How (and why) to set up custom fields

To simplify your workflow and to let you create more customized visualizations, you can add information to your chart, maps & tables. After you defined the custom fields in your team settings, they will appear in  step 3: Visualize > Annotate, below the part where you give your visualization a title, description, source, byline, etc. 

Custom fields are available for users on a Custom or Enterprise plan.
You can find more information about our pricing options here

This article explains what to use custom fields for, and how to add them. 

Use custom fields to improve your workflow

There are two use cases for custom fields. 

The first one is to  set IDs in your visualization metadata that can then read by your content management system (CMS) via the Datawrapper API. That's helpful if you want your CMS to know which visualizations belong to which articles. Your CMS could then suggest certain visualizations for certain articles and/or to certain authors.

This is how a custom field we named "slug" is displayed in Datawrapper: And this is how the custom field will show up in the visualization metadata that you can read via the Datawrapper API:

{
   "publicId":"5ibZK",
   ...
   "metadata":{
      "data":{
         ...
      },
      "custom":{
         "slug":"productivity-is-not-as-important-as-you-might-think"
      },
      "publish":{
         ...

Examples for IDs you might want to set are:

  • slug (e.g where-can-you-afford-to-buy-a-house)
  • article ID (e.g. 822938)
  • publication date (e.g. 2020/08/20), to just show the Datawrapper visualizations for today's articles
  • name of the article author (e.g. Anna Johnson), to show the article author which visualizations they should use

There are no limits to which custom fields you can create. The beauty of custom fields is that they are highly flexible, so they work for every workflow you want to set up.

Use custom fields to customize your visualizations

The second use case for custom fields is to customize your visualizations. This will be mostly text you want to appear on the visualization, like:

  • an additional title (e.g. a tag above the visualization title named "Economy")
  • a figure number for PDF reports (e.g. "fig. 1.29" in the top-right corner)
  • an additional link next to the source (e.g. "first published in ...")

Here's an example for a tag ("ECONOMY") that appears above the chart title:

 While you can add these custom fields yourself, you'll need to get in touch with us at support@datawrapper.de to make them show up in your charts, maps, and tables.

Simply let us know how and where the text resulting from the custom fields should appear, and we will implement them as part of the  custom design theme that's included in your Custom or Enterprise plan. 

How to set up custom fields

Now that you know what to use custom fields for, here's how to put them in place. It's a matter of a few clicks: 

1
First, go to your account settings in Datawrapper and select your team. This will bring you to your team settings. Now click on  Custom fields:
2
Select Add custom field and choose your title, description, and the key that will show up in the chart metadata:

You can also select if your custom field should be displayed as a short text field (for tags, titles, etc.) or as a big text field (like our visualization descriptions).

3
Click Save – and that's it! Open a chart, map, or table and navigate to the Annotate tab, and you will see that your new custom fields wait to be filled.
You can add as many custom fields if you like. And if you figure out that they're not useful anymore, just edit or remove them. 

Thank you for following this tutorial! If you have any open questions about custom fields, get in touch with us at support@datawrapper.de. We're looking forward to hearing from you. 
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