Nested Sort Update in Tableau 2019.1

Wadzanai Mhondoro

Nested sort is a feature in Tableau first introduced in 2018.2 that allows you to sort a measure within a measure or sort the categories within each pane. For example, if you want to sort Subcategory Sales within each Category in ascending order. The feature allows you to click once to sort the data in ascending order, two clicks to sort in descending order and three clicks cleared the sort.

The quick nesting sort was available in 2018.2 but only worked for dimensions and was not customisable. Before this update, it was a time-consuming process to achieve a nested sort with users having to create ways to achieve it such as sorting on a combined field or creating a table calculation with a custom sort etc.

Nested sort is the default sort from the toolbar sort buttons. Nested sort (jagged 4-bar sort icon) is shown on the dimension pill with nested sort, similar to "Field" sort, nested sort can be applied to any dimension pill. Also included are updates to the sort dialogue and toolbar sort button. The nested sort can be applied to any dimension pill. When there are dimension pills on both shelves, then any nested sort will apply the filter, which can be removed within sort dialogue.

With the new Tableau update created to enable advanced workflow released in 2019.1, you can now perform nested sorting on multiple dimensions easily. Tableau has added a dialogue box with customisation options such as using a different measure than that shown in the view. Sort dialogue has been updated to show nested sort in addition to other sort options from before.

Nested Sort was not an available option in the Sort dialogue in 2018.3.

Nested Sort is now an available option in the Sort By drop-down menu in 2019.


Now nested sort can also use a different measure other than that of the viz.

A possible issue identified is that the nested sort from the toolbar might break the previous sort, i.e. if you have one mark per pane, the nested sort will apply to the leftmost dimension.

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