Adding Images to Tableau Dashboards

by Kyle Rowden

In this blog post we are going to learn a few different ways to add images into your Tableau dashboards.

Adding images and icons is an easy way to add that finishing touch and branding to your report to really make it stand out or blend in with the rest of your company branding.

Adding images in itself is extremely simple to do in Tableau, but there are two main ways to add images, all of which have their own benefits and disadvantages.


Using Image Object


The most common and simplest way to add an image into Tableau is by using the Image object in the Dashboards objects area. 

Adding images to Tableau Dashboards blogpost

To use this object. 

  1. Drag the Image object onto your dashboard
  2. Select the required image when prompted
  3. Center, Fit and Resize the image as required by using the arrow in the top right of the image object.

As previously mentioned, this is by far the easiest way to add images into your dashboards, and I frequently use these to insert client logos into dashboards.

However, despite being the easiest way to add an image, this method does have some drawbacks in terms of additional functionality you can add.

As this is a dashboard object, you are unable to add any tooltips or actions like you can with your sheets. For example, if you wanted to use your company logo to navigate to a new dashboard, or reset any previous action filters this would not be possible. This is a common mistake users initially make when trying to build help icons like below:

As although this may be an intuitive first step, dashboard image objects cannot have tooltips. 

However, you may have noticed when trying to center, fit and resize your image you can assign a URL to the image object. This can be used to direct users to other Tableau workbooks on your server, or simply to your company intranet page for example.


Creating an Image Sheet


Another way of adding an image to your dashboard is to create your image in a separate worksheet using shapes. This then allows you to make full use of the image as if it was any other worksheet on your dashboard, such as adding tooltips and driving actions.

To create an Image Sheet

  1. Create a new sheet
  2. In the Rows and Columns, enter a place holder by typing “ “ directly into the shelf.

3. Then change your mark type to shape and change your sheet to fit to entire view 

Adding images to Tableau Dashboards blogpost

4. In order to replace the circle with our own image we need to put our image into a folder where tableau can recognise it as a shape.

a. Browse to the following location 

:Documents\My Tableau Server Repository\Shapes 

Note: The location of your Repository may vary depending on your install and Operating System. 

b. Paste in your required shape(s), you may want to create a new folder e.g. ‘Company Branding’ to store these images.

5. Click the shapes card on your marks and select more shapes 

6. Click reload shapes. This will force tableau to pull in your new shapes

7. Change the existing shape with your required image by choosing your folder from the drop down and double clicking the required image and pressing apply. 

Adding images to Tableau Dashboards blogpost 

8. We now need to do some formatting to ensure this appears correctly on our dashboard.

a. Right Click and untick Show Header on both placeholders we added previously 

Adding images to Tableau Dashboards blogpost

b.  Right click and hide the title

c. Using the format borders menu, remove the row divider 

Adding images to Tableau Dashboards blogpost

9. You can now use this image on your dashboard by dragging in as you would with any other sheet.

You can then edit the tooltip of this image sheet to provide some help text to the user or set up dashboard actions on your sheet to link to other dashboards or URLs.

Although this method is much more complex, this is a great way of providing branding and style to your dashboards without sacrificing the ‘explore’ mentality that Tableau is so keen to promote.

I hope you have found this blog post useful, and can now successfully add images into dashboards both with and without different levels of functionality.


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