Customizing your column chart

After uploading and checking your data in step 1 and 2 of the Datawrapper pipeline, you can now refine and annotate your column chart in step 3: "Visualize". After choosing your chart type with a click on "Column Chart", you will see three additional tabs at the top: "Refine", "Annotate" and "Design". We will go through them together to create the following chart:


1

Refine

After clicking on the tab "Refine", the first thing that you'll see is the option to adjust the colors of your bars. You can click on "customize colors", to assign each bar an own color. Datawrapper will show you a list of the labels in your first column. Click on a label (e.g. "Union") and then on the color box below "Choose a Color". A small popup will open, and you'll be able to choose a new color for your selected label. 

You can also "Reset all colors" (to the right) or select all or none colors below the list of labels.

Below the "customize color" feature, you have more options: You can...

  • sort the bars. You'll find that the bars appear in the order in your original dataset, so this feature can be helpful to create a different order
  • reverse the order
  • use different color for negative values. If you have negative values in yoru data AND you have not assigned customized colors to your bars, this feature will make all the negative bars red. 
  • Ignore missing values. Only numbers will result in bars. If you have letters in some of your cells in your second column, Datawrapper shows these letters, but without a bar. You can make check "Ignore missing values" to make sure that only rows with numeric values will be shown.
  • Rotate labels. If you want labels to appear 90 degree rotated, check this box.

You will also find the option to show grid lines and labels. 

2

Annotate

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 the title to tell your readers what's interesting about this chart – the one key statement that you want to show on this chart, 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 specify 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 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 themselves. Both, source name and source URL, should be filled out on every map to increase transparency. E.g. US Bureau of Labour Statistics, August 2017

Highlight elements

In the 2nd panel in the "Annotate" tab, we can emphasize certain bars. To do so, select the element(s) you want to highlight. The rest of the bars will automatically tone down: 

3

Design

In this last step you can select a preset layout and enable social sharing functions to spread your work. Click on " Publish"and you'll be directed to the "Publish & Embed" page.

The best way to use a Datawrapper chart is by embedding it directly in your website. To do that, click the big blue button that says " Embed chart on website". Then, copy & paste the embed code snippet into your website or CMS. You can also download your chart as a PNG or PDF by upgrading to a paid Single or Team account. Click here for more information on the different pricing plans of Datawrapper.

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