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Tableau Tooltip


Most organizations are now heavily dependent on data for growth and are utilizing several visualization techniques. Better visualizations will lead you to deeper insights into your data. The shadings, fonts, colours, grid lines, alignments, and borders in your visualization are critical aspects of your data analysis journey and that’s where the tableau tooltip comes into the picture.

Let’s discover some of the best tooltip practices and how to make the best use of tableau tooltip!

Definition of Tableau Tooltip

Tableau tooltip has the details which are visible when the user hovers the specific visualization. The tooltip provides multiple affordable tools to easily filter the information by either choosing or excluding the selected information, or selection of different groups or it helps to explain the views of underlying data. A tooltip gives an informative message which gives the idea to a user when he starts to interact with a single element in the graphical user interface. Tooltip can be initiated in dual ways, one is by using the gesture of mouse hover and the other is keyboard hover gesture. In this article, the features and application of the tooltip are discussed in brief.

What is a tooltip in tableau?

When a user hovers over a mark, the tooltip displays relevant data and details from another visualization filtered to that mark.

A tooltip is anything that appears in the form of text labels when you hover over an element or focus on a particular object. Tableau Tooltips, therefore, help you to identify or locate elements on either the dashboard or under the workflow when they’re activated, and it helps in producing cleaner and more appealing visuals.

Tableau tooltips are one of the best ways to add contextual information and data without taking up any space on your dashboard. Tooltips have other options to generate groups and sets, display marks that have the same value and view the underlying data. In short, tooltips generate data that is more appealing and informative.

Exploring And Analyzing Data

Tooltips offer a command section in which you can do many things such as filtering the data, sorting selection, creating a group, and viewing the underlying data. Commands which can be used to explore and analyze data for a meaningful visualization are described as follows:

If you want to watch tooltip commands, hover over or click on the data point 1. Keep Only - Creates a filter that eliminates any remaining information. You can simply select to keep or exclude any specific data points in your own views.

2.Exclude - Creates a filter that eliminates the chosen data.

3. Group Members - Creates a group based on your selection. The choices can contain multiple dimensions, and you can either aggregate on any one dimension or on all the dimensions.

4. Create Set (only Tableau Desktop) - This creates another set including all the selected members. You can create another set under this or edit the same one.

5 .View Data - Under this a newer window pops up sharing the information where you can view the basic or summarized information.

Create the source and target visualizations in a worksheet :

  1. In Tableau, figure out the worksheet that you want to use as your source visualization. Or build a new visualization on a new worksheet. This will be your source view.

2. Create a new worksheet to serve as the target visualization. Keep the number of filters used in the target view to a minimum.

3. Name the target view so that you will be able to identify it in a list of other sheets.

Ways of Using Tooltip in Tableau

Tooltips can be often overlooked but they are a very powerful tool in the Tableau arsenal. Hovering over the marks provides contextual information but the tooltips can perform much more than that. Let’s see some tooltip examples and advanced tooltips features.

  1. Adding a tooltip

1. To add any new tooltip, simply go to the “measure” box and drag a tooltip on the marks card.

Now move on to the marks bar and click on the tooltip box to edit tooltip. It has got multiple options and features. For example you can add custom fields, replace original content, or add a description.

With a tableau edit tooltip, you can change default labels into the description or human-readable text.

For example the above image show elements in their default structure. To make changes to it, click on the tooltip shelf to start editing, and create a new tooltip.

Similarly, add the strings in the respective fields, YEAR(order date), SUM(sales), Categorize it onto the dialogue box, showing the editing tooltip and getting rid of default labels.

Preview the formatted sentence by hovering over the graph or visuals. It should look like this:

2.Default tooltips:

3. Tooltip Selection

Like other selection methods in tableau, you can use the tooltip selection as well, to exclude or include certain data fields, create set groups, and differentiate or divide visuals into various categories.

Let’s see an example by looking at the discrete bar chart. It’s a simple bar chart showing shipping cost, shipping mode, and every year broken into quarters.

Use the tooltip to select discrete boxes or quarters on the bar chart that we are still using to build the view. Furthermore, highlight the classes by moving over to the “Standard Class” string, all the orders for second Quarter, or all the orders for the mentioned year.

In short, simply click on any attribute to select any other marks with the same value. If at any point you don’t feel the need to use this option, then uncheck the “allow selection by category” box located on the edit tooltip dialogue box.

4. Command buttons

Command buttons are useful in many situations. They let you create visualizations by keeping or excluding specific marks or groups of marks, creating sets or groups of data, that are making up that mark.

If you do not want any other person to access all these features, then simply turn off the command button located on the top of the tooltip shelf and uncheck the “Include Command Buttons” box. You can also play with the “Show tooltips” options to show tooltips at a faster pace or only when you move over the marks.

5. Actions in tooltips

A link is called an action in the tooltip as it enhances the interactivity of the visualization by filtering, highlighting, or opening URLs based on where they have been created. Trigger the actions directly by clicking or just going on to the marks.

6. Images in tooltip

The foremost thing to perform is to get your favorite image and save it in the folder with the mentioned directory: My documents -> My Tableau Repository -> Shapes to access them in tableau.

Now generate a new tableau sheet and try changing the mark type to shape. Then, click on the “shape” marks card and map all the images to dimension numbers. Click on the “Edit Shape” option and locate the custom images you have added to your tableau repository and try matching them with dimension numbers.

Visit the tooltip option in the main menu and import the sheets you’ve created. Now select the sheets and get rid of the row headers and it’s done. You’ll be able to see those images you’ve just added while hovering over different marks.

7. Dynamic tooltips

Dynamic tooltips help in creating various text styles for different data points whenever you reach them on the base of certain conditions.

The initial step is to create a calculated field that provides logic on the descriptive text to be shown for each mark. For example, modifying the logic below according to needed requirements to get a calculated field.

1.WHEN “condition is true”

2.THEN “you’ll display this part of the code”

3. ELSE “some calculated value”

4. END

Now bring calculated fields into the tooltip and check the ATTR dimension. Now you need to click on the “Insert” option and add “ATTR” calculated fields into the corresponding tooltip. Now the tooltip should behave according to your logic while hovering on different marks.

Body text and markup in tooltips

The body of a tooltip contains details about a specific mark or a selection of multiple marks. For example, in a bar chart showing sales by region, the tooltip body may include the actual sales amount and the region name. The default tooltip is based on the fields used in the view. You can customize what is shown in the tooltip by dragging fields to Tooltip on the Marks card.

To customize a tooltip and its formatting, click Tooltip on the Marks card.

Alternatively, you can select Worksheet > Tooltip.


If the user chooses to allow selection by category, he can select multiple marks with the same values by choosing the discrete field in the tooltip. Hence, by using tooltip the user can make additional details to the guest to complete the task successfully.

Tooltips are one of the most advanced and best tools to make engaging, contextual, and informative visualizations. The tool not only brings out an engaging form of visualization interactivity but it’s also an excellent way to manage the entire workflow or stories without having any clutter while focusing on the relevant data.

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