Data visualization is an essential aspect of data analysis, and Tableau has established itself as a powerful tool for creating visually appealing and interactive visualizations. One feature that significantly enhances the user experience in Tableau is the ability to format tool tips. Tool tips provide additional context and insights when users hover over data points or interact with visual elements. In this blog article, we will explore the importance of formatting tool tips in Tableau and learn some best practices to create informative and visually appealing tool tips.

Designing Effective Tool Tips

To create compelling tool tips in Tableau, it is essential to consider the following design principles:

  1. Keep tool tips concise and focused on the most relevant information.
  2. Use clear and straightforward language to ensure understanding.
  3. Utilize visual hierarchy techniques to highlight important details within the tool tip.
  4. Employ font size, color, bold text, or bullet points to differentiate key elements and draw attention to critical insights.
  5. Tableau provides several formatting options to customize tool tips. Experiment with font styles, colors, backgrounds, borders, and alignment to match the overall aesthetics of your visualization.
  6. Maintain consistency in tool tip design across different visualizations within a dashboard or report.
  7. Experiment with visual elements like icons, images, or sparklines within tool tips to add visual interest and provide quick visual summaries

In this blog, let’s experiment with visual elements like icons, images, or sparklines within tool tips to add visual interest and provide quick visual summary.

Example: Adding star ratings to tooltip to improve the user experience

Let’s say you have a restaurant data set that have rating of each restaurant, establishment of different types of restaurants at different places with restaurants serving dishes from all over the world. And you need to create a Map in Tableau and display rating for the restaurant.

After adding spatial fields and some fields for information, let’s say you have a map like this and  you can see that rating is just a number with a bunch of decimals. If we add the symbol star it will help user to read and understand it easily.

So, let’s see how you can replace the numeric rating with star rating.

This is the current view. (If you need to learn more on Tableau Spatial, read the blog: )

  1. First, we need to create a calculated field: [Rating New]

             REPLACE(Space([Reviews.Rating]),” “, ““)

  1. To get the symbols, visit the site . Then, copy the symbol you want. Here, I will use the symbol “”.
  2. As you replace the [Reviews.Rating] with the the calculated field [Rating New] for the detail card, you can see that 000 is replaced with ★★★

A Step Further….

Let’s say you want to go a step further and highlight the current star rating out of 5 stars (5 stars being the maximum that a restaurant can get).

  • For the above calculation, we need to add one more replace function to fill out the rest of the remaining stars with “☆”

                                   REPLACE(Space([Reviews.Rating]),” “, ““)+ REPLACE(Space(5-[Reviews.Rating]),” “, ““)

Now, do some formatting to text and finally  we can get a nice visually enhanced tool tip like this.


Formatting tool tips in Tableau is an effective way to enhance data visualization and improve user experience. By providing contextual information, interactivity, and validation, well-designed tool tips enable users to gain deeper insights into the data. Remember to keep your tool tips clear, concise, and visually appealing while adhering to best practices. With these guidelines, you can transform your Tableau visualizations into intuitive and engaging experiences, empowering users to make informed decisions based on the presented data.


The Data School
Author: The Data School