Tableau Tips - The 10th Volume of 10 Tips for Tableau 10

Tableau 10.3 was released on Thursday and I've been waiting to publish the 10th volume of Tableau Tips. These tips will cover features that have been released in the most recent version of Tableau 10.X.

#10 - Adding a Map Scale to Maps

This feature is new in Tableau 10.2. It's super simple to do and will add good context to your maps in Tableau. Select Map from the menu and then select Map Options. You will see a new check box for "Show Map Scale". Check this box and select the units of measurement in the drowdown (Automatic, Metric or US).

You will now have a map scale added to your maps. The map scale will resize automatically based on the zoom level of the map in the units you specified. The color of the map scale will also adjust automatically based on the map colors.

#9 - Using Airport Codes as a Geographic Field

This feature was added in Tableau 10.1 and plots airport codes on a map automatically, however, it required a Country field as the parent. This has been updated in Tableau 10.3 to no longer require the country as a parent. Below is a single column with the 3-letter airport code for four U.S. airports.

Tableau will recognize these as a Geographic field and will generate a Longitude and Latitude for them. So a single airport field can now plot points on a map.

#8 - PDF Connector

This is brand new in Tableau 10.3 and will be very useful. As an exmaple, I took a PDF of sample data that looked like this:

Select Data from the menu and then select New Data Source. There is now an option for "PDF File". Select this option and choose the PDF file that you want to import.

There is a new dialog box that will allow you to specify the pages (All of the pages, a single page or range of pages). I selected all of the pages.

The PDF will then import into Tableau just like any other data source.

To learn more, Pablo Sáenz de Tejada has a new blog post here on this very subject.

#7 - Union PDF files and more

When you import multiple pages or documents of a PDF, you can union the pages up as a single data source. In my example PDF document there are multiple pages, each listed separately in the left-hand pane. Click each page with the CTRL key to mutli-select or the SHIFT key to select a range. Then drag them to the data window. They will combine as a single data source along with a new column Table Name

#6 - Select Similar Marks from Tooltip

This is a great new feature in Tableau 10.3. This will work for any discrete dimension or measure. Click Tooltips on the marks card. Then check the box "Allow Selection by Category". This will work for Responsive toolips or On-Hover Toolips. Once checked, the field values in the Tooltip will be underlined when you hover over them and you can select them to highlight similar marks on the canvas. For example, you can highlight the "Second Class" ship modes or the "Chairs" right from the tooltip.

#5 - Most Recent Discrete Data Filter (10.3)

Another new feature in Tableau 10.3 that will be super handy. You can now filter based on the most recent discrete date. This will allow you to have data that can be updated at regular intervals (ex. daily or monthly) and your visualization will now open with the filter set to the most recent day in the data. Click on a discrete date filter and select the checkbox for "Filter to latest date value when workbook is opened".

In the image below, I've added a month of data for May, but the "Current Month" is filtered to April 2017 showing a value of 116. Since the checkbox is checked the "Current Month" data will update as soon as the workbook is opened, filtered to May 2017 and showing 145.

#4 - Evenly Distribute Layout Container

This is new with Tableau 10.3 and it's super simple a will be very helpful when designing dashboards. With one click, you can evenly distribute objects in a vertical or horizontal container. Adding additional objects or removing objects will automatically redistribute the objects as well.

#3 - Use Numbers and Dots in Storypoints

Tableau 10.2 added a Storypoints layout pane and as part of that added functionality to use Numbers instead of a caption box.

Tableau 10.3 now adds Dots for Storypoints. The color is controlled with the shading just like the captions.

#2 - Format Lines in entire Workbook

Tableau 10.2 introduced this new formatting feature. Select Format from the menu and then select Workbook. You can now set the style of lines for the entire Workbook. This includes the gridlines, zero lines, reference lines, axis ruler and axis ticks. The reset button will put them all back to default and a little dot indicates that the default has been changed. Clicking the dot will reset them individually.

#1 - Drill Up on Continuous Dates

This little feature was introduced in Tableau 10.1. When using continuous dates, you can drill down and up using the plus and minus signs on the x-axis.

I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jeff@DataPlusScience.com

Jeffrey A. Shaffer
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