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In order for Action Filters to navigate between worksheets or dashboards. "Show Sheets as Tabs" must be selected when you publish- no way around it.
However, after you publish with that option, you can choose to HIDE them by appending :tabs=no on the query string which is used to render the viz. This won't be helpful if your users are simply browsing vizzes in the Tableau portal itself....but if you are embedding the vizzes in our own pages, it'll work like a charm.
Thank you for your response. Actually our users will be browsing it on the Tableau portal itself so I think as you said this might not work for me in that case.
Just wanted to add an update for anyone who comes across this post. It seems that there was an update that now allows you to go from one dashboard to another using an action even if you publish without tabs.