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An introduction to this free, open source tool for working with "messy" data.

An Introductory Video

Note: OpenRefine was formerly called GoogleRefine. You may notice this in tutorials and documentation.

Installing OpenRefine

Before downloading, please read the complete installation instructions

NOTE: The system requirements are listed at the top of the installation instructions. If your computer does not meet the system requirements, please install the correct version of Java before downloading OpenRefine.

Click here to download OpenRefine. Select the download link for your computer's operating system.

NOTE: OpenRefine runs in a browser, like a web app, but does not require an internet connection to run. It works best on browsers based on Webkit such as Chrome, Opera, Chromium, and MS Edge, and automatically runs on your default browser. OpenRefine is unstable when run on Firefox or Internet Explorer, so it is best to choose another default browser.

Using OpenRefine

  1. Start the Java app: Opening Refine differs depending on your OS, but in all cases the app will start running in a terminal window which you can ignore and minimize (but do not close!).
    • Windows: double click openrefine.exe (You may get a warning that the publisher could not be verified, ignore it, and click Run. Once open, pin the Refine icon to your taskbar for easy access in the future).
    • Mac: click the Refine icon in the applications folder.
    • Linux: in the OpenRefine directory open terminal and type ./refine.
  2. Use the GUI: Once Refine is running in a terminal, your default web browser should automatically open with the interface. If it does not open automatically or you close the browser tab, find the GUI by typing or localhost:3333 in your address bar.
  3. Shut down: close any browser tabs with the GUI, then stop the host terminal window with Ctrl+C (or Command-Q on Mac). This will ensure any open projects are saved.

Refine has two parts, the terminal window hosting the Java and the browser tab hosting the GUI: