Sheet Swapping and Popping with Joe Oppelt (and a Tip on Searching the Tableau Forums)

Here is a quick and easy Saturday morning post!

Tableau Forums user Joe Oppelt and I wanted to put a video out that shows how to build a Tableau Dashboard with Worksheets that show or hide based on a Parameter selection, AND each worksheet has an object that pops in and out of the dashboard display, based on the user’s selection in a Parameterized list of values.

The first part of this is very much like the “sheet swapping” technique shown in one of  Tableau’s own KB articles: http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/creating-sheet-selector-for-dashboard/

Another great resource for learning more is Joshua Milligan‘s “Sheet Selection on Steroids” post, in which he comprehensively covers Tableau scenarios that can be used to initiate a Sheet Swap on a Dashboard, including Quick Filters, Action Filters, and even Swapping based on the number of items selected!  His blog posts are very thorough and easy to follow, which is why I refer to them often!

Quick Side Note: Joshua did a great Think Data Thursday presentation, which uses some sheet swapping techniques, on 10/2/2014; you can watch his TDT Video here, or in the TDT Video Library.

These tricks can be expanded in many ways — my goal in posting this is to show you a couple of methods Joe uses in his own work for accomplishing this swapping and popping of objects on a dashboard.  This does not cover all use cases, and your own mileage may vary based on what you hope to accomplish.  The video quality is decent, but the cursor does not match all of Joe Oppelt’s mouse clicks during his demo (that may have been my fault, as this was the first recording I was hosting myself)–I hope the main concepts shown are clear to those who watch the video — your feedback is most certainly welcome!

If you want to see many other tricks along these same lines, I would recommend reading through Tableau Forum user Ville Tyrväinen‘s posts… his Activity stream has many threads in which he has posted workarounds/tricks related to Sheet Swapping and Popping.   I believe Joe has been very inspired by Ville’s posts on the Forums, and I cannot credit him enough for teaching others on the Tableau Forums some new tricks!

For me, the most important pieces here are: realizing the impact of the filter used on each sheet, and the impact of sheets being placed inside of a layout container together.   There are several other tricks I picked up from Joe through making this video, though:  one was that Floating Objects on a dashboard can be placed outside the boundaries of that dashboard by inputting values directly in the “Layout” pane.  Tableau will not allow us to drag them off the dashboard, but as Joe shows in the video, we can type in whatever values we want to position a Floating Object any place we like!

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the Comments section, or at the Tableau Forums post where Joe shared the video publicly:  http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/149536

I hope this can serve as a reference point for users trying to learn similar tricks in Tableau.  I also hope users will see how incredibly easy this video was to make for Joe and I.  All it took was some willingness to reach out (I asked Joe if he’d do this video with me), and about an hour of our time on a Saturday.  I would encourage other Tableau users to reach out to others, and do screen sharing sessions, or record your own videos to share with others!


QUICK TABLEAU FORUMS TIP:

Did you know that the Tableau Community Forums has two search options?  The one in the top-right corner of every page is for searching the entire tableausoftware.com website:

Searches Entire Tableau Site

While the search found on the Tableau  Community Welcome Page under “What are you looking For?’ will only search Forum posts:

Type Forum Questions Here

I hope this helps clear up some confusion!

Until next time.

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