Add Annotations

You can add annotations to a visualization to call out a specific mark, a specific point, such as a location on a map, or an area, such as a cluster of scatter marks.

Note: In web authoring, you can create and delete annotations by right-clicking the view (in a worksheet or dashboard), and then selecting point or mark annotation. Right-click the annotation again to edit or remove the annotation. Formatting and moving annotations are not currently supported on the web.

Add an annotation

To add an annotation to your viz:

  1. In a worksheet, right-click (control-click on Mac) a data point or a spot on the viz where you want to add an annotation and select Annotate, and then select the type of annotation you want to add.

    There are three types of annotations in Tableau:

    • Mark - select this option to add an annotation that is associated with the selected mark. This option is only available if a data point (mark) is selected.

    • Point - select this option to annotate a specific point in the view.

    • Area - select this option to annotate an area in the viz, such as a cluster of outliers or a targeted region.

  2. In the Edit Annotation dialog box that opens, type the text you want to show in the annotation.

    Use the Insert menu to insert dynamic variables into the annotation text. For example, the annotation can display data values that update as the underlying data changes. The dynamic variables that are available are dependent on whether you are annotating a mark, point, or area.

  3. When finished, click OK.

    The viz updates with your annotation.

Edit an annotation

To edit an annotation:

  1. Right-click (control-click on a Mac) the annotation in the viz and select Edit.

  2. In the Edit Annotation dialog box that opens, edit the annotation text and then click OK.

Rearrange an annotation

After you add an annotation, you can move it around, resize it, adjust the line, and move the text. Each type of annotation can be rearranged and modified in different ways. This section discusses how to rearrange, resize, and modify each type of annotation.

Mark annotations

When you select a mark annotation the body and line are selected and several resize handles display. Use these handles to resize the body and line.

To reposition the body

  • Click and drag the body of the selected annotation to a new position.

To resize the body

  • Click and drag the body resize handle left and right. The text and height are automatically adjusted to fit the width of the body.

To resize the line

  • Click and drag the line resize handle

Point Annotations

A point annotation marks a specific point in the view, such as a reference line or a value on an axis. Point annotations display as text with a line. When you select a point annotation, several resize handles display. Use these handles to reposition and resize the body and line.

To reposition the body:

  • Click and drag the body of the selected annotation to a new position. As you move the body, the line is automatically resized so that it continues to point at the specific point you selected.

To resize the body:

  • Click and drag the side resize handles left and right. The text and height are automatically adjusted to fit the width of the body.

To move the line end point:

  • Click and drag the end point of the line so that it points at a new location.

Area Annotations

An area annotation is a way to highlight or call out an area in the view. Area annotations are not associated with any particular mark, in fact, these annotations are commonly used to call out several marks. When you select an area annotation, several resize handles and two text handles display. Use these handles to reposition and resize the box and text.

To reposition the box

  • Click and drag the box of the selected annotation to a new position.

To resize the box

  • Click and drag one of the box resize handles

To reposition the text

  • Click and drag the center text handle to a new position.

To resize the text width

  • Click and drag the right text handle left and right. The text height is automatically adjusted to fit the width.

Format annotations

You can modify the text, body, and line of an annotation. For example, you can specify whether the body should be a box, a single edge, or not shown at all. Additionally, you can specify whether the lines on mark and point annotations end with an arrow, dot, or a simple line.

To format annotations:

  1. Select one or more annotations, right-click (control-click on Mac) one of the selected annotations, and then select Format.

    The Format pane opens on the left-side of the workspace, over the Data pane.

  2. In the Format pane, use the drop-downs to specify font properties, text alignment, line style, and shading.

Remove an annotation

To remove annotations from the viz:

  1. Select one or more annotations in the viz.

  2. Right-click (control-click on Mac) one of the selected annotations and select Remove.

See Also

Show, Hide, and Format Mark Labels

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