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Storytelling is core concept in Columns - unlike many visualization tools, Columns doesn't stop at visualization. Beyond that, it enbales users to bring their creativity and maximize its influence.

There are 3 types of storytelling tools available in Columns

  1. Chart customization
  2. Visual design
  3. Presentation craft

Chart customization#

In the chapter of visualization, we have showed some examples that make a visual more expressive. Changes like coloring scheme, contrast view, and highlighted value are all good ways to make your visual more vivid.

In progress, we are adding more and more tools built specifically for each chart to give our users more choices to customize them.

One general suggestion to our users - in every chart, try to click the element from the canvas, there are dynamic settings show up related to the item in click. Here we have a special mention on map chart, especially map type and color scale are often found very useful.

Map chart

Visual design#

Like other visual design tools, Columns offers a basic but well-designed toolset to help tell a story. This includes annotation, images, icons, arrows and shapes, and many more are under development.

Let's use an example to show how those visual elements help make the story more attractive for readers.

Storytelling example In this example, we have used

  • Adjusted side spaces for its scatter chart.
  • Multi-lines of text annotation under the chart.
  • Images of two highlighted states: Illinois and Texas.
  • Arrows with explainable text for these two states.
  • Updated visual title.
  • Other color styles.


Columns presents a canvas to you, on the canvas, you can (nearly) customize every single element. If not sure how, just hover your mouse and click the element, an dynamic settings will show up for it.

For example, here is a way to customize Value Range for an axis in a chart, just click the AXIS, and set it.

Range override

Remeber: (nearly) every visual element on the canvas can be customized, please play around to discover options.

Presentation crafts#

Once we have the visual saved in your gallery, we can share it individually or add it to a story. You can think of story as a format of presentation.

This is one story example for reference: Story Example

This example is also viewable at this public address.

In addition, a visual could be linked in a dashboard alike app. The way how it works is similar to Story, so just link to an example here. Unlike story, app supports auto refresh on a schedule.