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Boost Your Tableau Workflow: Handy Shortcuts, Tips, and Hacks

Tableau is a robust data visualization and analysis tool, equipped with a wide range of features and options. However, creating visualizations from scratch can be time-consuming, particularly when dealing with extensive datasets. In this blog post, we'll delve into the following valuable tips, tricks, and shortcuts that can help you optimize your workflow in Tableau and expedite your data analysis.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Customizing the User Interface

  • Using the Data Interpreter

  • Formatting Tips

  • Collaborating with Tableau

Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the easiest ways to save time in Tableau is by using keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to quickly perform common tasks without having to navigate through menus and options.

Here are some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts:

Ctrl + M:

To open a new worksheet

Ctrl + N:

To open a new workbook

Ctrl + O:

To open existing Tableau workbook

Ctrl + H, F7:

To switch in and out of presentation mode


To switch in and out of full screen mode

Ctrl + W:

To swapping fields between “Rows” and “Columns”.

Ctrl + P:

To print the complete dashboard or sheet of Tableau workbook

Ctrl + D:

To connect new data source

Ctrl + 1:

To open or close Show Me Card

Alt + Shift + F:

To place the selected field on “Filters” shelf

Alt + Shift + Backspace:

To clear all the contents from current worksheet

Ctrl + Alt + C:

To create a calculated field

Adjusting Rows and Columns:

Ctrl + B:

To reduce the cell size

Ctrl + Shift + B:

To increase the cell size

Ctrl + Left Arrow:

To make the rows narrower

Ctrl + Right Arrow:

To make the rows wider

Ctrl + Up Arrow:

To make the columns taller

Ctrl + Down Arrow:

To make the columns shorter

Alt + Shift + C:

To directly place the selected field in “Columns” shelf

Alt + Shift + R:

To directly place the selected field in “Rows” shelf

Moving fields to Marks card:

Alt + Shift + O:

To place the field on “Color” marks

Alt + Shift + L:

To place the field on “Detail” marks

Alt + Shift + I:

To place the selected field on “Size”

Alt + Shift + T:

To place the selected field on “Text” marks card

Using function keys:


To open the “Help” window

Alt + F5:

To refresh the data sources

Alt + F2:

To rename the data sources


To revert the workbook to last saved state


To rename column field (when field is selected in the data schema pane) or to rename calculated field (when calculated field editor is open)

To navigate between sheets:

Ctrl + PgDn:

To navigate through the sheets/dashboards on right side

Ctrl + PgUp:

To navigate through the sheets/dashboards on left side

Ctrl+ Tab:

To cycle through sheets

Windows Hot Keys/Keyboard Shortcuts That Carry Over to Tableau:

Ctrl + S:

To save the Tableau workbook

Alt + F4:

To close the current workbook

Ctrl + A:

To “select all data” in sheet of tableau workbook.

Ctrl + C:

To “copy” the selected data in the tableau workbook sheet

Ctrl + Z:

To undo your last step

Ctrl + Y:

To redo your last step

Ctrl + X:

To cut text selection (in captions, titles, formulas, etc.)

Ctrl + F:

To find

Ctrl + V:

To paste clipboard


To clear the selection

In conclusion, keyboard shortcuts are a valuable tool that can help you work more efficiently in Tableau. By memorizing and utilizing these shortcuts, you can quickly execute common actions and save time navigating through menus and options. Over time, integrating keyboard shortcuts into your Tableau workflow can boost your productivity and make your data analysis experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Customizing the User Interface

Customizing the user interface in Tableau means modifying the appearance and layout of the various elements within the Tableau interface to better suit your individual preferences and workflow. This can include changes to the color scheme, font size, toolbar placement, and more.

Customizing the user interface can significantly improve your Tableau workflow in several ways:

  1. Efficiency: By customizing the user interface to your liking, you can streamline your workflow and eliminate any unnecessary or distracting elements that may slow you down.

  2. Personalization: Customizing the user interface allows you to personalize Tableau to your individual needs and preferences, making it easier to work with and more enjoyable to use.

  3. Focus: By removing or rearranging certain interface elements, you can better focus on the data and visualizations at hand, making it easier to spot patterns and insights.

  4. Consistency: Customizing the user interface across your team or organization can ensure that everyone is working in a consistent environment, reducing confusion and improving collaboration.

Tableau offers many customization options that can help you work more efficiently. Here are some tips and hacks for customizing the user interface in Tableau to improve workflow:

  1. Customize the toolbar: You can customize the toolbar to add frequently used commands to make them easily accessible. To customize the toolbar, right-click on it and select "Customize Toolbar". From there, you can drag and drop commands to add or remove them.

  2. Create a custom color palette: Tableau comes with a set of predefined color palettes, but you can create your own custom color palette to match your company's branding or to highlight specific data points. To create a custom color palette, click on the "Color" button on the Marks card and select "Edit Colors". From there, you can create a new palette and save it for future use.

  3. Use custom fonts: You can use custom fonts to match your company's branding or to create a unique look and feel for your dashboards. To use a custom font, go to the "Worksheet" menu and select "Format". From there, you can select the "Font" tab and choose a custom font from the dropdown menu.

  4. Create custom templates: You can create custom templates to save time when creating new dashboards or worksheets. To create a custom template, go to the "File" menu and select "Save As Template". From there, you can choose a name for your template and save it for future use.

  5. Use containers: Containers are a powerful tool for organizing your dashboard and improving workflow. You can use containers to group related visualizations or to create space between different elements. To add a container, click on the "Layout" tab and select "Add Container".

  6. Use quick filters: Quick filters allow you to filter data quickly and easily, without having to create a new worksheet. To add a quick filter, drag a field to the "Filters" shelf and select "Add to Filters". From there, you can choose the type of filter you want to use and customize it to meet your needs.

  7. Use calculated fields: Calculated fields allow you to perform custom calculations on your data. You can use calculated fields to create new dimensions or measures, or to perform more complex calculations. To create a calculated field, go to the "Analysis" menu and select "Create Calculated Field".

In conclusion, customizing the user interface in Tableau can significantly improve your workflow by making it more efficient, personalized, focused, and consistent. By customizing the appearance and layout of various elements within the Tableau interface, you can streamline your workflow and make it easier to work with data and visualizations.

Using the Data Interpreter

The Data Interpreter is a powerful feature in Tableau that can help you clean up messy data. The Data Interpreter automatically detects and cleans up common data issues such as inconsistent formatting, extra spaces, and special characters.

To use the Data Interpreter, select the data source in the Data pane and click the Use Data Interpreter button. Tableau will analyze the data and clean it up for you.

Here are some specific ways that using the Data Interpreter in Tableau can help improve workflow:

  1. Time-saving: Cleaning and preparing data can be a time-consuming process, especially when dealing with large datasets. By using the Data Interpreter, Tableau can automate much of the cleaning and preparation process, saving you time and effort.

  2. Improved data quality: The Data Interpreter can recognize common data formatting issues and automatically fix them. This helps improve data quality by reducing errors and inconsistencies in the data.

  3. Increased accuracy: By automating the data preparation process, the Data Interpreter can reduce the risk of human error, resulting in more accurate data analysis and insights.

  4. Easier data analysis: The Data Interpreter can simplify the data analysis process by automatically detecting and separating header rows, identifying column headers, and identifying data types. This makes it easier to analyze the data and create meaningful visualizations.

  5. Enhanced collaboration: The Data Interpreter can make it easier to share data with others by ensuring that the data is properly formatted and organized. This can enhance collaboration by reducing the need for manual data cleaning and preparation, allowing everyone to focus on the analysis.

Here are some tips and tricks to use Data Interpreter in Tableau to improve workflow:

  1. Enable Data Interpreter: To use Data Interpreter, you need to enable it in Tableau. Go to the "Connect" pane, select your data source, and check the "Use Data Interpreter" option. This will automatically clean and prepare your data for analysis.

  2. Review Data Interpreter results: Once you have enabled Data Interpreter, review the results to ensure that your data is cleaned and prepared correctly. Data Interpreter will automatically detect and fix common data quality issues, such as extra spaces, inconsistent formatting, and null values.

  3. Customize data preparation: Data Interpreter provides a range of customization options to help you prepare your data for analysis. Use the "Data Roles" feature to assign data types to your fields, or use the "Split" or "Combine" features to split or combine fields as needed.

  4. Edit Data Interpreter settings: Data Interpreter settings can be customized to meet your specific needs. Go to the "Analysis" menu, select "Data," and then "Data Interpreter Settings" to customize your settings. You can adjust settings such as the number of rows to preview, the level of data cleaning, and the number of data types to detect.

  5. Use Tableau Prep: Tableau Prep is a data preparation tool that can help you clean and transform your data before bringing it into Tableau. Use Tableau Prep to perform more advanced data cleaning and transformation, such as joining tables, pivoting data, or splitting fields.

In conclusion, a data Interpreter in Tableau can greatly improve your data analysis workflow. By automating the data cleaning and preparation process, the Data Interpreter can save you time, improve data quality and accuracy, simplify data analysis, and enhance collaboration.

Formatting Tips

Efficient formatting of visualizations is crucial for creating impactful data presentations in Tableau. To achieve this, consider the following professional tips.

Here are some tips and tricks for formatting in Tableau to improve workflow:

  1. Use consistent formatting: Consistent formatting makes your visualizations more professional and easier to read. Use a consistent font size, color scheme, and layout throughout your dashboards to maintain a cohesive design.

  2. Use white space: White space can make your visualizations easier to read and more visually appealing. Use white space to separate different elements and create a sense of balance and hierarchy.

  3. Use tooltips: Tooltips can provide additional information to your visualizations without cluttering the main view. Use tooltips to provide context, explain outliers, or provide additional detail on specific data points.

  4. Customize color palettes: Color is a powerful tool for conveying information in your visualizations. Customize your color palette to match your brand or to highlight specific data points. Use color to create contrast and draw attention to important information.

  5. Use consistent axis scaling: Consistent axis scaling ensures that your visualizations are accurate and easy to read. Use the same axis scaling throughout your dashboards to avoid confusion and maintain accuracy.

  6. Use formatting shortcuts: Tableau offers a number of formatting shortcuts that can help you save time and improve workflow. For example, you can use the "Format Painter" to apply formatting from one element to another, or use the "Duplicate Formatting" feature to quickly apply the same formatting to multiple elements.

  7. Use templates: Templates can help you save time by providing a pre-defined format for your visualizations. Use templates to ensure that your visualizations are consistent and follow best practices.

  8. Apply formatting to multiple worksheets: You can save time by applying formatting changes to multiple worksheets simultaneously. Simply select the worksheets and then modify the formatting options to update all the selected worksheets at once.

  9. Use a consistent color palette: A consistent color palette makes it easier for viewers to understand and interpret your visualizations. To create a custom color palette, navigate to the Edit Colors dialog box and select the colors that align with your brand or message.

  10. Utilize conditional formatting: Highlighting important data points is essential for creating visualizations that convey meaningful insights. Use conditional formatting by selecting the field you want to format and then applying formatting options based on your desired conditions.

In conclusion, efficient formatting is important in creating impactful data presentations in Tableau. By following these formatting tips and tricks, Tableau users can improve their workflow and create more effective data presentations.

Collaborating with Tableau

Tableau offers several collaboration features that can help you work more efficiently with others. Here are some of the most useful collaboration features.

Here are some tips and tricks for collaboration in Tableau to improve workflow:

  1. Use Tableau Server or Tableau Online: Tableau Server and Tableau Online provide a collaborative environment where multiple users can work on the same project simultaneously. This allows for real-time collaboration, reduces the need for file sharing, and enables version control.

  2. Assign permissions: Assigning permissions in Tableau Server or Tableau Online allows you to control who has access to your project, and what they can do with it. Assign permissions to ensure that only authorized users can make changes to your project.

  3. Use comments and annotations: Comments and annotations can help facilitate collaboration by allowing users to add notes, ask questions, or provide feedback on a specific visualization or dashboard. Use comments and annotations to keep the conversation organized and on-topic.

  4. Use Tableau Prep Conductor: Tableau Prep Conductor allows you to schedule and automate data preparation workflows. This can save time and improve collaboration by ensuring that everyone is working with the same clean and prepared data.

  5. Share dashboards and visualizations: Sharing dashboards and visualizations with others is a great way to collaborate and get feedback on your work. Use Tableau Server or Tableau Online to share your work with others, and allow them to interact with your visualizations.

  6. Use Tableau Community: The Tableau Community is a great resource for collaboration and learning. Use the Tableau Community to ask questions, share knowledge, and connect with other Tableau users.

  7. Attend Tableau events: Tableau events, such as user groups, conferences, and webinars, provide an opportunity to collaborate with other Tableau users and learn from experts. Attend Tableau events to connect with others and learn new skills.

In conclusion, Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that offers a wide range of features and functionalities to help users create impactful and meaningful visualizations. By following the best practices and tips outlined in this guide, you can improve your workflow and create high-quality visualizations that effectively communicate your data insights.

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