The importance of formatting and cleaning a dashboard

This post is a continuation of the blog posts about Dashboard Design (some tips about dashboard design and where to place what).ff

Let’s start from this view for example made from Sample Superstore, without any formatting at all.


Below some steps I recommend to clean and format your dashboard:

  • Remove borders and lines from the worksheets

I really do not like the Tableau default borders and lines, so I tend to remove them almost always (with some exceptions that can be related to real needs).

So, just right click on the worksheet and select format, on the left side of your Tableau it will appear the view below. Select “Format Borders” and select none for row/ column divider as in the image below:


Then switch to “format lines” section (the one to the right of “format borders”).

I do not like grid lines, the zero line (this one, I would say, it depends on the cases) and axis ticks, but I do like the axis usually (remember that I have a mathematical background 🙂 ).


Deselect lines in both row divider and column divider

  • Adjust the text dimension and format

As I suggested in a previous blog post, you may want to apply the font you use in your organization and not Tableau default font. So, make sure to change the font everywhere, on the charts and tooltips.

Just right click in a chart and select format, then change both in Header and also in Pane section the font:


And do not forget the tooltip! Just click on tooltip in the mark card and edit it:


  • Hide the worksheets title

I suggest to use text instead of the sheets title, in many cases it is easier to play with the text box. So, just right click on the worksheet title and hide it once you are in your dashboard

  • Change colours with an adapt colour palette or the colour palettes used by your organisation

Do not forget to be mindful of the use of colour, use colours only if needed and also try to use colours that make sense for your organisation.

  • Clean the tooltip

Everything that is in your viz will eventually be in your tooltip. Make sure to clean it. For example, maybe you do not want to display latitude and longitude in the tooltip of your map, so then just remove those.

  • Always give a title to your dashboard

Do not forget that your dashboard needs a title and maybe even a subtitle! Sometimes, you will need to give some explanations on how it works and what it displays. Think about adding an info button with information in the tooltip. How to do that?

First of all, find your icon!

I usually download them from Flaticon (as a png, max available size). Then go to My Tableau repository folder and add into the shape folder another folder with your icon inside. Then close and re-open your Tableau workbook, create a new worksheet and a calc field called Info with in the body of the calc just “Info”. Select shape in the mark card and drag your calc into shape, then change it to your info icon which will appear in the possible icons you can select. You can edit your tooltip and write there the needed information, so then the user can hover over it and read for details.

BUT be explicit in the dashboard with the interactions, the info button is a plus!

I hope this was useful!


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