How to make a Tableau viz look polished

by Natasha Kurakina

The devil is in the details.


After being in the Data School for a few weeks and seeing a myriad of different vizes, I can say that small details can make or brake even the perfect viz. 

These three quick and easy steps, that in my mind, will provide the final touches and give a polished look to any viz.


1. Show your tooltips some love

I absolutely love nicely formatted tooltips. I am not alone, as everyone here at DS and TIL is obsessed about the tooltips. The internet provides numerous posts fully devoted to tooltips, varying from why tooltips are important to the various methods of formatting them.

Formatting a tooltip is quick and easy, so there is no excuse to leave it standard. Even a simple text formatting will accentuate the information and draw attention to the important bits. 



 2. Coordinate the colour palette

Coordinated colours will enhance the overall impression of the viz, while uncoordinated colours will have the opposite effect. 

When using corporate logos or specific brand colours all that is needed is to use a matching tool in Tableau or to enter a colour code. 

For example, for this viz main colour I used pink from the charity logo

Adding a background image makes a viz a little bit more interesting, but what makes it extra nice is when the colour of text and data points matches the colours on the image.

Here is a great example from my fellow DSer Marc


If there is no specific colour to stick to then the internet is always there for inspiration. There are various ways to get a coordinated colour schemes, ranging from Pinterest boards to colour scheme generators, such as Coolors.


One thing to remember when using these tools, is that in these schemes all colours are usually given equal weight. In reality it is rare to have all five colours be equally present in one viz, and sometimes a colour will not match if it is too different and its proportion either too small or too big.


3. Float or tile ALL dashboard containers.

This is an easy and a well-known trick. Float or tile all your containers on a dashboard.  

This mixture of floating and tiled containers won’t make a difference when viewing the dashboard in Tableau itself, however when the workbook is published to Tableau Public or Tableau Server, the alignment issues can make everything look pretty bad.

I always try to follow these steps, as they are easy and take no time to do. 

© 2022 The Information Lab Ltd. All rights reserved.