Customizing your split bar chart

After uploading data and selecting the chart type split bars chart, you can make further adjustments to your chart such as adding title, description and footnotes among others.

When you are at Step 3: Visualize, you'll see three tabs next to ''Chart type'' namely "Refine", "Annotate" & "Design". (In the "Refine" and "Annotate" tab, you can resize the chart, to make it wider or taller. To do so, click, hold, and drag the arrow in the lower right corner to scale the chart window.)



In the first tab in step 3: Visualize, we can see five panels: "Customize axes", "Sorting", "Labelling", "Appearance" & "Data range". 

Customize axes

The first panel lets us customize your axes. Here we can choose which element in your chart shows which data:

  • Labels: Select the column header that contains labels for each row. These labels are in your category-column. We'll choose the column "Social Network" as our labels.
  • Groups: You can upload an extra column to put categories into extra groups. In our case, we could have a column that states for each social network if it's been around "before 2010" or "after 2010". If we choose that column as our "Groups", the chart would make a separation between the bars showing the "old" social networks and the younger ones.

For our chart, the panel looks like this at the end: 


In this panel, we have just one decision to make:  How should the bars and their labels be sorted? You can keep the order of your spreadsheet with unchecking "Re-sort bars". Or you can sort by a column, e.g. "I don't use it." If you do so, the biggest value will be at the top of the chart. To have it at the bottom of the chart, choose "ascending". 

For our chart, the panel looks like this at the end: 


In the next panel, we can decide if we want to hide the values on our bars and if we want to align the bar labels to the left or the right. 

The most interesting setting here is the Number format. With it, we can decide how our values are shown (if we choose to display them). Here are three examples:

  • Choose the number format "123.4k" if you have big numbers like "1,303,428" that you'd rather want to display as "1.3m"
  • Choose the number format "0.0" if you have very detailed numbers like "0.1922302" that you'd rather want to display as "0.2"
  • Choose the number format "0%" or "0.0%" if you have a number that is a relative number, like in our case. This setting will add a percentage sign. 

For our chart, the panel looks like this at the end: 


In the fourth panel in the tab "Refine", we can decide the design of our bar chart: We can choose bar colors and decide if we want to separate rows with a line, make our bars thicker or give each bar a grey background.

Let's focus on how to  choose colors for our bars. We can choose one color and its shades for all our bars (click on "Base color" to change the default color). When we click on "customize colors...", we can choose individual colors for each bar. In our chart, we can give a higher usage of a social network a darker color:

In this panel, we can also decide if our rows should be separated with a dotted line, if the bars should be thicker, if there should be a grey background for each bar and if we want to increase or decrease the space between the columns. A cluttered chart can be cleaned up with these settings. We'll choose all of them for our chart: 

Data range

In our last panel, you can find two more options. First, "Custom range". Here you can decide which value range your x axis should cover. By default, the y-axis for each column will be as long as your biggest bar. But if our chart shows percentages close to 100%, it makes sense to extend the chart to 100%. Readers will then be able to see how much turnout is "missing" to achieve the ideal 100%. So we can write in a "100" in the "max"-field:

If we have tiny values in certain columns and huge ones in others, we can also check the option "Use independent scales for each column." Note that this will make it harder for our readers to compare the values across the columns with each other, and that it can lead to misread information. We will leave this option turned off for our chart.



Describe chart

If you've created a Datawrapper chart or map before, you already know this feature. Here we can give your chart a title, a description, add notes and a source:

  • We recommend using a title that conveys the most interesting or important aspect about the chart. Think of it as a key statement that you want your readers to remember if they do not explore the background data in detail, E.g. "Unemployment highest in the south"
  • The description should have as much information about the data as possible: What do we see exactly? E.g. "Unemployment rates in % in all US states, 2016"
  • Think of notes as footnotes, where we want to clarify any abnormalities about your data. E.g. "California unemployment rates from Jan and Feb 2016 not included in the calculation."
  • The source name will give our readers the information about how trustworthy our data is. Does it come from a government institution or another trustworthy organization? The source URL lets our reader dig even deeper and have a look at the underlying data. Whenever possible, ensure that you provide the source name and source URL for every map and chart to increase transparency. E.g. US Bureau of Labour Statistics, August 2017

Highlight elements

In the 2nd panel in the "Annotate" tab, we can choose to highlight elements: The label in front of these bars will appear in bold. We can revert the highlight by clicking on the x in front of the label:



In the ''Design'' tab under step 3: Visualize, you can select a preset layout and enable social sharing function to share your work. Users of the Free plan have two options: one layout with and one without the "Get the data" link. Users of Datawrapper's Custom and Enterprise plan have the option to select a custom layout here. The output locale option allows you to choose in which format do you want the decimals, 1000 separators and dates to appear in your visualization.



In the final  step 4: Publish & Embed, you have the option to publish the chart either by sharing the URL or by copying the embed code directly on your website or CMS (recommended). You can also download your chart as a PNG (available to all users regardless of the type of subscription plan they have) or as a SVG or PDF (available only to users of Custom and Enterprise plan). For more information on the different pricing plans, click here.

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