URL Actions

A URL action is a hyperlink that points to a web page, file, or other web-based resource outside of Tableau. You can use URL actions to create an email or link to additional information about your data. To relate the link to your data, you can substitute field values of a selection into the URL as parameters.

Tip: URL actions can also point to a web page object in a dashboard. See Actions and Dashboards to learn more.

Open a web page with a URL action

  1. On a worksheet, select Worksheet >Actions. From a dashboard, select Dashboard >Actions.

  2. In the Actions dialog box, click Add Action and then select Go to URL.

  3. In the next dialog box, specify a name for the link.

    Give the action a descriptive name. If you choose to run the action using the menu, the name you specify here becomes the option that shows on the menu. For example, when linking to more product details, the name could be “Show More Details.” You can use variables in the name, which will be filled in based on the values of the selected field.

  4. Use the drop-down list to select a source sheet or data source. If you select a data source or dashboard you can select individual sheets within it.

  5. Select how users will run the action.

    If you choose this option... The action is run when the user...
    Hover Mouses over a mark in the view. This option works well for highlight and filter actions within a dashboard.
    Select Clicks a mark in the view. This option works well for all types of actions.
    Menu Right-clicks (control-clicks on Mac) a selected mark in the view, then selects an option on the context menu. This option works well for filter and URL actions.
  6. Specify the URL.

    You can specify a URL with an ftp, http, or https prefix. As a security best practice, other protocols and UNC paths are not supported.

    Note: You can specify an ftp address only if a the dashboard doesn't contain a web object. If you have configured a web object on the same page where a ftp URL action has been created, the ftp address will fail to load.

    Just as you can use variables in the name of the URL, you can also use field and filter values as parameters in the URL, sending information about selected marks or filters to a given website.

  7. (Optional) Select any of the following options:

    • URL Encode Data Values - Select this option if your data contains values that use characters that browsers don't allow in URLs. For example, if one of your data values contains an ampersand, such as “Sales & Finance,” the ampersand must be translated into characters that your browser understands.

    • Allow Multiple Values - Select this option if you are linking to a web page that can receive lists of values via parameters in the URL. For example, say you select several products in a view and you want to see each product’s details hosted on a webpage. If the server can load multiple product details based on a list of identifiers (product ID or product name), you could use multi-select to send the list of identifiers as parameters.

      When you allow multiple values, you must also define the item delimiter, which is the character that separates each item in the list (for example, a comma). You must also define the Delimiter Escape, which is used if the delimiter character is used in a data value.

  8. For URL Target, specify where the link will open:

    • New Browser Tab - Opens in the default browser.

    • Web Page Object - (Dashboards only) Opens in the web page object you select.

    • Browser Tab if No Web Page Object Exists - Ensures that the URL opens in a browser on sheets that lack web page objects. This is a good choice when Source Sheets is set to All or a data source.

Create an email with a URL action

  1. Select Worksheet > Actions.

  2. In the Actions dialog box, click the Add Action button and select Go to URL.

  3. In the Source Sheets drop-down list, select the sheet that contains the field with the email addresses you want to send to.

  4. In the URL textbox, type mailto:, click the arrow button to select the field in your data that contains the email addresses. Type ?subject=  and enter text for the Subject line if you want to. For example, in dialog below, the subject is Request for information.

  5. Type &body=, and click the arrow button to select the fields of information that you want to include in the body of the email.

    In the example below, the “Email” field contains the email addresses, the subject is “City Information”, and the body text of the email consists of the city and state information that is associated with the email address.

  6. (Optional) Display data from your workbook in the body of your email as a vertical list instead of the default horizontal list. For example, suppose you have a horizontal list of cities, such as Chicago, Paris, Barcelona, which you would rather display vertically, like this:


    To make the list vertical, in the Edit URL Action dialog box, do the following:

    • Under URL Options, verify that the URL Encode Data Values check box is clear.

    • Under URL Options, select the Allow multiple values check box.

    • Type %0a in the Item Delimiter text box to add a line break. This are the URL-encoded characters for a line break.

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