Do you ever find yourself trying to resize your content to look perfectly even across your dashboard?
Containers are very useful when you are trying to evenly space out your content.

Lets have a look at some use cases:

BAN’s

When you have lots of BAN’s across the top of your dashboard and you need them to be all perfectly sized, this can be very time consuming. I have found that containers make this tedious and time consuming task ever so simple.

Let’s use sample superstore for this example, so if you want to follow along, you can build a few BAN’s of your own using sample superstore. I am using 5 BAN’s for this use case: Sales, Profit, Quantity, Discount and Number of Orders.

The Dashboard

If we simply drag the 5 BAN sheets we have created onto the dashboard, I will see something like this:

The sheets will not be evenly distributed, and manual calculating and resizing will be required to have them perfectly even.
I am going to do this again, but this time, have them all fitting inside a container (horizontal). First, drag a horizontal container under your list of objects onto the dashboard.

Next, we are going to drag our BAN sheets onto the dashboard. It is important to note that when you drag your sheets onto the dashboard, you can drag them onto an area with no border, light blue border or dark blue border. When you see the dark blue border, it indicates that you are dropping the item inside the container. Any other color border means that the items will not be inside the container.

The first sheet should take up the entire area of the container, and you should see the dark blue container border.

After that, when you drag the second sheet onto the dashboard, make sure you see the same dark blue container border. If you see a ight blue border, it means that the item being dropped will not be inside the container. An example of dropping the item OUTSIDE the container:

After that, when you drag the following 4 sheets, you should see the dark blue container border and a thin grey shaded strip on the edge of the container:

Formatting

Now that I have my 5 BAN sheet on the dashboard, it is time to distribute them evenly. At first glance, the sheets seem quite evenly spaced out, but upon closer inspection, they are a few pixels off. In order to distribute the sheets evenly, we need to:

  • Select the container that contains all 5 sheets. We can achieve this by expanding the Item Hierarchy, and choosing the container that contains the 5 sheets.
  • Next, in the top right corner of the container, select the arrow for more options. Then choose ‘Distribute Contents Evenly’.

I now have 5 evenly distributed BAN charts.

Charts (2×2)

I now want to have an area of my Dashboard with 4 charts in a 2×2 design. I will use sample superstore and some pre-made charts.
First I am going to unhide some sheets from a dashboard for easy access.

The Dashboard

First, I am going to start by dragging a container (vertical or horizontal) onto the dashboard. Next, I will drag 2 blank objects into the container to be used as place holders.  I have placed the blanks on the top and bottom edges of the container.

Second, I will drag a horizontal container onto the upper half and drag on 2 chart sheets. Pay careful attention to the dark blue container.

I will now delete my first blank place holder that was used for the upper half.

Now, I will repeat the above steps, but for the lower half of the dashboard.

Again, I am going to remove the place holder. Further, I will also remove the legends (remove entire legends container).

Distribute Contents Evenly

It is now time to distribute the contents of all the containers evenly. When I open up the Item Hierarchy, I see there is now a horizontal container above the first vertical container we dragged on.

The reason for this is that when we dropped a sheet with a legend onto the dashboard, tableau automatically created a horizontal container for the legends.

In order to distribute the contents of our charts evenly, we need to do it for all of the containers we have created.
Next, for each container, click on the arrow for more options. Then choose ‘Distribute Contents Evenly’.

The Complete Dashboard

Let’s put this all together and build a complete dashboard.

Title

First, drag a vertical containers onto the dashboard. Next, drag a text box onto the upper half and give it a title like ‘CONTAINERS DASHBOARD’.
After that, I will drag a horizontal container just below the title, and add 2 blanks as place holders. My dashboard looks like this:

The place holders have borders to easily visualise what it looks like.
Next add a vertical container directly below the horizontal container and add 2 more place holders.

Further, I am going to add 2 horizontal containers at the top and bottom of the container we just created .

Now, I will drag the BAN’s onto the dashboard into their allocated spot. Remember to pay careful attention to the grey shaded area.

Once all your BAN’s have been dragged onto the dashboard, you can remove the 2 place holders for the Ban’s. While doing this, I am also going to remove 2 more place holders on the dashboard.

Now, I will drag the sheet charts onto their respective allocated spots on the dashboard, being careful with the grey shading area. Each time, I will remove the place holder adjoining the chart I just added. I will also remove the legends from the dashboard too. My dashboard currently looks like this:

Finally, I will distribute all contents of my containers evenly (except the one that holds the title).

As a final touch, I have added a footer by dragging a text object to the very bottom of the dashboard.
After all that hard work, my dashboard looks like this:

THATS IT FOR CONTAINERS!!

I hope you have enjoyed the post, and I will see you next time.

The Data School
Author: The Data School