1 2 Previous Next 28 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2014 2:53 PM by Cathy Bridges

    Stylesheets or templates for workbooks

    . samg

      You guys have done a great job giving us a lot more control over the tool tips, and we already have a lot of control over how vizes look. It would be great to be able to

      1) Define a style for workbook - all tool tips look like this, all axis line weights are like this, etc., rather than having to do this viz by viz.

      2) Copy a template from one workbook to another - if I set up a style template for a workbook, it would be great to be able to copy this and apply it to another workbook that already exists, or choose it when setting up a new workbook.




        • 1. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
          Andy Cotgreave

          Hear, hear - I have developed my own style over time (Arial bold 11 point titles, 9 point italic subtitles, left-aligned, etc) and it's a bit frustrating repeating the same formatting tricks over time. This would be a wonderful feature.



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          • 3. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
            guest contributor

            I have an numerical model application that uses tableau to visualize results.  My tableau workbook contains 22 worksheets that contain various types of visualizations (all of which use sorting). This workbook serves as my "style sheet(s)" and is copied over and over to allow me to visualize results from various models, so I very much like the  recommended "style sheet" approach.


            Along with the new style sheet, however, make sure that the data sort order is the same as the parent sheet.  Currently tableau allows us to set the default sort order of a categorical field (i.e., a dimension, text field), but measures data do not have a default sort order option.  This forces me to manually click the sort order button in all 22 sheets every time I connect Tableau to a new model output data set.  I want the sort order to be a control that is integral to the visualization.  This is currently not the case, at least as far as I can tell.

            • 4. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
              guest contributor

              I, too, vote for an optional workbook-oriented style sheet. This would be a major time-saver.



              • 6. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                . PPAQ_5577

                I'm really disappointed that this isn't an option. Has anyone tried a work-around like pasting new data on top of old in an existing workbook so it transfers to the old dashboard, etc?

                • 7. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                  Steven Kurian

                  Not sure if this will help solve the problem but I use the copy formatting function to copy the format of one workbook to another. Not the ideal situation but it is a time saver.


                  - right click the tab and select 'Copy Formatting' then paste the format onto another workbook by right clicking the tab and selecting 'Paste Formatting'

                  • 8. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                    . Tableautester

                    I have thought about making an Excel spreadsheet that imports the XML from the .twb file, making changes in the spreadsheet and then save the XML changes back into the .twb file. Has anyone tried this?

                    • 9. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                      Andy Cotgreave

                      Hi tableautester

                      If you're going to the Tableau Conference, I am going to be showing an app that does a full audit of all TWBs in a folder (and subfolders) of selected workbooks by trawling through their XML. It's done in Access using VBA and allows you to do a complete data dictionary, connection/worksheet audit. It'll be available after the conference to download. What it doesn't do, yet, is write data back to the file (although it might one day). The code will be freely available for you to adapt as you wish.


                      I'll also be showing how you can edit the XML directly to change connection info.


                      This app came about after I wrote an Excel addin that used XSL to do some analysis of the XML in Excel. That's available on the forum: click here


                      Again, it doesn't write the data back to the TWB, but maybe you can develop it?


                      Are you going to the conference? If so, I'm presenting on Tuesday morning - come along!



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                      • 10. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                        . glinkot

                        Yes +1 for style sheets.  Also to preserve consistency of map views across worksheets, it'd be good to be able to view/edit the boundaries/zoom level of a map.

                        • 11. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                          Dean Glasener

                          #1 - Tableau is an awesome product.


                          Another +1 for style sheets - or a "Best Practices" choreographed workflow of how to template out a new "Application in Tableau".


                          I've come to Tableau having worked with Coldfusion for 14+ years and 1,500+ scripts - CF'ers have suggested improvements for a long time and fine things may be accomplished by "program control" - it took year to get all the CF Objects declared in the CF Language for use in programs to auto build systems.


                          The Global Application settings and variables - CSS style sheets - CFINCLUDE for code segments - ability to query for all REGIONS and then use a cffunction to use the list in LOOP program structures - ability to CRUD array's and query result sets.


                          I just spent 2-3 hours working on accomplishing something in Tableau - that I've never been able to do before in another product.


                          I attacked my problem domain for my new project.  What about MVC concepts - where are the standard objects and the standard and "best practices" interaction with the objects to build a stable - maintainable system.


                          I mocked up a small data set in Excel.

                          I opened Tableau Public - and started the connection in Excel to my data source.


                          I built worksheet #1 and worksheet #2

                          Brought out some dimensions and measures to the rows & columns shelves

                          Thought of adding some measure to the COLOR shelf

                          Then added some measure to the SIZE Shelf

                          Then wanted some Text beside my Marks - added Description to Text Shelf


                          Then made a New Dashboard - added in worksheet # 1 and worksheet #2

                          Then found the need for FLEXIBLE presentation - had to add some Parameters - add to sheet - add as Parameter Control

                          wanted to add a Quick Filter for [Region]  then add a QF for [Sales Manager] - oh then make fewer values - hierarchies - sets - filters - etc


                          The Tableau tool is so powerful - I came up with 14 sheets that I wanted to present - these sheets have never been drawn before for "the problem domain under development" - then I wanted to make the 14 worksheets all into dashboards because I could add the "5 Special Objects ( entry to near unlimited web world) - Title,Text,Image,Web Page and Blank"


                          myStructure.myDataConnections = " xxxx.yyy.1 , zzzz.8888.22 "


                          myStructure.myParameters = "  worksheet for parameter creation and  add to Sheet and Show Parameter Control Parameter



                          myStructure.myWorksheets = "Worksheet 1,Worksheet 2,Worksheet 3, Worksheet 4"


                          Create Worksheet Objects for myStructure.myWorksheets


                          I was racing ahead in development - 500% faster than I could work the creation interface - I wanted to make a worksheet - I wanted to make 14 dashboard ( place holders ) and add 14 titles and add 14 Blanks - and add 14 pieces of quick developer thoughts for scope and context for the dashboard.


                          The vote for style sheets - templates - CSS or Fonts - Colors - "best practices" - calls all developers to build a better user experience - faster and richer with more reach and impact for making or enabling positive change in our respective work domains .



                          Tableau is a great product today - far ahead of where I was in Aug/Sep 2010 before finding Tableau.

                          The VIEW in MVC is great - you have made the MODEL great with faster engine - parameters and blended data.


                          The next steps may be in thinking out a great "best practices" workflow for developing a great Tableau in a near automatic programatic control ( under near forced best practices control ) with great CSS like formats and colors, fonts and font sizes - - - the vizs Tableau paints "out of the box" are great.


                          CF took 14 years to get to 95%+ programmatic control of the interface - Tableau has great stuff today and I see only better days ahead for we Tableau users.


                          Tableau - I'm pleased 500% where I am today.  I see the fruits of your prior work, and I can only imagine where we as a community will go forward with Tableau.



                          • 12. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                            Dean Glasener

                            Much of this speaks to the code and the view - - - and we are all acting on data - parameters - arrays - query results - table calculations - lookups - IF - CASE - IIF - Loops


                            In Coldfusion - I was able to mix HTML , CSS , CFTAGS( functions - loops - structures - arrays - etc ) and work and connect with the 15+ data stores - yet mostly 1 datasource at a time or project.  And after 14+ years it was still difficult to format data in a display grid.  And SQL Queries with CFIF logic woven into the sql flow.



                            Tableau has great vizs - great tables - fab Dashboards - - - - all nearly without having to write CODE or LOGIC.

                            Yet Tableau will be stronger in the future by adding these style sheets / templates and the ability to do CRUD to the underlying data store from the Tableau interface.


                            Tableau has a the ability to work closely with Sharepoint - maybe the CRUD support may be added by an early adoption of close links to MS SilverLight - for an Entity Framework 4 easy Views over Data with CRUD. ( and event triggered actions to update and workflow)


                            Thanks Tableau for a fine product today - and an only better product tomorrow.

                            • 13. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                              Brad Earle

                              Well, here is another one for this.  It took me 2 hours to build the data visualization for 9 dashboards, then took another 2 hours to put in the desired formatting -- custom logo on each, custom title, custom footer, custom page number footer, resize everything and make it so it would print accordingly to pdf. 


                              Another topic to make it so that rapid visualization doesn't slow down when attempting rapid sharing, how about the workbook remembering the last settings/choices when printing to pdf.  Seems like quite a bother to have to reset them each time (landscape, legal, selected - not current)

                              • 14. Re: Stylesheets or templates for workbooks
                                . Tableautester

                                I also would like the last used print to pdf settings stored in the individual workbook or at least be able to save the settings as the default for my computer.

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