Reporting and technical writing. Wednesday - Sep 20, 2017

Setup Chartbuilder locally

Here’s how to setup a great data visualization tool (locally on your Mac).

It’s not as bad as it looks, just follow these steps:



Click the ‘Download ZIP’ button (look at the bottom of the right-side nav).

Go to your default downloads directory (folder) and unzip it.

Optional but ideal – move this new ‘Chartbuilder-master’ directory to a sensible directory such as Projects or Sites, etc.


Open your ‘Terminal’ program and do some basic Unix as follows:

Figure out which directory you’re currently in by typing:


This means ‘print working directory’

Then view what’s in that directory by typing:


This means ‘list’ what’s in this directory.

Change into your Projects or Sites directory by typing:

cd followed by the respective path to that directory.

To change directories backward, i.e. start from a parent directory one level up, type:

cd ../

Or, to go all the way back to your root (home) directory, type:

cd ~

That little ’tilde’ characher is before the 1 key at the far left of your keyboard’s numbers row. Press SHIFT at the same time.


Once you’ve navigated to the immediate parent directory of your unzipped Chartbuilder directory, change into it by typing:

cd Chart and then just hit the TAB key to autocomplete the directory name

Or just type it all in as:

cd Chartbuilder-master/


Now start a local web server by typing:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer

Okay, go to a web browser and visit http://localhost:8000

You should see the Chartbuilder tool!


Start visualizing data

Hint: Your installation of the Chartbuilder tool should look exactly like the hosted version at

If not, hit me up.

Oh yeah, wait

To stop running the local server in the Terminal, press:


Clear up the messy output by pressing: