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How to Customize Shapes, Colors, Fonts and Images in Tableau?

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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, Colors, Fonts, and Images - Table of Contents

Customizing Tableau shapes

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

Map With Standard Shapes

Figure 7.25: Map with standard shapes

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

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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 the tableau’s shape pallet. Editing shapes is done by accessing, the shape menu from the shape  legend as shown in figure 7.26

Map With Weather Images

Figure 7.26: Map with weather images

Customizing Shapes

Figure 7.27: Customizing shapes

If tableau’s standard shape legend or pallets don’t fit your requirements, import custom shapefiles (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.

Related Article: Tableau Interview Questions

Customizing Tableau 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.

Customize an Individual Color

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 a completely customized color pallets tableau which took great care to create color palettes that effectively communicate. They considered additional factors like color blindness-providing grayscale 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 the 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.

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Customizing Tableau 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.

Customized Title 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 provides visual confirmation to the information consumer that the view is filtered for the desired selections.

Customizing a Dynamic Title Element

Figure 7.30: Customizing a dynamic title element

Customizing Tableau 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.

Place an Image File in an Image Object

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

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Last updated: 04 August 2023
About Author
Remy Sharp

As a Senior Writer for Mindmajix, Saikumar has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Programming, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Oracle BI, Cognos, and Alteryx. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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