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OpenRefine Installation Instructions

This is a guide to installing and running OpenRefine on your personal computer. Please note that all computers in the Map and Data Library (on the fifth floor of Robarts) and in the computer labs on the fourth and fifth floors of Robarts Library already have OpenRefine installed.

OpenRefine, formerly GoogleRefine, is a free and open-source program to clean data. 

1. Download a copy of OpenRefine. We recommend downloading the latest "final release" and not a "beta" version.

    2. If necessary, please also download and install Java

    3. With Java installed, follow the instructions from the OpenRefine wiki as appropriate to your operating system.

    1. Once the zipped file downloads completely, move it to the directory where you want OpenRefine. Note: OpenRefine does not install a program to My Programs (on Windows) or Applications (on Mac). Instead, the program runs from wherever you put it.
    2. Right click on the .zip file, and extract all files. You may need an extraction tool, like 7-zip. Macs do not need to download any additional programs.
    3. Once everything has been extracted, double-click the .exe file. You will first see a black box appear - leave it open during your time using OpenRefine. In a few more seconds, the OpenRefine interface will appear in your internet browser. Note: OpenRefine does not work in Internet Explorer. Please use Chrome or Firefox. If necessary, copy the URL from Internet Explorer and paste it into another browser and press Enter.

    Please note that OpenRefine cannot work with zipped files, so you must first extract any zipped data files with a program like 7-Zip.

    Note for Mac users: Sometimes, Macs will not allow you to open OpenRefine since it is from an unidentified developer. You may see an error message similar to this: "openrefine-mac.dmg can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer."
    Error message
    Please see these official Mac instructions to allow trusted program to run.

    Technique: 
    Utilities: