Found the answer for my application: tooltips must be turned on for menu action filters to work on Tableau Server.
Ah. I have a pile of sheets that I don't want tooltips on, but that I want menu actions on.
I create a "null" tooltip by putting only one character in the edit box, and format the text so that its white. that way nothing actually shows, but the menu action strings have a place to go.
You will also want to uncheck the "Include Command Buttons" box so that the keep-only, exclude, create set and view data buttons don't display in the tooltip box.
Great tip, Joe. I've used that technique in other situations but hadn't thought of it here. Thanks.