Q: How do I set up a universal filter?

A: A universal filter allows your readers to personalize an entire story by selecting an area of their interest such as a state or a county. You can see an example of this here.

In the example above, choose a county in the drop-down, and notice how the first donut chart updates based on your selection, allowing you to compare your own county data with state and national data.

Here’s how to set one up: 

1) Add your charts to your story before setting up your universal filter.  

2) Add a filter section to a story.  The filter can be anywhere in the story - before or after the charts that it affects.  (It is often a good idea to put some text near the filter explaining how to use it.)  A universal filter operates on one column of one data set; it can affect every chart in your story that is built on that data set.

3) In the filter edit section of your story, choose a data set for the filter to operate on. The filter editor will show you only datasets that are involved with the charts you have chosen for your story.

4) In the filter edit section, choose a column in that data set for the filter to act on. it can affect every chart in your story that is built on that data set. Be sure to save your filter section edits.  

5)  Preview your story, and confirm the filter is working.

This filter can affect every chart in your story that is built on the filtered data set. For a chart to respond to a universal filter in a story, go to Chart Options in each chart in your story and ensure that “Ignore Universal Filters” is not checked.


1)  A universal filter will apply to all charts in the whole story.  If you want a chart to not respond to the filter, select "Ignore Universal filter" in the chart options area.

2) The "Enable Public Filtering" option on charts is different.  It allows you place a regularly filtered chart in your story that will be filterable by readers, independently of the universal filter. That is covered in the "Charts" sections.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request