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How and when to create the basic tableau charts

Types of tableau charts (6 Basic types)


There are many types of tableau charts. But here we are going to discuss about the 6 basic types. The types are listed below,

  •         Bar chart

  •         Text chart

  •         Area chart

  •         Pie chart

  •         Bubble chart

  •         Tree map


Before go for making chart. we need to do one step, open tableau public and load the dataset and go to sheet 1. Now in the right corner, we are able to see the show me. click on that show me, it will open and show what are all the basic charts we have in tableau like this in Fig 1,


   Fig 1 Show me

Now we are going to see. how and when to create those charts

1.Bar chart


There are two ways to create a bar chart.

  1. First way is drag dimension into column and measure into row. then check the bars under marks

  2. Second way is drag dimension into column and measure into row .then click show me and click the bar chart

We have four types of bars in tableau show me(Fig 1).it could be selected based on your requirement. the four types are bar chart, horizontal bars, side by side bars, stacked bars. The basic bar chart is shown below(Fig 1.2),

 Fig 1.1 Bar chart

When you have one dimension and one measure ,we can create like this and also we have horizontal bars to view the same content like this,

    Fig 1.2 Horizontal bar

If we have more dimension(if the dimensions are co related to each other) and one measure, we can use side by side bars(Fig 1.3)and stacked bars(Fig 1.4)

For that drag the dimensions into column and measures into rows and click show me, and then click the side by side bars/stacked bars. then our chart will look like this,

 Fig 1.3 Side by Side bars

We have staked bars(Fig 1.4) in the show me to show the same thing in different way, like this.

    Fig 1.4 Stacked Bars


     In each dimension, how many measures are used. For that we can use this bar chart.

     Multiple measures and dimensions, we should avoid this bar chart.

2.Text chart

There are two types of text chart we can create in the tableau. They are,

  1.Text tables

2.Highlight tables


Step 1-Drag the dimensions in the respective rows and columns.

Step 2-check the text under marks

Step 3-Drag measure into labels to show the values

Step 3-click show me(Fig 1) and check the text tables(Fig 2.1)/Highlight tables(Fig2.2)

     This is the sample one i created. According to your convenience you can create your own text table 

 Fig 2.1 Text tables

    Fig 2.2 Highlight tables


If two or three dimensions which are correlated like categories and subcategories and we need to show the profit /sales for those things then we can use the text charts.

If two or more dimensions which are not related ,in that case we can avoid the text charts.

3.Area Chart


Step 1-Drag the measures in both the row and the column

Step 2-Select the area chart in show me(Fig 1).

Step 3-Make sure the area is checked under the marks

Step 4-Want to show those values for the subcategories too. Drag those subcategory as dimensions into color.

Now we are able to create the area chart shown in Fig 3.1

Fig 3.1 Area chart


  • This area chart is created according to our needs.

  • Two measure we need to compare we can use this area chart

  • The date and time related one ,another one is measure. we can use this area chart

  • If it's a continuous value, we can use this area chart. If its a discrete, then we need to avoid this chart.

4.Pie chart


Step 1-Change that automatic to pie under the marks

Step 2-Drag the measure into size under the marks

Step 3-Drag the dimension into color and label

Now we are able to see the pie chart what we created in the Fig 4.1

Fig 4.1 Pie chart


  • To know the effect of one factor on different categories

  • How much proportion is used

  • It's used for less than 6 categories

  • If more than 6 categories, avoid this pie chart

5.Bubble chart


The same steps to be followed for the bubble chart is from the pie chart. Instead of checking the pie under marks ,we need to select the circle.

we need to select the bubble from show me

We are able to see the bubble chart like Fig 5.1

            Fig 5.1 Bubble chart


In the bubble chart we can compare the values of each categories,

If we have a small dataset, we can avoid the bubble chart.

6.Tree Map


Step 1-Drag the measure into size and label under marks 

Step 2-Drag the dimension into color and label under marks

Step 3-Instead of using automatic we can use square to create the tree map(Fig6.1) in the marks/check the tree map in the show me (Fig 1)

Fig 6.1 Tree map


When there are more than 5 categories to compare, we can use this tree map to show the sizes of categories as the value in measures

More than two measure, we should avoid this tree map


These are the some of the basic charts we would use every time in tableau. we are going to see the complex charts in my upcoming blogs

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