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URL Actions

A URL action is a hyperlink that points to a Web page, file, or other web-based resource outside of Tableau. You can use URL actions to link to more information about your data that may be hosted outside of your data source. To make the link relevant to your data, you can substitute field values of a selection into the URL as parameters.

To add a hyperlink:

  1. On a worksheet, select Worksheet > Actions. From a dashboard, select Dashboard >Actions.

  2. In the Actions dialog box, click Add Action and then select URL.

  3. In the subsequent dialog box, specify a name for the link.

    Make the name descriptive of the action. If you choose to run the action using the menu, the name you specify here becomes the option that shows on the menu. For example, when linking to more product details, the name could be “Show More Details.” You can use variables in the name, which will be filled in based on the values of the selected field.

  4. Use the drop-down list to select a source sheet or data source. If you select a data source or dashboard you can select individual sheets within it.

  5. Select the fields you want to use for highlighting. Select from the following options:

    • Hover - rest the pointer over a mark in the view to run the action. This option works well for highlight and filter actions within a dashboard.

    • Select - click on a mark in the view to run the action. This option works well for all types of actions.

    • Menu - right-click a selected mark in the view and then select an option on a the context menu. This option works well for filter and URL actions.

  6. Specify the URL. You can use any URL that your browser can recognize including web pages, FTP resources, and files.

    Just as you can use variables in the name of the URL, you can also use field values and filter values as parameters in the URL. That means that you can send information about each selected mark or filter setting to a given website.

    In the URL you specify, include the appropriate prefix to ensure that the resulting hyperlink directs to the correct location. For example, if your URL links to a web page, include the http:// prefix. If you publish workbooks to a Tableau Server, and your URL includes a protocol other than http, https, gopher, news, ftp, or mailto, you will need a server administrator to add the protocol to the server’s whitelist. For more information, see tabadmin set options in the Tableau Server help.

    When using a URL action to point to an external file (rather than a web page), use the full universal naming convention (UNC) path for the URL action. A UNC path is the full path of a resource or file that is stored on the machine, which includes the full computer name, drive, path to the file, and file name. For example, for a text file D:\myfile.txt, specify the following UNC path: \\workstation1\d$\myfile.txt, where "workstation1" is the computer name in your company domain.

  7. (Optional) Select any of the following options:

    • URL Encode Data Values - select this option if your data contains values that use characters that are not allowable in a URL. For example if one of your data values contains an ampersand, such as “Sales & Finance,” the ampersand must be translated into characters that your browser understands (URL encoded) if you want to include that value in the URL.

    • Allow Multiple Values - select this option if you are linking to a webpage that can take lists of values as parameters in the link. For example, say you select several products in a view and you want to see each product’s details hosted on a webpage. If the server can load multiple product details based on a list of identifiers (product ID or product name), you could use multi-select to send the list of identifiers as parameters.

      When you allow multiple values, you must also define the item delimiter, which is the character that separates each item in the list (for example, a comma). You must also define the Delimiter Escape, which is used if the delimiter character is used in a data value.

  8. When finished, click OK twice to close the dialog boxes and return to the view.

URL actions can also point to a web page object in a dashboard. Refer to Actions and Dashboards to learn more about how actions work with dashboards.