Comparing multiple year bar charts methods and embedding options

Here it is a comparison among different ways of making bar charts and embedding them in a wordpress blog. I’ve testing them for, a project devoted to research the cultural budget that the city of Madrid is spending.
The data used: Once a year the Madrid city hall publishes a pdf with these data in a non reusable format. We’ve been extracting manually these numbers in the last 5 years and published them in a google spreadsheet (see the data set in csv format at the end of this post).

The idea of this post is to compare and review these 4 5 different methods.
Update: added gnumeric after Madeleine comment. It’s the simplest and more customizable method (though not intractive).

Google Spreadsheets

Easy to upload data, and collaborate with others.
Easy to generate simple bar charts and embed them as images (as interactive script you may have some problems when embeding in a blog ).
No programming skills needed.

Even now, that it is possible to customize a lot of the visualization, it is still not possible to change bar height (or width), for example.

Libre Office -> Inkscape


  • No programming skills needed.
  • High customization possibilities.
  • Produces .svg code or .png images.


  • Need basic inkscape knowledge.


High customization possibilities.
Produces .svg code ready for the web.
(Interactive possibilities, I haven’t explored them yet).

Javascript knowledge needed.


High design and interaction customization possibilities.
Produces .svg code ready for the web.

Processing knowledge needed.
You’ll need to export it with Processing.js, that makes your visualization work using web standards and without any plug-ins.


No extra program needed.
Highly customizable: colors, ticks in axes, units, fonts.
Produces clean .svg

No interactive graphic.

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