Filtering with Wildcard Parameters

Published: 31 May 2013
Last Modified Date: 08 Jan 2019


How to filter views using wildcard parameters.


Tableau Desktop


The result of these steps can be reviewed in the attached .twbx.

Step 1: Build the View

  1. In Tableau Desktop, connect to the Superstore sample data.
  2. Select Data > Connect to Data, and then connect to the Coffee Chain sample data.
  3. In the Data pane, click the Superstore sample data.
  4. Drag Region to Rows.
  5. Drag Sales to Text.
  6. In the Data pane, click the Coffee Chain sample data.
  7. Drag State to Rows.

Step 2: Create the Parameter

  1. Right-click in the Data pane, and then select Create Parameter.
  2. In the Create Parameter dialog box, do the following, and then click OK:
    • Name the parameter. In this example, the parameter is named Search String.
    • For Data Type, select String.
    • For Current value, enter All.
    • For Allowable values, select All.
  3. Right-click the parameter and then select Show Parameter Control.

Step 3: Create the Filter

  1. In the Data pane, select the data source to be filtered. In this example, select the Superstore sample data.
  2. Drag State to Filters.
  3. On the Condition tab, select By Formula, enter a formula similar to the following, and then click OK[Search String] = "All" OR CONTAINS([State],[Search String]).
  4. Optionally, right-click the dimension on Filters, and then select Apply to Worksheets > All Using This Data Source.
  5. Repeat steps 4-7 for all data sources to be filtered.
  6. In the Search String text box, enter in the desired state.

Additional Information

This method is especially useful for filtering across multiple data sources when using blended data.

To filter a non-string value, cast the dimension as a string within the conditional filter formula using the STR() function. For example:

[Search String] = "All" OR CONTAINS(STR([<dimension>]),[Search String])

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