Ran across something on the forum that ended up being the answer. I published the workbook without the one dashboard set to a fixed size and everything started working for the rest of the dashboards - containers sized properly and the dashboards automatically sized to the screen.
Hi Ray, many people use fixed-size dashboards for interactive Server versions in order to know and control exactly how big everything will be for users. But I still like using automatic. In your case when you fix the height or width of a layout container, that competes with Tableau's attempt to stretch or shrink all elements to fit the web browser screen. Automatic dashboards are supposed to make views bigger or smaller to keep things in proportion. The only compromise you can make is to fix some but not all of the layout containers so Tableau can autosize the remaining ones to fill the screen when you use automatic.
The full-screen option on Tableau Server just makes everything bigger, which usually makes an automatic dashboard that's been squished too small look good.
It's very hard to predict how big a user's Server browser will be - laptop vs. desktop, Chrome vs. Safari, tabs, etc.
I think the ultimate solution is to keep your dashboard so simple it scales to any size. Otherwise use fixed.
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If you publish a workbook with tabs, any fixed size dashboards will prevent the other dashboards from auto-sizing normally - they won't go any smaller in either dimension than the fixed size, but they will go larger. Another workaround besides leaving the fixed sized dashboard out is to not show tabs.
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Thanks Zach Leber! I spent ages trying to figure out why my automatic-sized dashboard wasn't resizing properly on the server. I'm sure it's documented somewhere, but it could do with a pop-up warning when you go to publish - if you have the 'Show sheets as tabs' checkbox ticked and you have a mix of fixed and automatic worksheets you're publishing.