How to customize shapes, colors, fonts and images in tableau?

Customizing shapes, colors, fonts and images

Tableau comes with a wide variety of predefined shapes, colors, and fonts, but you can style these objects to meet your specific desires.

It provides options to modify font sizes and colors for the whole worksheet or individual components of the worksheet, such as the pane, headers, tooltip, and grand total. Although the default scheme is good enough to be used in production-quality material, there might be instances where you would want to customize these options.

Customizing shapes

There is nothing wrong with using the default shapes as you see in the figure


Figure 7.25: Map with standard shapes

Customizing the shape used to plot weather conditions, it does provide more immediate understanding. Figure 7.26 shows the same map, but along with weather images to depict weather conditions.

The use of customized images in figure 7.26 conveys weather conditions more intuitively. This  example was created using one of the available standard shapes provided in tableau’s shape pallet. Editing shapes is done by accessing, the shape menu from the shape  legend as shown in figure 7.26


Figure 7.26: Map with weather images


Figure 7.27: Customizing shapes

If tableau’s standard shape legend or pallets don’t fit your requirements, import custom shape files (png, JPEG, bmp, GIF) and make them available to use in your views by following these steps:

  1. Create a folder to hold the image files under my tableau repository.
  2. Give the folder a one or two word name (tableau uses this name).
  3. Create a view that uses shapes.
  4. Edit the standard shape by selecting the imported custom shape.

The best results are achieved using images that are sized at (32×32) pixels.

Customizing colors

Creating customized colors for individual marks can be done easily using  the color button in the marks tab. Make a custom color by clicking the color button and selecting the more color option. This exposes to the window shown in figure 7.28.


Figure 7.28: Customize an individual color.

You can scroll through color options using the color pane in the view or type specific values. When the color is defined, click on the add to custom color option to make the color available for use.

It’s also possible to create completely customized color pallets tableau which took great care to create color pallettes that effectively communicates. They considered additional factors like color blindness-providing gray scale and a specific color-blind-friendly pallet. If you have a specific need that the available color pallets don’t fulfill, try mixing colors from different standard pallets. If you do have a very specific need (perhaps matching a logo color scheme), creating a completely customized pallet is possible, but you have to modify tableau’s preferences file located in: \my documents\my tableau repository\preferences.tps.

Search tableau’s website for a knowledge-based article called creating custom color palettes for specific details. You’ll need to use a text editor (like windows notepad) to add the custom pallet by adding an XML script that defines the palette name (as you want it to appear), then defines the color values.

Customizing fonts

Tableau provides a wide range of fonts. You can customize the font style, size, color, boldness, and underlying for every element of text contained in the headings, axis labels, mark labels, and tooltips. In most cases the standard font selections work fine. Changing the font style of dynamic title elements is a very common use and helps people notice that the values in dashboards change when selections are made. Figure 7.29 shows a dashboard with dynamic date headings.


Figure 7.29: Customized title headings

In this dashboard, the year filter in the left section of the title filters both charts contained in the dashboards for years. You can see that 2012 is selected and the title of each chart reflects that year’s selection. In addition, the time series chart is filtered via an action from the product crosstab. Styling headings with scdynamic elements is done by double-clicking on the title, inserting the variable, and then changing the font, color, or boldness of that element as shown in figure 7.30.

Coloring the dynamic title elements, black and the static title contents, gray provide visual confirmation to the information consumer that the view is filtered for the desired selections.


Figure 7.30: Customizing a dynamic title element

Customizing images in dashboards

The most typical use of an image in a dashboard is to add a company logo. By using the image object, logos  can be placed and sized to fit in the title space. There are a couple of tricks you should be aware of that will help you fit images precisely. The interworks logo  is a standard JPEG file. After placing the image object into the dashboard at the desired location, select the pick image option by pointing to the upper-right corner of the object to expose the menu you see in figure 7.31.


Figure 7.31:Place an image file in an image object.

After selecting the image, click on the fit image and center image options. These forces the image files to resize automatically if you alter the image object size.

These topics are very well organized in our Mindmajix Tableau Training.

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