5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2011 2:27 PM by . Mcnike

    Container Sizing

    . Mcnike

      Wouldn't it be nice if containers behaved themselves?!  :)


      Just kidding, mostly. I'm enjoying all of the new dashboard options we now have because of containers. But there is some seemingly erratic behavior that I would like to see fixed, or at least explained.


      Here's the scenario:

      I've created a dashboard with some nested containers (Figure 1)

      Figure 2 shows the way the panes of interest are sized by default.

      I would like to take Pane #1 and resize it from Position #1 to Position #2 as per Figure 3.

      Evidence of the erratic behavior can be seen in Figure 4, why all the white space?

      It seems like the outermost, vertically aligning container has been split into two containers now, Figure 5.

      It seems to me, that it would make far more sense to (by default) resize the pane as per Figure 6.  If I'm changing the x-axis, why is the y-axis expanding?  Looks like we have some sizing dependencies that can be removed?



      Also, has anyone else noticed the "Fit" menu behaving erratically in 6.0.2?  I haven't tested it in 6.0.4 yet, but it seems to resize to the data contained in the pane, with no regard for the Headers, which is causing for some messy views.


      Related to all of this, have you considered a "resize entire pane to data" option? So that maybe when I change my font sizes, I won't have to always manually modify the row sizes?

      That, in concert with a "resize container to pane" option might give me exactly what I'm looking for in Figure 6.

        • 1. Re: Container Sizing
          Andy Cotgreave

          Ah, the murky world of Layout Containers! I am just like you - they are absolutely great, but, boy, do they get confusing, and behave strangely! 


          They are a dark art, known only to the developers of Tableau. The rest of us have to infer stuff when using them. As far as I can tell, if you have a horizontal container with two items in it, you can't manually resize the width of either of them. If you do, one of the objects is dropped out of the container. In order to achieve what you want in fig.3, I reckon the best you could do would be to put a blank item into the container between the filter and the Completed Release Orders worksheet.


          I like your fig.1 showing the layout of the containers. That made me think how nice it would be if Tableau coloured containers differently depending on the type they are. Instead of orange for all, choose two different colours. And while we're at it, buttons to do the following would be nice:

          1. Switch container orientation

          2. Highlight all containers - it would change the view to wash out all the worksheets, and show the dashboard like you did in fig.1


          good luck!


          • 2. Re: Container Sizing
            Joe Mako

            It did take a little testing to figure them out, and since it is difficult to talk about layout containers in a text comment, I'll make a video on them soon, in the mean time here are some basic tips:


            - If the dimension of your dashboard is static, you set a size, and your placed sheets are not growing or shrinking, then there is no need to use a layout container.

            - Always pay attention to the thick black drop line before releasing, it tells you what is going to happen when you release.

            - Layout containers are best used for automatically sizing sheets placed inside. If you want to manually control the proportions of the sheets in a container, you may not want to use a container.

            - when learning how to use nested layout containers, or making a complex dashboard, the "Blank" is your friend.

            - if you want to experiment with arrangements on your dashboard, don't use layout containers until you know how you want it laid out, and how you want them to grow and shrink.


            I really enjoy the flexibility of the dashboard layout options Tableau offers, but I can see how they can seem to behave strangely when first used. I believe that with a little understanding of the logic of placing, you can generate dynamic/elastic layouts with ease and have them behave as you want them.

            • 3. Re: Container Sizing
              . Mcnike

              Andy, I tried your suggestion about inserting the blank item into the container (Figure 7) same vertical resizing problems.  Also in Figure 7 you can see an illustration of my complaint about the "Fit to Width" option - selecting "Fit to Width" actually means "Fit to with of Data in pane".  I'd like to have a "Fit to width of Header" option.


              I've requested this before, and I realize that "containers" were Tableau's response to this request, but I would still like to have the ability to set a FIXED sized pane.  In other words, I want to have an option to have crosstab with three fields that I can set to be 40 pixels wide.  Everything else can be dynamic around it, but this one field needs to be static.  In fact, I think this would be the perfect solution, to have dynamic horizontal/vertical containers work in concert with static panes and static containers.  Why not give each pane/container an X and a Y option that could be set to "static" or "dynamic"?


              Andy, I second your suggestion to make containers different colors and maybe for an Function-key (F6, F7...) to highlight the containers?


              Joe, personal blood, sweat and tears have validated every point you've made!  ;-)  I don't know if there is a solution to this "random vertical resizing of a container when you try to change its horizontal size", I'd love to see you touch on it in your video.


              And while we're on this topic, (disclaimer: I realize that I'm being obnoxiously picky here), and (disclaimer: we're talking about some finer nuances of the more advanced functionality here), but why are containers visible/selectable in the Reader?  What purpose do they serve?  If someone wants to resize a pane in the Reader, all they need to do is grab the edge of the pane and drag, seems to me that leaving containers visible in the reader only prompts users to ask "what are these orange thingies?" to which, I've replied many times, "there's nothing to see here, move along."




              • 4. Re: Container Sizing
                Joe Mako



                As for figure_7.png that you attached:


                When you have that setup, a horizontal container with a Blank and a worksheet with a text column in that container, and the sheet set to Fit Width, your statically set column header widths will be ignored. Statically set row headers width will be respected in this situation.


                To get what you want, statically set the with of the column header, and set the fitting to "Normal" and the layout container will respect your statically set column width.

                • 5. Re: Container Sizing
                  . Mcnike

                  Son of a gun Joe! You did it again!  By following your advice I go exactly what I was looking for in Figure 6.  The gem for me here is the fact that setting the Pane fitting to "Normal" and a manual width on the Text columns will make the layout container respect the statically set column width.


                  Thanks again man,