Not saying this will work, but, did you save the Tableau workbook as a .twb (Tableau workbook) or as a .twbx (Tableau Packaged Workbook) after removing the Extracts and some columns? The .twbx stores the data (extract or not) in its own data folder, so if you saved it as a .twbx, and are then re-opening that file, perhaps you are getting a reference to that datasource instead of the "raw data." No editing of the original datasource will be reflected in the .twbx. If you want to use the .twbx at this point, you will have to re-point to the original datasource location. You could also edit the copy of it in the Packaged Workbook's data folder. Even then, you will have to edit the data connection to point it to this data folder, I think.
If you did save the file as a .twbx, open the .twbx, then File > Save As > chose "Tableau Workbook (*.twb) from the Save as type input drop-down, and click Save. Close the .twb file and reopen it. You can now do Data > Edit Try the Data > Refresh again. Please report back your results.
The true Tableauians who monitor this forum will correct and gross errors in this post, hopefully.
Peace and All Good!
It does appear that the problem I'm having has something to do with the revised Excel file that is stored on my desktop as it has been since I started using Tableau. Last month I saved my Tableau file as a packaged workbook when I distributed it to my audience - before I edited the workbook - I saved it with "twb" extension.
I found files with "tds" extension that are included in my workbook stored in C:\Documents and Settings\usd02744\My Documents\My Tableau Repository\Datasources - the files have the most recent data in them. The files that are stored in the Datasources folder all have file extension of "tds".
How do I point my workbook to those files?
tds files don't contain any actual data, they should be very small. Do you intend to say that you are opening up a tds file (by double-clicking, for example) and finding your latest data?
There are just a few things to check. First, in the Data menu, there are 5 options relating to Extracts. If only the first is available (2-5 are grayed out), you can be sure you're not hitting an extract. 2nd, check Data -> Data Connection -> Properties. Is the file name pointing to where you think it should be?
Thank you. That was the problem. What a relief - I was concerned that I would have to start from scratch.