Editing Multiple Aliases in Tableau by Blending

by Robbin Vernooij

A quick tip on how to edit multiple aliases in Tableau by blending in an external data table.

There might be times when aliases are used in data sets to clean up the data set, for example, in Survey data the questions might be replaced by a number (Q1, Q2, etc) to get rid of the long text.

However, when visualising results one might be interested in seeing the actual question asked to make sense out of the data. Going back into your data and replacing each and every alias can be a pain, especially when there are multiple (long) strings to be copied in.

Below a quick example using some dummy data on how to replace several aliases at a time using an external data source to blend in, rather than joining, to prevent accidental duplication of your rows.

1. Example workflow

Below is an example data format of how questions are abbreviated to numbers or short strings on the left (original data) and on the right is our alias table containing the same question abbreviation (to blend on) and the question description you want to add onto your original data.


You can follow the steps below in the GIF to edit the primary aliases.

  1. In short, bring in your Dimension you want to replace your aliases of.
  2. Make sure to create a duplicate of this Dimension beforehand, to keep the abbreviation in case you want to use it later on.
  3. Blend in your alias table (click add new data source, or press Ctrl+D).
  4. Check if the data is linked by looking for the logo (the Dimension names have to be identical to automatically link, otherwise go into data – edit relationship and add your custom link.
  5. Check if your Dimension fields match, drag in your alias Dimension to the right of your original Dimension.
  6. Right click on the Dimension containing your aliases – edit primary aliases, check if correct, click ok.
  7. Boom!
  8. Close your alias table data source (right click – close).



That’s it for now, feel free to contact me about any of the content on Linkedin or Twitter @RobbinVernooij