Transparency is key, especially when it comes to data, and ESPECIALLY when it comes to Tableau 2018.3. One of the new features to be added into the toolkit in 2018.3 is worksheet transparency, and it’s pretty clear that this inbuilt functionality will bring some great vizzes in its wake (pun intended!).
Below is an explanation of how worksheet transparency works, as well as two use cases for the new feature. Although these are possible within the current version of Tableau – transparency really streamlines the process and opens up the opportunity to create true d-art-a! So get excited! (That’s the last pun of the post – I promise!)
How it works
- Put your viz on a dashboard
- Right click the viz background -> Format -> Shading
- Select worksheet colour
- Set colour to ‘None’
- Your chart now has a transparent background!
But be aware…
- Sheet transparency is only applicable to worksheets, not to corresponding legends/filters/highlighters.
- Transparency is activated on an on/off basis. You can’t set opacity as a percentage.
Use case 1: Place company logo behind worksheet
Previously, the easiest way to place a company logo into a chart was to float the image and place it in a corner on your dashboard – or to set the logo as a background image. However, the former was problematic with interactive dashboard because new views could be blocked by the logo. The latter was problematic because it could become very complex very quickly.
With the help of transparent backgrounds, lower the opacity of your logo via your favourite image editing program, place your background image in a tile, put a transparent sheet on top, and voila – you have a company logo on your dashboard with minimal effort.
However, it should be noted that if your logo is detracting from the viz then maybe consider putting it somewhere else!!
Use case 2: New viz types
With new tools, come new ideas, and new viz types for old data! Being able to combine interactive charts with relevant pictures makes for some excellent eye-candy that can elevate your Tableau public profile. Whether your chart becomes the wings of a mosquito on a dashboard about malaria, the bubbles in an ocean on an environmental dashboard, or the strings on a guitar in a musical dashboard, transparency really opens up the door for fun and easy vizzes to be shown off to the world!
I’m really excited for what this update can bring and I hope you all are too. Bring on Tableau 2018.3! ?