Skip to main content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

OpenRefine

A free, open source, powerful tool for working with messy data.

Exporting Data

Once you have completed your data cleaning, normalization, and preparation, OpenRefine gives you several options for exporting your data in the format of your choosing.

To export your data:

  1. Go to the upper right-hand corner of the browser window and click on the “Export” button.
  2. In the dropdown, you will see several file formats in which to export your data. The most commonly used and widely useful formats are:
    1. Tab- and Comma-separated value
    2. HTML table
    3. Excel
    4. ODF spreadsheet

Export drop-down options

Helpful Tips:

  • While the formats listed above are the most commonly used formats for exporting data, there are other options. For more information, consult the OpenRefine documentation on Exporting.

Exporting History

Another useful feature of OpenRefine is the option to extract your transformation history. This can be useful for applying transformations to a similar set of data or simply preserving a record of your data processing.

To export your history:

  1. Go to the Undo/Redo tab to the left of the grid view.
  2. At the top of the pane, click the “Extract...” button.
  3. In the pop-up window, select the steps which you would like to export or simply select the “Select all” button.
  4. From the box on the right, highlight and copy the JSON text.
  5. In a text editor, like Notepad or Notepad++, paste the JSON and save the file.

Window for exporting JSON file of the history of transformations

To apply your saved history:

  1. Go to the Undo/Redo tab to the left of the grid view.
  2. At the top of the pane, click the “Apply...” button.
  3. In the pop-up window, simply copy and paste the JSON from your saved file.

Helpful Tips:

  • All transformations can be exported EXCEPT for direct edits in cells.
  • It can be useful to export your history before rolling back steps to guard against the possibility of accidentally deleting steps. For more information, see the section on History and Undo/Redo.
  • When applying saved history to a new data set, OpenRefine will ignore transformations for which there is no corresponding column or facet in the new data set.

4/30/18 - Brinna Michael