Table of Contents Creation to Navigate to Other Dashboards

Published: 10 Mar 2017
Last Modified Date: 30 Aug 2019


How to create controls that enable viewers of your Tableau dashboards to navigate easily from one dashboard to another. 


Tableau Desktop



Create a worksheet and dashboard actions

Step 1: Create the worksheet

  1. Open a new workbook and select Analysis > Create Calculated Field.
  2. In the Calculated Field dialog box, complete the following steps.
    1. For Name, type something simple, for example, Table of Contents.
    2. In the Formula box, type the message that you want your users to see to prompt them to take an action and click OK. For example, “Click here to view the next dashboard.”
  3. From the Dimensions pane, drag your new Table of Contents field to the Rows shelf.
  4. On the Marks card, in the list of view types, select Shape > click Shape > More Shapes.
  5. In the Edit Shape dialog box, complete the following steps.
    1. Under Select Shape Palette, select Arrows.
    2. In the Arrows palette, select one of the right-pointing arrows.
    3. Click Apply to see how it looks in your view. Then click OK if you approve, or try different arrows until you find the one you like best.
  6. On the Marks card, move the Size slider to adjust the arrow size as needed.
  7. Right-click the worksheet tab, select Rename Sheet, and rename it Table of Contents.

Step 2: Create the dashboard action

  1. Start a new dashboard, and drag the Table of Contents sheet to the view.
  2. Select Dashboard > Actions.
  3. In the Actions dialog box, click Add Action button, and select Filter.
  4. In the Add Filter Action dialog box, complete the following steps:
    1. For Name, type the name that you want to appear as a command on a shortcut menu that appears when a user right-clicks the right-pointing arrow shape you chose earlier. For example, ToC.
    2. In the Source Sheets section, make sure the sheet "Table of Contents" is selected.
    3. Under Run action on, select the action that you want to run from the Table of Contents.
    4. Under Target Sheets, select the destination dashboard.
    5. Under Target Filters select Selected Fields with no fields selected. This keeps the Table of Contents control from passing any filters when you navigate to the new dashboard.
    6. Click OK.
  5. Formatting can improve the user experience of your dashboard. For this example, complete the following steps to hide the title and headers.
  6. Right-click the larger Table of Contents title, and select Hide Title.
  7. Right-click the remaining Table of Contents, which is the name of the field, and select Hide Field Labels for Rows
    • This cleans up the view and makes only the relevant information visible. This can be helpful when a lot of information is available on your dashboard.
To view the steps showed in the below video, please expand the above section. Note: the video has no sound.

Additional Information

  1. You can test the action by right-clicking the arrow on the Table of Contents sheet.
    • The new menu action you created appears at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
  2. You can create additional filter actions, all named appropriately with the various target dashboards, using the Table of Contents you just created.
    • Repeat the earlier steps to create an action that adds a shortcut menu command, using a different name and target sheet as the destination dashboard. Then when you right-click the Table of Contents, all of the destinations you created appear on the menu.
    • Tip: In the original worksheet, you can edit the calculated field that you created for Table of Contents, so that the text that appears better reflects the choices in your dashboard. In the Dimensions pane, right-click the field and select Edit. The dashboard that contains this field automatically shows the update.
  3. In the attached workbook, the data was brought in specifically to create a directory of URLs to various training topics. The user, upon selection will be guided to an external URL. 

Two new dashboard features introduced in Tableau 2018.3 - the Button object and Go to Sheet action - may provide easier ways to navigate to other sheets than the above method. For more information, see Navigate from dashboards more easily.

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