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Getting Started

Ashley Davis edited this page Jun 11, 2019 · 20 revisions

Getting started with Data-Forge Notebook

Thanks for purchasing Data-Forge Notebook (DFN). This document will help guide through the process of getting started with it.

You might also want to watch the short getting started video.

If you have any problems that aren't covered in this guide, please email and we'll get you some help ASAP.

Please feel free to make edits to this page and help us improve it.

To understand more about what's included and how it works please see the Overview.

Getting access to DFN

If you don't yet have access to Data-Forge Notebook please visit the landing page and register your interest.


After purchasing DFN you will have been sent a welcome email. This email contains your licence key and download links for DFN on various platforms.

Please take a copy of your licence key and store it in a safe place.

Click on the appropriate link in the email to download the correct version of DFN for your platform.


The Windows download is a self-installing executable. Once downloaded, double-click on the file to install it. Once it has finished installing the application will automatically start.


After downloading the dmg file double-click to open the installer window. Then drag the icon into your Applications folder. After installation has completed you can find DFN in Finder in your Applications folder. Because the application isn't yet digitally signed you may need to go into your system preferences and give it permission to run.


After downloading the archive file unpack it to an appropriate folder on your system. You can then browse into this folder and double-click to start the application.

Activate DFN

After installing and then running DFN, the first time around you must enter your licence key. Please copy and paste the licence key that was emailed to you. DFN will take a moment to validate your licence and activate itself.

First startup

After starting DFN the first time you are presented with the default notebook:

Evaluate the notebook's code

First thing for you to try after starting DFN is to run the default notebook. To do that you should click the run button:

After running the default notebook you'll see output from the code cell displayed in the notebook after the code cell:

Edit some code

Now try changing the code, for example replace console.log("Hello data analysis in JavaScript!"); with console.log("I'm getting the hang of this!");.

Now run your updated code and see how the output changes:

Edit some markdown text

Now let's try editing the markdown cell. Markdown is a text format that is used for editing rich text. Normally markdown is rendered as rich text, but when you click into a markdown cell you can edit the raw text:

Open an example notebook

The next thing for you to do is open an example notebook. You can do that by clicking Open example notebook in the File menu:

You should now see an open file dialog box presenting you with the list of example notebooks:

There's many examples included that show interesting data wrangling and visualization techniques. Let's now open viz.notebook as it shows you a selection of the ways you can visualize your data:

Accessing commands

Use the File menu to create, open and save your notebooks:

You can also use the buttons on the toolbar:

Use the button on the toolbar or the hotkey Control/Command+Shift+P to invoke the command palette:

The command palette is a useful way to browse and search for commands and discover their hotkeys.

Exporting your notebook

After you have created a notebook you probably want to export it so that you can use it elsewhere.

Through the Export menu you can export your code or render to a format such as a PDF file:

Getting more help

Need more help?

Please read the wiki, check out The Data Wrangler blog, and watch the YouTube channel.

Questions about Data-Forge can be asked at its Gitter channel. You can log issues about Data-Forge on its Github page.

For those who have purchased Data-Forge Notebook please ask for access to the Slack channel. It's a great way to get interactive help and access the knowledge of other DFN users.

In addition there is a wealth of resources and links in the DFN Help menu:

Have fun!

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