One of the most potent and useful patterns in Tableau is the beautiful and handy colour palette, and it allows you to polish your viz in a few seconds. However, while we are doing projects with some clients, we will find the client has their own needs. More often, when we try to build up our brand in the Tableau community, we would like to have some consistency colours to represent us and make us more recognizable. The solution is to create your colour palette. In this blog, I will talk about how to create a colour palette quickly and how to get some great ideas from useful websites.


How to Create a Color Palette?

The way to create a colour palette is to add certain code into the default colour file, which is the Preferences.tps in C:\Users\LeonaLai\Documents\My Tableau Repository folder. Open it with Notepad, and you will see the screen like below:

Please note that only edit three places in the big red rectangle, and you can have your colour palette. The little red box I will call it colour box, and we can discuss it later. Firstly, replace any name you like in Name=’ ‘. Then edit the field type=’ ‘.

There are three kinds of value you can choose here:

  1. ‘regular’: Custom colour, you can choose any colour you like as a single colour.
  2. ‘ordered-sequential’: Sequential colour, shows a single colour, varying in intensity. For this colour type, you should capture the sequential number to put it into the colour box.
  3. ‘ordered-diverging’: Contrast colour, shows two ranges of values using colour intensity. You can only choose two colours in the colour box, and it is better to use contrast colours.

After we already put the right information in the first two places, now it is time for finding the right colour to put into the colour box now.


How to find the best colour?

There are several websites that you can go and check:

For colour picking tool download:

For upload the picture and find great ideas from the beautiful photos you like:

I highly recommend the Colors. This website allows people to upload a picture, paste a Url, use a camera to take an instant photo, or do a quick search there.

After uploading a picture, drag the toolbar under the image, and the colour palette will be ready for you. It also allows you to add more colour picking by clicking the ‘+’ button.

Click the ‘Next’ button, and there will be several choices. I usually choose ‘export to palette’ to ‘code,’ so I can get the colour code quickly. After that, paste the colour back to the Preferences.tps file.

How to apply the colour palette file to Tableau?

After editing three fields, the only thing you should do is to Save and Close the Preferences.tps file and reopen the Tableau. Now you can find your colour palette in the colour mark.

Create the colour palette is an easy one; however, choose a proper colour for your goal may take you some time. Try to explore your tone and create your colour style!

Leona Lai
Author: Leona Lai