How to create a Multiple Lines chart

Line charts are often the best choice to show how your data developed over time. Multiple lines charts – also called small multiple line charts, trellis plot, facets, grid charts, or panel charts – do the same, but separate each line in their own panel. That means your lines don’t overlap anymore like in a normal line chart. Multiple lines charts are great to show lots of lines and keep a tidy appearance.

👉 To learn more about Datawrapper multiple lines, read our feature announcement from February 2024.

This guide will show you how to create the following chart:


Preparing and importing the data

To visualize data, you first need the data. The source for the chart on U.K. house prices comes from the U.K. government, and we prepared it in this Google Sheet for you to copy. The data looks like this: 

To make sure that Datawrapper accepts the data, your data should have the following:

  • A header row with labels. These will show up as titles above each chart panel (e.g. "East Midlands", "London")
  • A first column with dates or times. They will define the horizontal axis. Learn which date formats Datawrapper recognizes
  • Columns with values. They will define each line and the length of the vertical axis.

Your data is ready to go? Great! Click here to create a new chart in Datawrapper (no need to sign up!). This link brings you automatically in step 1: Upload data. To learn in which formats you can get the data into Datawrapper (CSV, Excel, Google Sheet link, server data...), visit this Academy article. For now, you can just copy & paste the data:

The data looks a bit chaotic in there, so let's quickly move on:


Check & Describe

Once you click on step 2: Check & Describe or on Proceed, you'll see that Datawrapper puts your data into a neat table:

As explained in the upper left of step 2, Datawrapper automatically detects data formats (number, dates, or text) and empty cells. The first column is green, which tells you that Datawrapper correctly identified the dates as dates. The rest of the columns is blue and right-aligned, meaning Datawrapper recognized them as numbers. 

You can always change the data format by clicking on the table header and selecting another one. 

For now, that looks good, so let's click on step 3: Visualize, to see your data visualized: 



In step 3, Datawrapper will always show you your data as a line chart: Click on any of the other chart types to see your data visualized differently. To create a small multiple line chart, make sure to click on Multiple Lines: 

Congratulations! You've successfully created a small multiple line chart: 

We'll cover how you can customize and style your chart in the next tutorial, Customizing your Multiple Lines chart.