13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2018 6:16 PM by John Munoz

    Format multiple text fields on a dashboard

    . CMuser



      is there a way to select two or more text objects on a dashboard so I can apply the same formatting to them simultaneously rather than having to format each text object individually?



        • 1. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
          Michael Cristiani



          Not sure if this is what you want, but when you are in a Dashboard, you can select Format | Dashboard.  One of the sections in the formatting panel there is Text Objects. You can format Font, Alignment, Shading, and Border. Tableau will apply your settings here to all Text Objects, including any you add after the fact. You should play with adding, removing, changing various settings, etc., in this panel section to see how it impacts existing and locally formatted Text Objects. I couldn't find anything specific in the Online Help about this, but maybe a Tableauian will see this and add some more info.


          Independently, in this formatting panel, you can format other aspects of the Dashboard, including Shading and Title objects.


          Does this help?



          Peace and All Good!

          Michael W Cristiani

          Market Intelligence Group, LLC

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
            . CMuser

            Hi Michael:


            great to see your post - do you ever *not* know something about Tableau?? :) Thanks for the tip on setting global formatting defaults for text objects.  That is handy.  Now I am a little greedy: I have a page with several text objects - not all of which share the same formatting.  It would be nice to pick a group of text objects and set the format for those collectively. Any thoughts?


            Christine Muser

            CyCom Solutions, Inc. 

            • 3. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
              James Baker

              Can't do that right now, as far as I know. :) Sorry

              • 4. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                Matt Shoemaker

                I second this one.  I have a dashboard with 22 text tables and it would be nice to be able to select several of them at once for formatting the text color, size, and alignment.

                • 5. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                  Joe Mako

                  I agree Matt. What I would like to see that would resolve our situation is an expansion on the menu option:

                  Format->Workbook Theme


                  Even if it is a XML file that I have to create, like custom color pallets, it would be a great addition.

                  • 6. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                    Matt Shoemaker

                    Yes, that would be a big time-saver if we could specify formats for all elements and save them as reusable custom themes.  Ideally this could be specified at the worksheet, dashboard, workbook, and application levels.

                    • 7. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                      Andy Cotgreave

                      Yes - this kind of thing would be a much nicer addition. Worksheet/workbook themes/templates would be fantastic.

                      • 8. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                        Michelle Lund

                        To the Tableau team: there seem to be multiple threads going back a number of years asking for a way to apply formatting across sheets or to make it simpler to set up templates, but nothing appears to have happened yet.  Is there a concerted effort being make to find a way to do this?  If not, is it because it is too complex to do so, or is it because it isn't perceived to be a high-priority item?

                        • 9. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                          . CMuser



                          thank you for adding your voice to this. 


                          After having worked with Tableau for some time I'm finding that this issue takes much more of my time that I think it should.  Some of the dashboards I create contain 30 or more sheets - that's a lot of manual formatting and making sure that everything looks the same.  For now I have resorted to creating one dashboard sheet as a "template" so to speak, then I copy it and replace the content (repeat for each subsequent dashboard sheet).  I employ a similar approach to creating individual vizes.  This saves a little bit of time since I don't have to recreate headers and footers each time, but it still leaves me with replacing and resizing vizes and making sure that any text boxes I add for comments have the same look and feel.  I'd much rather spend my billable time on performing analysis than making things "look nice" for the client.


                          From reading other forum posts I realize that there is some complexity involved here.  Joe Mako's suggestion about creating custom XML files as themes seems like a really worthwhile idea to pursue - and I'd be happy to be a beta tester. 


                          One more suggestion: there are plenty of common dashboard layouts like 1x2, 2x1, 2x2 or 2x3 - there ought to be a way to create a handful of standard containers into which we could place our vizes.  These won't meet every need, but it would be a start. No? 

                          • 10. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                            James Baker

                            Michelle, we gather and aggregate customer feedback and requests from a variety of sources, including the forums.  This feedback plays a large role when we're planning out the features and fixes for each development cycle.  It is Tableau's policy not to comment on things that it hasn't done-and-released yet, so I can't say if or when we will implement something that addresses the consensus in this particular thread.  I will however say that there is general sympathy amongst the people I know in Tableau engineering with the frustrations expressed in this and many other format-related threads/discussions.  So I can say "it's on the list", but it is indeed a complex topic that we want to be careful to get right when we do invest time in this area.  There are no significant relevant changes in the in-beta 7.0 product.  So yes, it hasn't made the cut yet -- but things on the list tend to move upwards, as we address other features.  There are hundreds of things on "the list" and I can't even know exactly where this falls, but please do know that we are listening and that our mission statement is "to help people see and understand their data" rather than "to make people spend lots of time fiddling with formatting issues".

                            • 11. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                              Michelle Lund

                              Thanks for your great response, James - it helps me to understand things better. Tableau is an amazing program, and I love it.  This is just an area that would make a huge difference to customers if we could find a way to fix it. 

                              • 12. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                                Matt Shoemaker

                                One of my favorite implementations of this is the Excel format painter with single click (one-time paint) and double-click (format multiple items) functionality.  It's a very nice interface.



                                • 13. Re: Format multiple text fields on a dashboard
                                  John Munoz

                                  Thanks Michael, great tip!