Appendix A. Fix Common Problems

When creating data visualizations with online tools, public datasets, and code templates, it’s not uncommon to encounter some occasional problems that prevent them from working as expected. We understand that finding the source of a problem can feel frustrating. But figuring out why it broke—and how to fix it—can be a great way to learn what’s happening behind the scenes.

Reach out to others for advice on solving problems, and make it easier for them to help you. Clearly describe your issue, mention your computer operating system and/or browser version, and consider including a screenshot using these built-in commands:


Shift+Ctrl+F5 (the “show windows” button), then click and drag the crosshair cursor.


Shift-Command-4, then click and drag the crosshair cursor.


Windows logo key+Shift+S to call up the “Snip & Sketch” tool.

Review the following sections to diagnose the type of problem you’re facing, and see our recommended solutions for the most common issues we’ve seen. Remember that some of the thorniest problems may be caused by two or more separate issues:

Tool or Platform Problems

If you have a problem with one of our recommended digital tools, and have not found the answer in this book, go to the tool’s support ...

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