Holding alt in many software packages triggers functionality that allows you to select menu items with your keyboard. In other words, alt can allow you to navigate the menus with your keyboard and this can be useful to increase the efficiency of your work.
I feel I have to start with saying that this is likely of limited use to you in Tableau. Much of the functionality in this piece of software is easily accessible and use of a mouse will almost certainly be your way to navigate the menus 99% of the time, but I think there may be room in your productivity to incorporate usage of this feature.
How does it work
If I press/ hold Alt on my keyboard and look at the toolbar a the top of my Tableau window, specific letters will get underlined. The letters that are underlined are the key that can be pressed to open the corresponding menu.
For example, if I press Alt and then A, the Analysis menu opens. Then in this menu I can also see the underlined characters and press then to get that option on the menu.
If I press Alt, then a and then h I will disable Show Mark Labels.
If I press Alt, then a and then v I will get the View Data window.
What commands are worth learning
Admittedly the examples above are not something it’s likely worth learning as they are not options that you are likely to use often. But, there is one shortcut which you may find very useful to speed up your workflow:
1. Create a new calculated field with Alt → a → c
This shortcut is one I’m personally a big fan of and often get’s mentioned in the community as a favourite shortcut. Give it a try!
But, what else will be useful to you? It depends on your work habits. Are you often going through the menus to select the same option? Consider learning the shortcut, which you can find by pressing Alt and looking for the underlined character.
I hope you enjoyed this quick tip and enjoy the possibilities with these shortcuts.
Did I miss something?
Let me know in the comments or contact me via twitter @chris_vizes
Check out my other blogs here: /author/chris-meardon/