1 2 3 Previous Next 30 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2018 4:11 PM by Eric Stalee

    Line Graphics

    . ecarbonnier

      I'm using tableau for the first time and uncertain how to change each line in my line chart to a different line style. Line styles being either solid, dashed, or lines with squares or triangles on them. I attached an example of my line chart illustrating the lines I would like to change. This is super critical when black and white reproduction will occur.

        • 1. Re: Line Graphics
          Eric Langston

          I am also looking for this feature.  I have group of related lines: federal, state, and local; crossed with grant and loan.  So, I have Federal Grant, Federal Loan, State Grant, etc.


          I'd like all the Federal lines to be blue (for example) and all the Grant lines to be dashed (for example).


          The only other way I can convey this 'grouping' is to use different shades of the same color, but that puts emphasis on whatever group gets the brighter color.  I'd like to avoid adding that emphasis and the solution I thought of was to use colors and patterns / line styles in tandem. 


          Is there another method that you all at Tableau might recommend?  I think this could be a good candidate for your Friday visualization brainstorming sessions ...

          • 2. Re: Line Graphics
            James Baker

            I believe that Tableau doesn't support line styles for the emphasis reason that Eric mentions.  A dotted line looks less weighty/important than a solid line, for example.


            Now, perhaps these could be balanced visually by modulating the width/size of the different pieces of paint used to make a line style.  I don't know how seriously we've considered researching this question.  Major brownie points to anyone that can find me some good research on the subject of designing a set of equivalent-salience line styles.

            • 3. Re: Line Graphics
              Christoffer. Swanström

              Sometimes you might want to use dashed lines with the explicit purpose of emphasizing/de-emphasizing certain data. Would be nice feature in my opinion, just had a case where it would have been useful, had to go with variations in color instead.

              • 4. Re: Line Graphics
                Christoffer. Swanström

                And as mentioned in the original post different line styles (dashed etc.) are particularly useful when producing output in black and white.

                • 5. Re: Line Graphics
                  . Chrispope

                  Ditto to the requests above. Tableau allows use of a mix of filled/empty/custom shapes with different salience, which is what I'm often compelled to do when I would rather have various lines styles for their visual continuity. Trust us. We can handle it, I promise :)

                  • 6. Re: Line Graphics
                    guest contributor

                    Another vote for line styles.  I'm often forced to choose line "size" to distinguish another dimension (with a couple members) where line style would be a much better choice.  Obviously, if you're replacing with line size, "equivalent-salience" is not needed.

                    • 7. Re: Line Graphics

                      Here's another vote for the ability to change line styles. We use dashed lines for target lines because it de-emphasizes it versus actual performance. i.e. we do not want equivalent salience. As others have stated already, we can control salience in a variety of ways already, line-style is just another. James, I don't think anyone's looking for a palette of equivalent salience line styles, just the ability to override the default line type where there is merit.


                      We often use line graphs to show production per hour for of our 12-hour shifts, with a dashed line for the target as a reference. It just doesn't work as well in a solid line. (see attached). So why don't we just use a Reference Line set to dashed? The target is based on the previous 30 days performance for each hour of the shift, and so isn't a straight line like y = 3900, as there is a different target for each hour of the shift. If anyone can suggest something, could you please mention it in this post? http://www.tableausoftware.com/support/forum/topic/reference-line-based-relative-historical-data


                      Thanks kindly,



                      • 8. Re: Line Graphics

                        The best I could do so far (see attached image). This makes only one line stand out, others will have to be different shades of grey. Dots help a bit, but are not necessary.

                        Note - I left axis out of sync deliberately, to show how overlaying lines look.

                        • 9. Re: Line Graphics
                          guest contributor

                          bumping this thread, would really like to get line styles / dashed line support in Tableau

                          • 10. Re: Line Graphics

                            Hi Dimitri,

                            This is exactly what I'm looking for!

                            How did you add dots to only one of the lines?



                            (a very new Tableau user)


                            Ken Dady

                            • 11. Re: Line Graphics
                              Tracy Rodgers

                              Hi Ken,


                              Dimitri was able to add dots to only one of the lines because he is using a dual axis. When using a dual axis, right click on one of the fields and select Mark Type-->Line. Notice on the Marks card, you are now able to toggle through to the different measures. Toggle to the appropriate measure, then using the drop down menu next to Color add the Markers. Hope this helps!



                              • 12. Re: Line Graphics

                                Thanks for the quick reply Tracy.

                                Unfortunately I’m already using the second axis for a different measure.

                                Add my vote for the ability to specify a line type for each measure.

                                (heck, even Excel can do that :-)


                                Thanks again,


                                • 13. Re: Line Graphics
                                  Raghu Guggilam

                                  It would be nice to style individual lines separately.

                                  • 14. Re: Line Graphics

                                    An actual solution, for some situations:


                                    You may be able to get something by using a combination of lines and shapes.  For example:


                                    If I have Sales versus Time broken down by Region, then ...


                                    1. Put another copy of sales on the Rows shelf (assuming you have a typical time-series plot).

                                    2. Make a dual axis, and be sure it's synchronized.

                                    3. For the copy, change the mark type to Shapes.

                                    4. For that mark, move Region to the Shape shelf.


                                    This mimicks the Excel feature where you can have triangles, circles, whatever, at the points.  Yay!

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