Tableau Tip: Formatting Text Tables

Text tables are a common request; often dashboard viewers want to see the rows of data to verify, which in turns builds trust. This is especially true for organizations moving away from traditional spreadsheets to interactive and automated dashboards. Thankfully, there are several techniques that can elevate text tables from good to great, especially when it comes to formatting Sub-Total and Grand Total rows.  Read on to learn three quick & easy techniques.

Rename the header

Click on the Total or Grand Total row and select “Format” from the drop-down menu.  This opens a formatting pane on the left, which allows you to type in a custom header for your Total and/Grand Total rows.  In this example, I’ve renamed Total as Sub-Total, and Grand Total as Total (All Categories). 

Highlight with Color

To draw attention to the total rows, you can customize the shading. To help with comprehension, you can select one color for Sub-Totals, and a different, contrasting color for Grand Totals.

Bold Fonts

Finally, a tried & true method to draw attention to the total rows? Bold the font.

Text tables may not have the pizzaz of a scatterplot or Sankey, but they can still be visually appealing.

Happy Vizzing, folks!

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