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Filter Actions

Filter actions send information between worksheets. Typically, a filter action sends information from a selected mark to another sheet showing related information. Behind the scenes, filter actions send data values from the relevant source fields as filters to the target sheet.

For example, in a view showing the sales price of houses, when you select a particular house, a filter action can show all comparable houses in a different view. The source fields for the filter might contain sales price and square footage.

Watch a video to see real-world examples of actions. Filter actions are covered at the 2:20 mark.

Create a filter action

  1. Do either of the following:

    • On a worksheet, select Worksheet > Actions, and then continue to step 2.

    • On a dashboard, select Dashboard > Actions. Or, from the drop-down menu of a sheet, select Use as Filter.

  2. In the Actions dialog box, click Add Action, and then select Filter. Or select an existing action, and choose Edit.

  3. Specify a name for the action.

    Tip: If you plan to launch an action from a menu, use a descriptive name so users will understand the action's purpose. You can use variables in the name that are drawn from the values of the selected field.

  4. Select a source sheet or data source. If you select a data source or dashboard, you can select related sheets you want to launch the action from.

  5. Specify how the action runs:

    • 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 (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) a selected mark in the view, and then select an option on the context menu. This option works well for filter and URL actions.

  6. Select a target sheet. When you select a dashboard, you can select one or more sheets within it.

  7. Specify what happens when the selection is cleared in the view:

    • Leave the filter - Continues to show filtered results on the target sheets.

    • Show all values - Changes the filter to include all values.

    • Exclude all values - Changes the filter to exclude all values. This option is useful when you're building dashboards that only show some sheets if a value in another sheet is selected.

  8. Specify the data that you want to show on the target sheets. You can filter on All Fields or Selected Fields.

  9. If you chose Selected Fields, click Add Filter.

    In the Add Filter dialog box, select source and target data sources and fields. When you run the action from a specific mark on the source sheet, a filter is added to the target sheet that only includes values for the target field that match the source field.

    In the comparable houses example, if the Source Field and Target Field are both set to Beds, when you click a sheet link for a house with three bedrooms, the target worksheet shows only three-bedroom houses.

Understanding available target fields

In the Add Filter dialog box, the fields available in the Target Field drop-down list are limited to the data type of the Source Field. For example, if you select a text field for the source, only text fields are available as targets.

If you are connected to a relational data source, you can add sheet links across data sources even if the field names don't match. For example, if one data source has a Latitude field while another has a Lat field, you can associate the fields using the drop down lists in the Add Filter dialog box. When using a multidimensional data source, the destination sheet must use the same data source as the source sheet, and the source and target field names must match. (In Tableau, multidimensional data sources are supported only in Windows.)