Error "Tableau Reader cannot open files referencing an external data source" Opening Packaged Workbook

Published: 18 Mar 2013
Last Modified Date: 23 Apr 2020


When you try to open a packaged workbook in Tableau Reader, the following error occurs: 
Tableau Reader cannot open files referencing an external data source


Tableau Reader


To resolve this issue, create an extract of the workbook's data source using Tableau Desktop.
  1. Open the original workbook in Tableau Desktop. 
  2. Select the data source from the Data menu, and select Extract Data
  3. Click the Extract button.
  4. Select File > Save As.
  5. In the Save As dialog box, from the Save as type drop-down list, select Tableau Packaged Workbook (*.twbx).
  6. Open the new packaged workbook from Tableau Reader 


This issue typically occurs when packaged workbooks are saved with a live connection instead of an extract. Tableau Reader does not support non-file-based live connections to data sources.
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