Custom Colour Pallets

When working with clients, I have often found the need for them to import custom colours into Tableau. There are many benefits to this, some of them being:

  • Consistency with report creation within the business
  • Saves on typing multiple RGB’s whenever you are creating a new workbook
  • Ensuring that you are sticking to the your business’s brand (i.e. their suggested colour pallet etc)

Actually creating a custom colour pallet is fairly simple in Tableau – just follow these few simple steps. 

Please note; Tableau does not support or do any testing on custom color palettes, ensure you back up your workbooks before doing this. They also do not guarantee that your custom color palettes will work with future Tableau Desktop upgrades

  • Go to My Documents (by default, when you install Tableau, it’s repository folder will be saved on your local machine in you’re my Documents folder)
  • Go to my Tableau Repository
  • Within here you will see a “Preferences” file; Right Click on the file and go to Open With NotePad (on a Mac, you would need to open with TextEdit)
  • When you open this – you’ll note the following code with the file


  • Replace the above code with this

  • We can note put our colours in. To do this you will need to know the hex for the colours you are using (your brand and marketing people should know this already; if you have just the RGB, you can get the hex from a number of websites or Tableau’s colour picker too)

  • Once you have you hex codes, you just need to add the following line of code to the above code in the preferences file (above the “</color-palette>” line

<color>#Enter HEX Code Here</color>

  • And you’re done – save and close the Preferences file, and close and reopen all Tableau workbooks, and you’ll find the colour pallet saved with your defaults.


I will now show the above through an example: say if I wanted to added the following three colours into a custom colour palette (see below):

Into a bespoke colour pallet called “RAG Colour Pallet” – this is how the code that I should be pasting into my Preferences file should look it should look:

And you’ll see this in your Tableau Custom Colours:

We hope you find todays tip useful, and as always we appreciate any comments or questions you might have.

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