Sorting Segments Within Stacked Bars by Value

Published: 13 Mar 2014
Last Modified Date: 18 Apr 2019


How to sort color segments by value within the stacked bars rather than by value across all the stacked bars.

For example, chart A is a regular stacked bar chart, and chart B is sorted by values within the stacked bar.
Chart AChart B
User-added imageUser-added image



Tableau Desktop


Step 1: Create the View

  1. In Tableau Desktop, connect to Superstore sample data.
  2. Drag Category to Columns.
  3. Drag Sales to Rows.
  4. Drag Region to Color.
  5. Drag Sales to Label.

Step 2: Sort the Bar Segments

  1. On Color, right-click Region, and then select Attribute.
  2. In the Dimensions pane, hold down the CTRL key, click Category, and then click Region.
  3. With the dimensions highlighted, right-click Region, and then select Create > Combined Field.
  4. Drag Category & Region (Combined) from Dimensions to Detail.
  5. On Detail, right-click Category & Region (Combined), and then select Sort.
  6. In the Sort dialog box, do the following, and then click OK:
    • For Sort Order, select Descending.
    • For Field, select Sales.
    • For Aggregation, select Sum.

To view these steps in action, see the video below:

Additional Information

By default, stacked bar charts sort along the total for the dimension in the Color shelf.

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