other page of the Datawrapper app, and that's the question mark in the bottom right. It's there to help you when you have questions. 

Click on it and you can search through all the articles of the Datawrapper Academy (that's the documentation of our Datawrapper app. You're currently on it!). To search for something, type in a search term – e.g. "line chart" – and hit Enter. A list of results will appear, e.g. "How to create a line chart". You can click & read these articles directly in this little pop-up while creating your visualizations. 


New Chart / New Map / New Table: Follow a 4-step process to a beautiful visualization

When you click on New Chart, New Map or New Table in the menu bar at the top, you will see four big arrows at the top. They differ a little bit depending on if you're creating a chart or a map. For charts, they look like this:

These four red arrows lead you through the chart/map/table creation process. To create a visualization, you'll go through each of these steps until you arrive at step 4: Publish & Embed. We won't talk about these four steps here in detail, but you will see them a lot when going through tutorials that explain to you how to create the individual chart or map types. 


The Settings: Change your email/password, upgrade, create an API token etc.

When you click  in the upper right and then on Settings, you will land on a page on where you can change your email and your password, create a team, upgrade to another account or create an API token (we explain what that means in this Academy article):


My Charts / Team Charts: See all your visualizations and organize them

When you click on My Charts at the top, you will arrive at an overview of all your charts, maps & tables, not just the most recent ones like in your Dashboard. In My Charts, you can organize your visualizations in folders. As soon as you're part of a team, My Charts will be renamed in Team Charts and will bring you to not just your personal charts, but also all the ones that your team has created.

You can learn how to organize your charts with folders in this Academy article.


The River: Get inspiration from others and re-use their visualizations

When you click on River in your menu bar, you will get to a gallery filled with charts, maps, and tables by other Datawrapper users. You can click on Reuse this chart below each visualization to re-use their chart for your own articles, presentations or print products. 

Curious? Learn more about the River in this Academy article.

And that's it! This concludes our little tour through the Datawrapper app. Simply play around and click on buttons to see what they do (except the "delete your account" button 😅). If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at support@datawrapper.de. We're happy to help!

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