You can use legend highlighting to focus your users' attention on specific marks in a view. When legend highlighting is on, marks associated with the legend item are highlighted and the other marks are dimmed.

You can enable either one-way or two-way highlighting to highlight marks in the view. The icon at the top of the legend indicates which mode you're using.

  • One-way highlighting enables you to highlight marks using the values in the legend.

  • Two-way highlighting enables you to highlight marks using either the legend or the view. This is the default. When you highlight marks in the view, the matching member in the legend is also highlighted.

You can also turn off highlighting for the workbook or the sheet from the toolbar. This action hides the highlight icon on the legend. For more information about using the toolbar highlighting option, see Highlight Toolbar Button.

In this example, the views below show the relationship between order quantity and profit for several products. The view on the left uses the standard functionality for the color legend, where all marks are colored based on their shipping mode. The view on the right uses legend highlighting to call out the products that were delivered via Second Class shipping.

Normal Color Legend   Color Legend Highlighting Enabled
 

You can easily switch between legend highlighting and normal modes using the legend card menu. For color legends, if you like how a view is highlighted, you can assign the highlight colors to the color palette. The old colors are replaced with the highlight colors.

Turn on legend highlighting

  1. Click the Highlight button at the top of the legend.

    If you're using Tableau Desktop you can also turn on legend highlighting by selecting Highlight Selected Items on the legend card menu.

    This example shows highlighting using the color legend. Color legend highlighting is turned on by default.

  2. Select an item in the color legend.

    After legend highlighting is turned on, you can quickly focus on specific data in the view by selecting different items in the color legend. When you turn on legend highlighting, a highlight action is created that you can modify in the Actions dialog box.

Turn off legend highlighting

Click the Highlight button at the top of the legend. This changes highlighting to one-way and you can use the legend to highlight matching marks in the view.

Legend highlighting in Tableau Desktop

If you're using Tableau Desktop you can also turn off legend highlighting by selecting Highlight Selected Items on the legend card menu. When you turn legend highlighting off the action is removed from the Actions dialog box.

If you like how the view is highlighted and want to keep a specific member highlighted even when you turn off legend highlight mode, you can assign the highlight colors to the existing color palette. The original color legend is discarded and the highlight colors become the new color palette for the legend.

To assign the highlight colors to the color palette, select Assign Highlight Colors to Palette on the color legend card menu.

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