Tableau Tip: How to Hack Color and Shape Legends

Coach Andy recently showed me how to change up displaying legends with unicode characters. It’s super simple and provides a cleaner look on a dashboard.

The original one was for a client project so I’ve built a dashboard expanding on my tip on Monday – how to utilize shapes in KPI dashboards.

Here’s the viz for context with the legend in the red box. Feel free to download it and follow along.

Show me the Money Dashboard -1




Step 1: Pick Your Unicode Character to Represent Your Color.

I went to and picked a simple square box for my icon. Here are a couple of common ones to use:

Character Description Browser Font used
U+25A0 BLACK SQUARE (U+25A0) arial_unicode_ms
U+25CF BLACK CIRCLE (U+25CF) arial_unicode_ms
U+25B2 BLACK UP-POINTING TRIANGLE (U+25B2) arial_unicode_ms


Step 2: Copy and Paste the Character into Captions and Match Your Colors.

Just change the unicode character just like you were changing the colour of a word.

Caption Legend



Step 3: Add Your Worksheet to a Dashboard and Select Show “Captions”. 

Then drag and drop your caption with ease!

show captions in dashboard





Happy Vizzing!

Emily Chen
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