In the current beta version of Tableau, there are two new tableau actions.

  1. Go to Sheet
  2. Change Set values

This blog is all about the set actions. To do a set action we need at least one source sheet and a target set.

The three-main use-cases of set actions are:

  1. Proportional highlighting
  2. Dynamic viz-in-tooltips
  3. Customized highlighting color

Proportional highlighting

In this when you select some marks in one view, instead of filtering other views, the other views show the proportion of the selected items in relation to all items.

Let us start with our superstore data. Connect the data and create a set with the state dimension. Drag the set to the color shelf. The dashboard action will update the set contents. For this, we need to create set actions.

Below is the dashboard after clicking on each state, showing what proportion of that sales come from the quarterly sales

Dynamic Tool-tips

Combining the new feature in the tooltip ‘Allow selection by Category’ with ‘Set Actions’, we can make an interactive tooltip.  For this connect to EU superstore dataset and create a ‘city set’ that is updated via a set action on the map worksheet. Create a map like this below: Then create a tree chart and put the tree chart in the tooltip of this map sheet.


With the ability to alter the selection of marks from within the tooltip (up and down the geographic hierarchy: Sales Area > Country > State > City) the viz-in-tooltip then becomes dynamic based on those selections.

Customized highlighting color

With tableau highlight actions we can highlight marks in one view by selecting or hovering over marks in a different view. The cells that are highlighted are shown in yellow color as below.

But if we need to change the yellow color it was not possible. With set actions, we can change the color, by creating the set and put this in the color.

I’m sure, it will be very interesting to see how this new feature is utilized when released. To see other upcoming features in Tableau, visit this page:


Meera Vijayan
Author: Meera Vijayan