Tableau Tutorial Tutorial

Tableau Desktop User Interface Explained

Introduction

In our previous article, we learned How to download and Install Tableau Desktop on our Windows and Mac. This article is about Tableau User Interface. The following image is where we left in our previous article.

When we start the Tableau, we can see the start page. On the start page, we can see menus on the top. 
Start Page Top Menus
Tableau Desktop
For Tableau Desktop we have the following menus

  1. File (ALT + F)
  2. Data (ALT + D)
  3. Server (ALT + S)
  4. Help (ALT + H)

For Tableau Public Desktop we have the following menus

  1. File (ALT + F)
  2. Data (ALT + D)
  3. Help (ALT + H)

On the left, we have options for creating a new Data Source Connection. We can also find some previous save data source connection on the same. The number of Data Sources for Tableau Desktop and Tableau Public Desktop is different. For Tableau Desktop we can find More options to connect it to Database Servers. For Tableau Public Desktop on the left pane at the bottom, we can find an option to Upgrade the Tableau Desktop version.

On the right, we can find some quick links for training videos, online resources, and other updates.

In the center, we can find recently opened workbook or pinned workbooks.
Like all other applications on the top, we have the toolbar. Which displays the current workbook name.
What is a workbook? A tableau workbook is like the excel workbook. It contains one or more worksheets. Following are the different types of worksheets available in the Tableau Desktop. 

  • Worksheet: It contains the single view along with shelves, cards, legends. When we work on a worksheet, then the Data and Analytics panes are available on its sidebar. 
  • Dashboard: It is a collection of views from other worksheets. When we select any dashboard, then the Dashboard and the Layout panes are available on its sidebar.
  • Story:  It contains a sequence of the worksheets and/or the dashboard that work together to convey information. For the story sheet, the Story and the Layout pane are available on its sidebar.

By default, Tableau starts with a blank workbook with a single worksheet. So, where it is? It is hidden. You can click on the Tableau ICON available on the topmost left corner of the left pane. You can use it to toggle the start window. Click on the Tableau ICON to open the blank workbook. It will hide the start page. 

The UI and option for Tableau and Tableau Public are almost same. As we know from Tableau public we can’t able to connect it to the Database server. So, all the options related to database servers are not available in the Tableau public.

The above images show the main work windows for the Tableau Desktop. At the top, we can find the menu bar. It contains all the available options in the Tableau. All the options are divided into different categories. You can explore all the menu options. As you notice again the Server menu is not available for the Tableau Public. Below the menu bar, we have the quick access toolbar. It contains most commonly used options. When we compare the quick access toolbar for Tableau Desktop and Tableau Public Desktop few options are missing. All the options are for Database Server.

On the left, we have Sidebar. We can change the width for a sidebar. We can also expand and collapse the sidebar.

The Sidebar option changes based on the type of worksheet and selected element. Currently, we are working on a worksheet. For the worksheet at the sidebar, we have two tabs. One is for the Data and another is for Analytics. On the Data tab, we can find all the Data Sources. Based on the selected Data Sources you can see the available Dimensions and Measures. On the Data Tabs, we can also find the available Sets and Parameters. We will discuss all this in our future articles. 

As shown in the above image on the Data tab we have three different connections. To explain the User interface, we created the data source connection. You can open a Data Source connection using the option available at the bottom of the Data Tab. We will learn more about the Data Source connection in our future article. 
In the center, we have the work area. It is again dependent on the type of selected worksheet. As we discussed by default tableau start with a blank workbook with a single worksheet. Currently, our worksheet is selected with name sheet 1. Following is the image for the currently selected worksheet.

 

Again, to explain the user interface we added a few columns from our data source. For a worksheet, we have Cards, Shelves, and View. We can use the Cards and Shelves to add the data to our view. In the center, we have the view for the current worksheet. We will learn more about the Card, Shelves, Markers, Filters, Pages, Legends and more in our future articles.
At the bottom, we can find the options to open the data source. Switch between worksheets, dashboards, and Stories. We have three buttons to add a new worksheet, dashboard and story sheets. As per the following image for our first workbook, we have only one sheet of type worksheet.

As we can rename the sheets in an Excel workbook, we can do the same with the sheets available in the Tableau Workbook. Following are the options for the worksheet.

  • New Worksheet
  • New Dashboard
  • New Story
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Rename
  • Delete
  • Duplicate
  • Duplicate as Crosstab
  • Export
  • Hide Al Sheets
  • Unhide Al Sheets
  • Copy Formatting
  • Paste Formatting
  • Color

Let’s quickly add a dashboard and a story sheet. Following is the image of the dashboard. 

As we mentioned at the top of the dashboard on the sidebar we can find Dashboard and the Layout option. On the Dashboard tab, we have the list of all the available worksheets in our workbook. We can add the worksheet views. On the Layout tab, we have options to Control the layout of the dashboard. Again, this is about the Tableau User Interface, so we will learn more about the Dashboard in our future articles.

Next, select the story sheet. On the story sheet, we can add one or more worksheet or the dashboard. For the story sheet, we have two tabs. The first one is Story and the Second one is Layout. On Story tab, we have all the available worksheets and dashboards in our current workbook.

This is the brief about all the types of sheets available in the Tableau Desktop 2018.2.2.
Finally, at the bottom, we have the status bar. On the rightmost corner, we have options to change the view for the available sheets. The first one is the Grid View, Next, we have the Film Strip View and Finally, we have the tab view.
You can check all the view in the following very large GIF Image. Please give it some time to load.

I hope we covered lots of things we still need to learn more about Tableau User Interface. We will learn more in our future articles. Next, we will learn How to create a new Data Source?

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About The Author

Hello, I am Mayank Sanghvi I am primarily a BI developer with experience in MSBI and Cognos BI Suit. Also having interest in various other technologies such as Android, Java, C#, ASP .NET and other. I enjoy learning new technologies and share my experience with others.

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