Customizing your column chart

After uploading and checking your data in step 1: Upload data and step 2: Check and Describe of the chart editor, 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 under step 3: Visualize namely "Refine", "Annotate" and "Design". 



After clicking on the tab "Refine", the first thing is the option to specify the values that you want to appear on the vertical and horizontal axis. You have different features available under each axis to customize the appearance of these axes. 

Vertical Axis

For the vertical axis, you can modify:

  • custom range: allows you to set your own minimum and maximum values. However, please note that the vertical axis of column chart has been set, by default, to start at zero, meaning that you can only modify the maximum value on this axis.
  • show grid lines: depending on whether or not you want to highlight the display of certain values, you can choose to enable or disable this feature
  • show axis labels: with the first setting ''Number format'', you can decide how to show your values. Below are three examples but there are many different formats available and choice of a format ultimately depends on how big or small your values are:
    • 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. 

Horizontal Axis

For the horizontal axis, you can:

  • sort columns: here you have two settings; sort columns automatically or in reverse order. If you enable the automatic setting, your columns will be arranged in descending order and reversing the order would naturally sort them in ascending order. 
  • rotate labels: this handy little setting allows you to rotate the labels of your individual columns, in case some of the labels are too long to fit together in a horizontal fashion. Here again, you have the choice to set the rotate option on ''auto'', ''always'' or ''never''. 


Next option is ''Appearance'' where you have the option to adjust the colors of your bars. You can click on  "customize colors" to assign each bar its own color. When you click on customize colors, you will have a list of labels displayed, together with a color box, depending on how many values you had. 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 two more options; '' show values'' and ''space between columns''. Show values basically specifies whether you want the values for individual column to appear on hover or always at the top of columns. The space between columns specifies how thick or thin you want the columns to be. Here you can play around with the scroll bar a bit to see what degree of space looks best with your columns.



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 choosing a title that highlights the most interesting aspect about the chart – the one key statement that you want your reader to remember about this   map   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 your readers the information about how trustworthy your data is. Does it come from a government institution or another trustworthy organization? The source URL lets your reader dig even deeper and have a look at the underlying data. Whenever possible, make sure that you provide source name and source URL for your data 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: 



In this last step you can select a preset layout in this last tab. Users of the Free plan are able to choose between two Datawrapper layouts whereas users of the Custom and Enterprise plan can also choose their custom layout apart from the default Datawrapper layouts. 

You can also modify the  Output Locale for your map. This affects the language of the attribution in the bottom left of your map and defines decimal and thousand separators as well as translation of month and weekday names.

Lastly, you can enable Social Sharing here. If you do that, the share buttons for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will appear on the top-right corner of your chart. 


Publish & Embed 

What's left now is for you to decide how you want to publish your new chart. This could be either by sharing the URL or by copying the embed code directly on your website or CMS (recommended). A third option is downloading the chart as a PNG (available to all users- be they part of Free, Custom or Enterprise plan) or as SVG or PDF (available only to users of Custom and Enterprise plan). 

For more information on the different pricing plans, click here.