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All Tableau Help > Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring Help > 
Applies to: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, Tableau Server

Create a Story

There are many ways to create story in Tableau. Each story point can be based on a different view or dashboard, or the entire story can be based on the same visualization, just seen at different stages, with different marks filtered and annotations added. You can use stories to make a business case or to simply narrate a sequence of events.

In this article

Create a story point

Explore layout options

Format a story

Delete a story point

Present your story (Tableau Desktop only)

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 its sheet name. To edit it, right-click the sheet tab and use 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 your story point.

    In Tableau Desktop, you can also use drag-and-drop to move the sheet into your story point.

    When you add a sheet for a dashboard or view 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. Changes you make in a story point do not automatically update the original sheet, however.

    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 on the original sheet.

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

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

  7. 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:

  8. Add another story point by doing one of the following:

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. To fit a dashboard to a story, in the dashboard, click the Size drop-down menu and select the story you want the dashboard to fit inside.

Format story pane (Tableau Desktop only)

To open the Format Story pane, select Format > Story. In the Format Story pane, you can format a story's shading, and title, as well as the font, shading, and description text used in the navigator.

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 (control-click on Mac) the format setting you want to undo in the Format Story pane, and 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

To remove a point from your story, click the X in the toolbar above its caption:

Present your story (Tableau Desktop only)

You can use presentation mode to show your story to others.

  1. Click the Presentation Mode button on the toolbar.

  2. Use Page Down or the Next button on your keyboard to step through your story.

  3. To exit Presentation Mode, press Esc or select the Presentation Mode button in the bottom right corner of the view.

You can also share your story with others by publishing its workbook to Tableau Server, Tableau Online, or Tableau Public. For more information on publishing workbooks, see Publish Data Sources and Workbooks.

Once you publish a story, others can open it and explore your story. Web users cannot, however, author stories, or permanently modify published stories.