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.
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.
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.
In the Annotate tab, you're first asked to give your visualization a title, description, notes, source, byline, and an alternative description for screen readers. You can find a detailed explanation of all these Annotate options here.
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 the Layout tab, you can select an output locale, change the design theme and footer options, and enable social sharing. Find a detailed explanation of all the Layout options here.
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.