Creating Adjustable Reference Lines

Published: 07 Oct 2013
Last Modified Date: 23 Aug 2019


How to create an adjustable reference line.


Tableau Desktop


The following instructions can be reviewed in the attached workbook using the Sample - Superstore data source.


Create a calculated field, a reference line and a parameter

Step 1: Create the calculated field
  1. Drag Sales to Rows.
  2. Select Analysis > Create Calculated Field.
  3. In the Calculated Field dialog box, do the following and then click OK:
    • Name the calculated field. In the example workbook, the calculated field is named Target.
    • In the formula field, create a calculated field similar to the following:
  4. Drag Target to Detail.
Step 2: Create the reference line
  1. Right-click the vertical axis, and select Add Reference Line.
  2. In the Add Reference Line dialog box, do the following, and then click OK:
    • For Scope, select Entire Table.
    • For Value, select AGG(Target) and Sum.
Step 3: Create the parameter
  1. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of Dimensions on the Data pane and select Create Parameter.
  2. ​In the Create Parameter dialog box, do the following, and then click OK:
  • Name the parameter. In the example workbook, the parameter is named Adjustable Target.
  • For Data Type, select Float.
  • For Display Format, select Percentage.
  • For Allowable values, select Range.
  • Click Set from Field > Target.
  • For Range of values, for Minimum, enter 0, and for Maximum, enter 100.
  1. Click the drop-down arrow next to the parameter and then select Show Parameter Control.
  2. In Measures, click the drop-down arrow next to Target, and then select Edit.
  3. In the Formula field, enter the following formula, and then click OK
SUM([Profit])*[Adjustable Target]

Additional Information

To view these steps in action, see the video below:
Note: the video has no sound.

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