1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply on Jun 27, 2018 8:24 AM by Joe Oppelt


    Lori Johnson

      Hello –

      I am having difficulty with managing the backgrounds, the gray and white areas of my dashboards. What I format on the desktop sometimes changes the background on the server. When I publish my dashboards, some of the shading renders larger, outside of the borders. I have attached a sample workbook and the screen shots for the server view. I thought this might be related to tiled or floating layout, and I tried both versions. One dashboard contains only floating layout, the other one has one big container and floating objects in it. I am comfortable with dashboard objects like horizontal, vertical, Text, image etc. So, this question is about managing the background color and borders of the dashboards. Is there any difference between shading and background?

      Can you help me to understand and manage the canvas, backgrounds, and shading both in desktop and on the server?

      Thank you!


      Click below images for full-size.

      Shading - Server view:


      Shading - Desktop view:

      Gray area_white area:


      Message was edited by: Toby Erkson -- I pasted the images in so they're easier to reference.

        • 1. Re: formatting
          Lori Johnson

          Toby Erkson


          Hi Toby - Can you take a look at my question? Thank you!

          • 2. Re: formatting
            Toby Erkson


            Please read our @Menton Etiquette Guide .  I'm not strong with Desktop as my primary job is a Tableau Server Administrator but I'm sure someone in the forum will be able to answer this as there are many highly-knowledgeable people here

            • 3. Re: formatting
              Lori Johnson

              Oops, sorry, Toby.

              Somebody instructed me to use it in the past. I was not aware of the etiquette guide about it.

              Nobody seems to be able to answer my question.I receive your community emails. I know you are a Tableau Server Administrator. My question is related to changing views on the server. This is why I wanted to include you.

              I apologize.

              • 4. Re: formatting
                Toby Erkson

                What version of Tableau (Desktop and Server)?


                That looks normal to me.  The Desktop is just the authoring tool so the background won't be exactly like it is on Server...I think the background is basically the canvas that fills everything, it's the infinite substrate.  However, it's not something I've paid attention to (I always use the default white but I also make very boring dashboards) so I'll call in someone who I think would know better, Joe Oppelt and Chris McClellan.

                • 5. Re: formatting
                  Joe Oppelt

                  Lori -- Help me understand what you're encountering.  Your two screen shots look the same to me.

                  • 6. Re: formatting
                    Lori Johnson

                    Hi Toby,

                    10.5.1 for both server and the desktop.

                    Thank you.

                    • 7. Re: formatting
                      Lori Johnson

                      Thanks, Joe. It happened to me as well. I clicked and I saw both of them are the same view. The second click brought the different view. Even the file sizes are different. Can you try again?

                      • 8. Re: formatting
                        Lori Johnson



                        I tried to add the screens shots as dashboard images to the workbook. I hope this helps.


                        Thank you.

                        • 9. Re: formatting
                          Joe Oppelt

                          More questions:


                          (First, I don't have a 10.5 server available right now.  Just desktop.  So I can't validate different behaviors between desktop and server today.)


                          You have two dashboards of consequence in the workbook.  (The "White Gray Area" dashboard is completely empty.)


                          I see differences in sizing for Sheet 1 between the "with container" dashboard and the "without container" dashboard, but both the sheet and the container behind it can be sized identically and you get identical viz for sheet 1 and its container.  There is still a difference in the dashboard title though.  On "without container" dashboard the title is just a floating object, but in the "with container" dashboard it is tiled with an empty container that is positioned below all the floating stuff.  It's just a difference in cosmetics.


                          The two screenshots you uploaded seem to be shots of the two different dashboards.  (I can tell that from the positioning of the legends.)


                          In the attached I have the sizes of all the objects except for the dashboard title identical.  Is this what you are looking to address?

                          • 10. Re: formatting
                            Peter Fakan

                            Hi Lori,


                            I think I get your question - this is about the 'dashboard shading' menu item in the dashboard menu and how this relates to sheet background shading ?



                            First of all, a bit of technical background - I was intrigued when I found out that Tableau isn't French for 'table' which is what my un-french educated viewpoint was. What we are discussing is the tableau.


                            Each element that is dropped onto a dashboard contains its own ability to change its background colours (this is further divided into tile areas, the canvas etc for specific controls). The limitation on the worksheets though, is this is limited to the boundary of the box it is contained in - it doesn't matter if this is inside a floating or a tiled container, that's the limit.


                            Each worksheet that you drop onto a dashboard does this independently, which gives you ultimate control over the colours that are in use in your viz.


                            However, outside of this there is a control to change the default colour of the viz background - this is in the Dashboard > Format menu (see pic above). This tends to over-ride any subsequent worksheets that you insert if their background colour is set to 'none' - i.e. if your background colour is black, then the worksheet will also have a black background if its background colour is set to none (or black as well).


                            This is further enhanced by layout containers - they also have the ability to have different colour backgrounds, therefore you can set colours at the dashboard, layout container, and worksheet level (in that order), with each level in reverse precedence taking priority over the other (i.e. a worksheet background colour will override the layout container and dashboard background colours). Then of course just to add additional complexity you can nest layout containers - this goes in the order of precedence that is set in the item hierarchy in the layout pane (i.e. a layout container with one or more layout containers inside it will sit higher in the hierarchy but each container still has its own background colour).



                            There are some default colours that will need to be manually reset - such as the data area of a viz generally tends to be white by default, but these can also be changed using the techniques I've described above, but there are other methods to do this (such as setting a default worksheet font/format).





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                            • 11. Re: formatting
                              Lori Johnson

                              Yes, exactly.  Look at my server view above.


                              And look at how your dashboards look on the server (attached). Your desktop views and server views are the same.


                              What is it that I need to do differently so my dashboard backgrounds do not go out of control.


                              This also causes inconsistency when I share my dashboards in presentation mode or full screen. What am I missing  related to backgrounds? What do I need to do to have complete black etc. background  when I present in full screen or presentation mode?


                              Thank you!

                              • 12. Re: formatting
                                Joe Oppelt

                                I'm just not seeing what you are taking issue with.

                                To me, the shading in your "server view" screen shot is the same as mine.


                                Maybe I'm looking at the wrong thing...


                                Describe "different" so that I am looking at the same thing you are.

                                • 13. Re: formatting
                                  Lori Johnson

                                  Thank you, Peter. A lot of good stuff here. I think I used many of them but I will review all and try to apply new info. First question is about item hierarchy. What is that? Also, are you ok if I mention you if I have further questions related the information you provided? Thank you!

                                  • 14. Re: formatting
                                    Lori Johnson



                                    Your dashboard and my dashboard on desktop look almost same (almost a square).


                                    Your dashboard on the server looks same as on your desktop. (Almost a square).


                                    My dashboard on desktop looks almost like a square, like yours.


                                    But my dashboard on the server looks like a long rectangle. Left half has the dashboard. The right half is all a black empty area.


                                    Can anybody help me to explain this? Or do we see the screens shots differently?


                                    I think the king doesn’t have clothes on.


                                    Thank you!

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