I don't believe so - but custom SQL is pretty straightforward if you are just removing fields. You could also just hide the names in the dimensions/measures list
This is a pretty old post but I've hit the same challenge albeit not an Access Data Source. Appreciating you can create views to only bring the data fields you want against the data source, it's not always possible to do so, lack of administrator rights against the data source for example.
Appreciating this post is from 2012, I'm new to Tableau and using 8.2. Is there still no way to select specific field you'd like to bring in from the data source? I'm looking at a table with 50 fields and I just want 6. To have to hide 44 fields is not sensible. To write custom SQL also feels a bit cumbersome when all I need to do is select the fields to import. I can do it, but I'd rather not.
I don't see how hiding is any different to being prompted to select a list of fields and selecting / deselecting using checkboxes.
You can either hide the columns when you first connect to the data source by clicking the arrow next to the field name, or after you've connected. It's even easier after you've connected as you can multi select by holding the control button and clicking multiple fields or select a range by clicking a dimension, holding the shift key and clicking another dimension further down the list.
You can save the data source to maintain only the fields you've selected for next time.
You've correctly outlined the alternatives in custom sql or views, so I'm not really sure exactly what you're looking for. If your question is "Is there a way to select only a subset of fields through the GUI when I connect to my datasource instead of hiding?", the answer is no.
Thank you for the swift response.
"Is there a way to select only a subset of fields through the GUI when I connect to my datasource instead of hiding?",
You've answered my question. The answer is no.
I'll try the post connection method you've mentioned.