OpenRefine Lessons for Librarians: Setup

Getting ready {.getready}

You need to download and install OpenRefine and download a data file to follow this lesson.

Downloading OpenRefine

You can download OpenRefine from There are two versions you can use for this lesson:

Generally OpenRefine 2.6 is recommended.

There are versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Installing and Running OpenRefine

When you download OpenRefine for Windows or Linux from the address above, you are downloading a zip file. To install OpenRefine you simply unzip the downloaded file wherever you want to install the program. This can be to a personal directory or to an applications or software directory - OpenRefine should run wherever you put the unzipped folder. The location has to be a “local” drive as problems have been reported trying to run OpenRefine from a Network drive.

If you are downloading OpenRefine for Mac, you a re downloading a ‘dmg’ (disk image) file which you can open, and then drag the OpenRefine application to an appropriate folder on you computer.

OpenRefine is a java application, and you need to have a ‘java runtime environment’ (JRE) installed on your computer to run OpenRefine. If you don’t already have one installed then you can download and install from by going to the site and clicking ‘Free Java Download’.

To run Refine:

The interface to OpenRefine is accessed via a web browser. When you run Refine normally this should open a window in your default web browser pointing at the address this doesn’t happen automatically you can open a web browser and type in this address.

Getting Help

If you encounter problems installing or running OpenRefine, a good source of support is the OpenRefine mailing list and forum

If you are installing OpenRefine on Windows, you may want to check the thread on Installing OpenRefine on Windows 7

There are also general and specialist tutorials about using OpenRefine available on the web, including:

Downloading the data

You need to download doaj-article-sample.csv. This is a csv file. Make a note of the location you save the file.