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Create a Story

Use stories to make your case more compelling by showing how facts are connected, and how decisions relate to outcomes. You can then publish your story to the web, or present it to an audience.

Each story point can be based on a different view or dashboard, or the entire story can be based on the same visualization seen at different stages, with different filters and annotations.

Create a story point

  1. Click the New Story tab.

    Tableau opens a new story as your starting point:

  2. In the lower-left corner of the screen, choose a size for your story. Choose from one of the predefined sizes, or set a custom size, in pixels:

    Note: Choose the size your story will be viewed at, not the size you're authoring in.

  3. By default, your story gets its title from the sheet name. To edit it, right-click the sheet tab, and choose Rename Sheet.

    If you're using Tableau Desktop, you can also rename a story by double-clicking the title.

  4. To start building your story, double-click a sheet on the left to add it to a story point.

    In Tableau Desktop, you can also drag sheets into your story point.

    When you add a sheet to a story point, that sheet remains connected to the original sheet. If you modify the original sheet, your changes will automatically be reflected on the story points that use it.

    If you are using Tableau Server or Tableau Online to author on the web and the original sheet has Pause Auto Updates enabled, the story sheet will be blank until auto-updates are resumed.

  5. Click Add a caption to summarize the story point.

    In Tableau Desktop, you can highlight a key takeaway for your viewers by dragging a text object to the story worksheet and typing a comment.

  6. To further highlight the main idea of this story point, you can change a filter or sort on a field in the view. Then save your changes by clicking Update on the story toolbar above the navigator box:

  7. Add another story point by doing one of the following:
    • Click Blank to use a fresh sheet for the next story point.

    • Start customizing a story point and click Save as New on the toolbar above the navigator box.

    • Click Duplicate to use the current story point as the basis for a new one.

Explore layout options

You can refine the look of your story using the options on the Layout tab.

  1. Click the Layout tab.

  2. Choose a navigator style that best suits your story, and show or hide the next and previous arrows.

Format a story

Resize captions (Tableau Desktop only)

Sometimes the text in one or more of your captions is too long to fit inside the height of the navigator. In this case, you can re-size the captions vertically and horizontally.

  1. In the navigator, select a caption.

  2. Drag the border left or right to resize the caption horizontally, down to resize vertically, or select a corner and drag diagonally to resize the caption both horizontally and vertically.

    All captions in the navigator update to the new size.

When you resize a caption, you can only select the left, right, or bottom border of the caption.

Fit a dashboard to a story

You can fit a dashboard to the exact size of a story. For example, if your story is exactly 800 by 600 pixels, you can shrink or expand a dashboard to fit inside that space.

Click the Size drop-down menu and select the story you want the dashboard to fit inside.

Format a story's shading, title, and text objects (Tableau Desktop only)

To open the Format Story pane, select Format > Story.

Clear all formatting (Tableau Desktop only)

  • To reset a story to its default format settings, click the Clear button at the bottom of the Format Story pane.

  • To clear a single format setting, right-click (Windows) or control-click (macOS) the format setting you want to undo in the Format Story pane. Then select Clear.

    For example, if you want to clear the alignment of the story title, right-click (control-click on Mac) Alignment in the Title section, and then select Clear.

Delete a story point

Click the X in the toolbar above the point's caption:

Present your story

  1. In Tableau Desktop, click the Presentation Mode button on the toolbar. Or, publish the story to Tableau Online or Tableau Server, and click the Full Screen button in the upper-right corner of the browser.

  2. To step through your story, click the arrow to the right of the story points. Or, in Tableau Desktop, use the arrow keys on your keyboard.

  3. To exit Presentation or Full Screen mode, press Esc.