7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 8, 2019 1:49 AM by Vivien Pascu

    Identify where a measure is used in a workbook

    David Andrade

      I've been tasked with going through an existing workbook and identify which dimensions and measures are currently being used to build sheets and dashboards in the workbook.


      Is there any way to click on a measure, or dimension, and find which sheets that measure, or dimension, is currently being used in?


      An easy way to check if the measure or dimension is being used at all is to right click and check if you can or cannot hide it, but I'm asking to see whether there is any search function built in where I can easily identify which sheets or dashboards the measure or dimension is being used in.



        • 1. Re: Identify where a measure is used in a workbook
          Andy Piper



          A few ways come to mind:  Right Click menu and Field Deletion.


          Best option:  click the drop down arrow on the Dimensions heading and choose Hide All Unused Fields. Compare when hidden and not and remove the unneeded ones.

          Hide Unused Fields.gif


          Other option:  Attempt to delete the field. If that field is being used currently, a message will display indicating the sheets that will be effected should you remove the file.


          Hope this helps,


          Andy Piper

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          • 2. Re: Identify where a measure is used in a workbook
            David Andrade

            Thanks Andy,


            Your first option seems unrelated to my question of finding which sheets a particular measure is being used in on a workbook that has about 70 sheets and 8 dashboards.


            You second option is closer to what I'm looking for, but the workbook is using a multiple tables join, so deleting the measure isn't possible in Tableau without actually removing that particular field from the data connection.


            I tried removing the field from the multiple table SQL join but it didn't give me any warning or indication as to which sheets the field I'm removing is in.


            We're close, keep thinking!

            • 3. Re: Identify where a measure is used in a workbook
              Andy Piper

              Another option is to look at the log file. If fields are being used in the workbook, they should appear in the Log file.


              Close all instances of Tableau, then open up your workbook <this will ensure you're looking at the proper log file>. Go into \My Documents\My Tableau Repository\Logs and open the latest log*.txt file. I'm not sure when items get written to the log file, so if you do not see any fields in the log file upon opening it, try refreshing each dashboard and unused worksheet and try the log file again.


              Fields should be enclosed in [ ], but so are other items so it could be confusing. Consider using a screen capture program to capture the list of fields in play, then look through the log file to see which ones appear.


              It's possible that Interworks has a report in their performance analyzer utility that indicates this, but I'm not sure (http://www.interworks.com/services/business-intelligence/tableau-performance-analyzer).


              Hope this helps some more,



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              • 4. Re: Identify where a measure is used in a workbook
                Andy Piper

                I just realized you indicated you were looking at Measures. If when you right click a measure "Hide" is available, it indicates the field is not in use in the workbook. One at a time approach, but perhaps the log file option will work for you.

                • 5. Re: Identify where a measure is used in a workbook
                  David Andrade

                  Tried out the log file method, but it only told me what the data type was.


                  This is getting to be strange, I took the time to go through each sheet on each dashboard and check through every calculation as well, but nothing uses the 2 measures I'm looking at. However, I'm still unable to hide these 2 measures, which means they are being used somewhere...


                  I'm beginning to think I could delete the 2 measures without any real impact on the workbook.

                  • 6. Re: Identify where a measure is used in a workbook
                    Keith Fortowsky

                    The Tableau .twb file is actually an xml file. So you can simply "open with" a text editor (ex. MS Notepad) and search for your measure name. Or (better) if you change the file extension from .twb to .xml then you can easily open it in a browser (I like FireFox best for this purpose, for several reasons).


                    I suggest you start your "find" after the starting line of the worksheet descriptions, which is just AFTER the section called  <worksheets>, with one section for each worksheet ex, a worksheet called ExampleWorksheet would start with the line:

                    <worksheet name="ExampleWorksheet">


                    Each time you "find" your measure name (which will usually be in square [] brackets), just scroll back up to the starting line of that section and you will have the name of a worksheet in which it is used.


                    The above should be all you need but please let me know if any part of it is insufficiently described or unclear to you. OR, if you like my answer, please be sure to mark it as "correct" (if only so I know it worked for you).


                    And yes, with CAUTION, you can copy an entire worksheet from one application to another simply by copying and pasting the XML (of course, the file connections etc all need to be similar). And other cool stuff ...

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