5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 2, 2015 11:30 AM by Ryan Chase

    Q About Z-Order of Marks...

    Shawn Wallwork

      I'm beating my head against the wall on this one. I thought that order of display (what's on top when shapes over-lap) was controlled by the order they appear in the Shapes Legend box. For instance if I move the drop shadow box above the January calendar box it goes from this:

      Jan-right.PNG to this Jan-Wrong.PNG


      My problem is that one of my shapes just isn't working like that. I've got Hospitals at the bottom of the Shapes Legend box:


      Draw-1.PNG and Heart at the top Draw-2.PNG


      But I'm getting this:



      On the Dashboard showing all icons the order works fine:


      It's the dashboard using the page shelf to display weeks that's giving me the trouble. Unfortunately it's due tomorrow, and I simply can't see what I'm doing wrong. Any help will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks,



        • 1. Re: Q About Order of Display...
          Joe Mako

          The z-order of marks in Tableau is not a simple process. It is not just the shape shelf, or the just the color shelf that determines the z-order of the marks, but all shelves on the Marks card (including Level of Detail, and the order of the measures in a dual axis), In your situation, the sort is being affected by the pill on the Label shelf, remove the pill from the Label shelf, and you will get the sort that you want.


          It sure would be nice if this was documented, so far, the best I have is trial and error for the z-order of marks. I suspect this is something built into VizQL.

          • 2. Re: Q About Order of Display...
            Shawn Wallwork

            Joe thanks a lot for the insights. I was unable to sacrifice the pill on the Label shelf, but since you identified the Label shelf as the problem, I did a bit of trail & error and found that doing a sort on this pill popped the heart to the top. Here was the sort:


            I have no clue why it works, but for now I'm just glad you helped me make my deadline. Thanks again,




            PS: Yes, a bit more documentation sure would help. Along with commands for 'send to back' 'bring to front' etc.

            • 3. Re: Q About Order of Display...
              Joe Mako

              Shawn, from what I can tell, z-order in Tableau is not like other applications where they have commands for 'send to back' 'bring to front'. In Tableau the z-order is determined by the data, not a property. I would not expect to see commands like that in Tableau, from what I can tell in Tableau if you want to change the z-order of your marks, you would need to change your data, just as you did here.

              • 4. Re: Q About Order of Display...
                Shawn Wallwork

                Yes I suspect you're right. It's hard not wanting Tableau to be more 'graphic' driven (or at least oriented), but I understand why data has to remain the primary driver. The work-arounds can get a bit tedious, but there's usually a way to get close to what you're trying to do.



                • 5. Re: Q About Z-Order of Marks...
                  Ryan Chase

                  Hey Joe,


                  I'm having a similar issue in trying to show some marks in front of others on an area chart.  In your above comment you mentioned that the underlying data would need to be changed.  Can you comment on what exactly needs to be changed?