KNOWLEDGE BASE

Overlaying Transparent Worksheets onto a Dashboard Background Image


Published: 28 Jun 2014
Last Modified Date: 03 Nov 2018

Issue

Unable to set the background of a worksheet to be transparent so that a dashboard background image will show through.

Environment

Tableau Desktop 2018.2 and earlier versions

Resolution

Option 1: Upgrade to version 2018.3.0 or later. For more information, see What's New in Tableau.

Option 2: If unable to upgrade, as a workaround, add a tiled Image Object to the dashboard as a background image. Then crop the image file to just the section covered by the floating worksheet, which will be the background image of the worksheet. The attached example workbook uses the sample data set Superstore to demonstrate the following directions:
 
CLICK TO EXPAND STEPS
Part 1 - Before Building the View and the Dashboard
In order to use this workaround, you need to ensure that the following steps have been performed: 
  1. You are using Tableau Desktop 10.4 (or a later version). This will help you take advantage of the new dashboard padding feature. This feature makes it possible to remove all whitespace from the dashboard. If there is whitespace around the dashboard background image, then the whitespace must be accounted for when creating the cropped image to serve as the background image of the floating worksheet. For more information about how to upgrade the version of your Tableau Desktop product, see Upgrading Tableau Desktop. 
  2. Understand the pixel information of your background picture. The following steps can be performed using your preferred image editing software (please note that troubleshooting image and pixel edits is not supported by the Tableau Technical Support team). To continue further, you will need to:
    1. Find the width and height of the full background image in pixels. In the example of this Knowledge Base article, our background image is 1366 pixels wide by 466 pixels tall.
    2. Crop the full image to the size needed for the overlaid worksheet. You must save this new picture as a new image to use for the background image of your worksheet. In our example, our second image has been trimmed so that our new background image is 563 pixels wide by 302 pixels tall.

      An easy way to determine how to crop the image is to use the size and position of the worksheet on the dashboard. In this example, the x position is 43, meaning 43 pixels should be trimmed off the left of the original image.

Note: Such a workaround for background images can only be applied to exact date axes and not an aggregated date axis such as MONTH(Date).
 
CLICK TO EXPAND STEPS
Part 2 - Create the View
  1. Drag Segment to Color.
  2. Drag Product Name to Detail.
  3. Drag Quantity to Columns and Sales to Rows.
  4. Right-click the x-axis in the view and select Edit Axis… and do the following: 
    1. For Range, select Fixed.
    2. For the Fixed Start and Fixed End, type in the desired values (in our example, we set our Fixed range from -500 to 34000).
  5. Right-click the y-axis in the view and select Edit Axis… and do the following: 
    1. For Range, select Fixed.
    2. For the Fixed Start and Fixed End, type in the desired values (in our example, we set our Fixed range from -1 to 100).
CLICK TO EXPAND STEPS
Part 3 - Create the Dashboard and its background image
  1. Create a new dashboard.
  2. On the Dashboard tab of the left hand pane, drag an Image Object onto the dashboard.
  3. In the Open dialog, select the background image and click Open
  4. On the Dashboard tab of the left hand pane, change the Size to your defined range of pixels (see Part 1 of this article, for our example we set it to 1366 by 466 pixels)
  5. In the Layout tab of the layout pane, do the following:
    1. In the Item hierarchy, select Tiled and set the Inner and Outer padding to zero on all sides.
    2. In the Item hierarchy, click the arrow next to Tiled to expand the hierarchy, select the image, and set the Inner and Outer padding to zero on all sides.
  6. Return to the main Dashboard menu, under Objects in the left hand Dashboard pane, click Floating to select it.
  7. Drag out the worksheet that should overlay the background into the desired position, and resize it. In this example, this worksheet is called "Scatterplot". In this example, we position the Scatterplot worksheet at the following position; x: 43 y: 129 and the following size; w: 563 and h: 302.
  8. (Optional) Right-click the worksheet and select Hide title.
CLICK TO EXPAND STEPS
Part 4 - Add the Background picture to the Sheet
  1. Navigate to the worksheet (in our example, Scatterplot)
  2. Right-click [Quantity] on the Columns shelf and uncheck Show Header.
  3. Right-click [Sales] on the Rows shelf and uncheck Show Header.
  4. Navigate to Map > Background Images > Sample - Superstore
  5. In the Background Images dialog, click Add Image…
  6. In the Edit Back Image dialog, do the following:
    1. Click Browse… and then select the image file created in Part 1 (the background for the worksheet)
    2. For the X Field, select Quantity; for Left and Right, type in the values specified for the Fixed range in Part 2 - Create the View
    3. For the Y Field, select Sales; for Bottom and Top, type in the values specified for the Fixed range in Part 2 - Create the View
    4. Optional: change the washout level of the background image
  7. Click OK twice to close all dialogs
  8. Optional: Navigate to Map > Map Options… > uncheck both options and click x to close the dialog.

Cause

The ability to set the background of a worksheet to be transparent is not currently built into the product. The 'None' setting for the background shading of a worksheet applies to when the worksheet is printed or exported as an image file.

To voice your support for the inclusion of this enhancement in a future product release, add your vote to the following Community Ideas:

Additional Information

To view the steps shown in the below video, please expand the above section.
Note: the video has no sound.
 
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