Tableau Tips: Using Transparent Backgrounds

December 8, 2018

Tableau 2018.3 has been out for a while, and just like all other new versions, there is a bunch of benefits and features for the users. One feature which personally as a Tableau user have been waiting for some time is use of transparent views in my dashboards.

I know for once you might have wished to use this feature in dashboard designing and especially when;

  • Designing dashboards matching organization themes. (Using specific organization templates as background images).

  • You wished to overlay views on top of each other to show that missing insight. (This is especially for views whereby the underlying data does not change as a result of slicing data etc).

Good news is that, in the latest Tableau version, all these wishes have been answered, you can now design your dashboards with that beautiful background image you love the most. And, to make the story even more interesting, using this feature is as simple as changing the background color of your views to ‘None’. Can you believe that?

For the experienced users, I know the reading of this article ends here, but due to love of those who do not trust their skills yet, I will proceed to demonstrate how to use this feature in dashboard designing. This article assumes the user can design a simple dashboard.

Using Superstores data set, pre-packaged with Tableau app,

Build a dashboard. (In your own ways).

For this case, I’ve done the following;

  • Floated a background image.

  • Floated four views on top of the background image (Choose as you wish).

  • Added a title, ‘Superstores Dashboard’ formatted in white color.

By now, you should have noticed that the default background color of title is transparent, and when you expand your views in the dashboard beyond the original size, everything beyond that remains transparent.

Changing the Background color of the views;

Go to Format Menu > Shading… > Format each view’s worksheet by shading with color ‘None’.

See below.

Formatting texts and lines we’ve.

As simple as that.

Note: An alternative way is formatting each view of the dashboard from the worksheet view.

I hope this new feature will enable users unleash their craft and even test ideas which were just wishes in the previous versions.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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