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Applies to: Tableau Desktop

The Tableau Workspace

The Tableau workspace consists of menus, a toolbar, the Data pane, cards and shelves, and one or more sheets. Sheets can be worksheets, dashboards, or stories. For details on dashboard or story workspaces, see Create a Dashboard or The Story Workspace.

For a 4-minute walkthrough of the Tableau workspace, watch "The Tableau interface", a free Getting Started training video. Use your tableau.com account to sign in. To view more training and introductory videos, go to Free Training Videos on the Tableau website.

If you are using Tableau on the web, see Tour the Web Authoring Workspace and Navigate Tableau on the Web.

In this article

Workspace area

Tableau Toolbar Button Reference

Show and Hide the Side Bar (Data pane)

Status Bar Information

Workspace area

A. Workbook name. A workbook contains sheets. A sheet can be a worksheet, a dashboard, or a story. For more information, see Workbooks and Sheets.

B. Cards and shelves - Drag fields to the cards and shelves in the workspace to add data to your view.

C. Toolbar - Use the toolbar to access commands and analysis and navigation tools.

D. View - This is the workspace where you create your data visualizations.

E. Goes to the start page. For more information, see Start Page.

F. Side Bar - In a worksheet, the side bar area contains the Data pane and the Analytics pane.

G. Go to the data source page. For more information, see Data Source Page.

H. Status bar - Displays information about the current view.

I. Sheet tabs - Tabs represent each sheet in your workbook. This can include worksheets, dashboards, and stories. For more information, see Workbooks and Sheets.

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Tableau Toolbar Button Reference

When you are creating or editing a view, you can use the toolbar at the top of the view to perform common actions.

In Tableau Desktop, you can hide or display the Tableau toolbar by selecting Window > Show Toolbar.

The table below explains the functions of each toolbar button. Some buttons are not available in all Tableau products.

Toolbar Button Description

Tableau icon: Navigates to the start page. For more information, see Start Page.

Note: Tableau Desktop only.

Undo: Reverses the most recent action in the workbook. You can undo an unlimited number of times, back to the last time you opened the workbook, even after you have saved. For more information, see Undo and Redo.

Redo: Repeats the last action you reversed with the Undo button. You can redo an unlimited number of times.

Save: In Tableau Desktop, saves the changes made to the workbook. For more information, see Save Your Work.

In Tableau Server or Tableau Online, click File > Save or File > Save As to save your changes.

New Data Source: In Tableau Desktop, opens the Connect pane where you can create a new connection or open a saved connection. For more information, see Connect to Your Data.

In Tableau Server or Tableau Online, opens the Connect to a Data Source page, where you can connect to a published data source. For more information, see Connect to Published Data Sources in Web Editing.

Pause Auto Updates: Controls whether Tableau updates the view when changes are made. Use the drop-down menu to automatically update the entire sheet or just use filters. For more information, see Refresh Data or Pause Automatic Updates.

Run Update: Runs a manual query of the data to update the view with changes when automatic updates are turned off. Use the drop-down menu to update the entire worksheet or just use filters.

Note: Tableau Desktop only.

New Worksheet: Creates a new blank workshee, use the drop-down menu to create a new worksheet, dashboard, or story.

For more information, see Create new worksheets, dashboards, or stories.

Duplicate: Creates a new worksheet containing the same view as the current sheet. For more information, see Duplicate a sheet.

Clear: Clears the current worksheet. Use the drop-down menu to clear specific parts of the view such as filters, formatting, sizing, and axis ranges.

Swap: Moves the fields on the Rows shelf to the Columns shelf and vice versa. The Hide Empty Rows and Hide Empty Columns settings are always swapped with this button.
Sort Ascending: Applies a sort in ascending order of a selected field based on the measures in the view. For more information, see Sort Data in a Visualization.
Sort Descending: Applies a sort in descending order of a selected field based on the measures in the view. For more information, see Sort Data in a Visualization.
Totals: You can compute grand totals and subtotals for the data in a view. Select from the following options:
  • Show Column Grand Totals: Adds a row showing totals for all columns in the view.

  • Show Row Grand Totals: Adds a column showing totals for all rows in the view.

  • Row Totals to Left: Moves rows showing totals to the left of a crosstab or view.

  • Column Totals to Top: Moves columns showing totals to the top of a crosstab or view.

  • Add All Subtotals: Inserts subtotal rows and columns in the view, if you have multiple dimensions in a column or row.

  • Remove All Subtotals: Removes subtotal rows or columns.

Note: Tableau Server and Tableau Online only. In Tableau Desktop, click Analysis > Totals. For more information, see Show Grand Totals.

Highlight: Turn on highlighting for the selected sheet. Use the options on the drop-down menu to define how values are highlighted. For more information, see Highlight Toolbar Button.

Group Members: Creates a group by combining selected values. When multiple dimensions are selected, use the drop-down menu to specify whether to group on a specific dimension or across all dimensions. For more information, see Correct Data Errors or Combine Dimension Members by Grouping Your Data.

Note: Tableau Desktop only. In Tableau Server and Tableau Online, create groups using the Group Members button on the tooltip.

Show Mark Labels: Switches between showing and hiding mark labels for the current sheet. For more information, see Show and Hide Mark Labels .

Fix Axes: switches between a locked axis that only shows a specific range and a dynamic axis that adjusts the range based on the minimum and maximum values in the view. For more information, see Edit Axes.

Note: Tableau Desktop only.

Format Workbook: Open the Format Workbook pane to change how fonts and titles look in every view in a workbook by specifying format settings at the workbook level instead of at the worksheet level.

Note: Tableau Server and Tableau Online only. In Tableau Desktop, click Format > Workbook. For more information, see Format at the Workbook Level.

Fit: Specifies how the view should be sized within the window. Select Standard, Fit Width, Fit Height, or Entire View.

The Cell Size commands have different effects depending on the type of visualization. To access the Cell Size menu in Tableau Desktop click Format > Cell Size.

Show/Hide Cards: Shows and hides specific cards in a worksheet. Select each card that you want to hide or show on the drop-down menu.

In Tableau Server and Tableau Online, you can show and hide cards for the Title, Caption, Filter and Highlighter only.

Presentation Mode: Switches between showing and hiding everything except the view (i.e., shelves, toolbar, Data pane). For more information, see Reorganizing the Workspace.

Note: Tableau Desktop only.

Download: Use the options under Download to capture parts of your view for use in other applications.
  • Image: Displays the view, dashboard, or story as an image in a new browser tab.
  • Data: Displays the data from the view in a new browser window with two tabs: Summary, showing aggregated data for the fields shown in the view, and Underlying, showing underlying data for the selected marks in the visualization. If the new window does not open, you may need to disable your browser's popup blocker.
  • Crosstab: Saves the underlying data for the selected marks in the visualization to a CSV (comma-separated values) file which can then be opened in Microsoft Excel.
  • PDF: Opens the current view as a PDF in a new browser window. From there you can save it to a file. If the new window does not open, you may need to disable your browser's pop-up blocker.

Note: Tableau Server and Tableau Online only.

Share Workbook With Others: Publish your workbook to Tableau Server or Tableau Online. For more information, see Simple Steps to Share a Workbook.

Note: Tableau Desktop only.

Show Me: Helps you choose a view type by highlighting view types that work best with the field types in your data. An orange outline shows around the recommended chart type that is the best match for your data. For more information, see Use Show Me to Start a View .

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Show and Hide the Side Bar (Data pane)

The Side Bar contains the the Data pane and the Analytics pane when you are editing a worksheet. Different panes are visible depending on what you are doing in the view (Data, Analytics, Story, Dashboard, Layout, Format). The most important thing to know about the Side Bar is that you can expand and collapse this area in the workspace.

To hide the side bar in Tableau Desktop, click the collapse arrow in the side bar.

To hide the side bar on the web, click the collapse arrow in the side bar.

To show the side bar on Tableau Desktop, click the expand arrow in the bottom-left of the workspace (in the status bar.

To show the side bar on the web, click the expand arrow in the side bar.

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Status Bar Information

The status bar is located at the bottom of the Tableau workspace. It displays descriptions of menu items as well as information about the current view. For example, the status bar below shows that the view has 143 marks shown in 3 rows and 12 columns. It also shows that the SUM(Sales) for all the marks in the view is $2,297,201.

You can hide the status bar by selecting Window > Show Status Bar.

Occasionally, Tableau will display warning icons in the bottom right corner of the status bar to indicate errors or warnings. Below are the possible warning icons and what they mean.

Warning Icon Description

Cancel query indicator: When you cancel multiple queries, an indicator appears to show you how many queries are still running on the database and using resources. See Abandoned Queries for more information about managing these queries.

Precision warning: Some fields are more precise in the database than Tableau can model. When you add these fields to the view a precision warning is displayed in the status bar. See Precision Warnings for more information about this warning.

Special values indicator: If your data contains null values, unknown geographic locations, or negative or zero values on a logarithmic axis; the values are shown with an indicator in the lower right corner of the view. Click the indicator for options for handling these values. See Handling Null and Other Special Values to learn more about this indicator and how to handle these values.

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