Visual Cues and Icons in Tableau Desktop

Tableau provides many visual cues to help you evaluate the type of data that’s displayed in the Data pane and the state of a data view.

Data sources in the Data pane

The following table explains each of the icons used to describe the type of data sources in the Data pane. Each icon in the table can be modified by one of two indicators.

  • A blue check mark indicates that the data source is the primary data source in the workbook.
  • An orange check mark indicates that the data source is the secondary data source in the workbook.
Visual Cue Description
The workbook is directly connected to a relational data source or file.
The workbook is connected to a cube (multidimensional) data source. In Tableau, cube data sources are supported only in Windows.
The workbook is connected to an extract that still references the underlying data.
The workbook is connected to a data source that has been published to Tableau Server.

Fields in the Data Pane

The following table explains each of the icons displayed in the Data pane. Each icon in the table can be modified by one of four indicators.

  • Blue icons indicate that the field is discrete.

  • Green icons indicate that the field is continuous.

  • Icons preceded by the equal sign (=) indicate that the field is a user-defined calculation or a copy of another field.

Visual Cue Description
The field contains text values.
The field contains numeric values.
The field is a calculation defined on the server.
The field contains only date values.
The field contains both date and time values.
The field contains geographical data and has been assigned a geographic role. Use these fields when building map views. See Maps and Geographic Data Analysis in Tableau.
The field contains geographical data from an active custom geocoding file. See Geocode Locations Tableau Does Not Recognize and Plot Them on a Map.
The field contains boolean (true or false) values.
The field is a calculation that is defined in the database by an administrator. These fields are marked with a cylinder icon and are not available for all data sources.
The field is a user-defined set. See Create Sets.
The field is a server named set.
The field is a set that was automatically created as a result of an action.
The field is a user filter, used when publishing to the web. See Restrict Access at the Data Row Level.
The field is a numeric bin. See Create Bins from a Continuous Measure.
The field is a group. See Correct Data Errors or Combine Dimension Members by Grouping Your Data.
The field is a cluster group. See Find Clusters in Data.
The field is a relational hierarchy. See Create Hierarchies.
A folder that contains one or more fields. Folders are used to organize fields in the Data pane. See Organize the Data Pane.
The field is an attribute of a cube (multidimensional) data source. In Tableau, cube data sources are supported only in Windows.
The field is a varying attribute of a cube (multidimensional) data source.
The field is a level in a multidimensional hierarchy. Levels greater than five are shown without numbers.
The field is blended with a field from another data source. See Blend Your Data
The field is not blended with a field from another data source. See Blend Your Data

Fields on Shelves

Fields placed on shelves use a combination of icons, colors, and text styles as visual cues.

Visual Cue Description
A blue field on a shelf indicates a discrete field. In most cases, adding a dimension to a shelf results in a blue field. Blue fields are discrete—they contain a finite number of values. Adding a blue field to a shelf creates headers. For details, see Headers.
A green field on a shelf indicates a continuous field. In most cases, adding a measure to a shelf results in a green field. Green fields are continuous—they contain an infinite number of values. Adding a green field to a shelf creates an axis. For details, see Axes.
The Sort icon indicates a field that has either a computed or manual sort order applied. See Sort Data in a Visualization.
The sigma icon indicates a slicing filter in a multidimensional (cube) data source. See Create Slicing Filters.
The Venn diagram icon indicates a set. See Create Sets.
A field name shown in italics indicates a filtered set.
A gray field on the Filters shelf indicates a context filter. See Improve View Performance with Context Filters.
The delta icon indicates that the field is a table calculation. See Transform Values with Table Calculations.
The plus and minus controls appear when the field is part of a hierarchy that you can traverse.
The arrow icon indicates that a forecast is being displayed for the field. This icon is also used on the Forecast Indicator field, which is an automatic field used to distinguish between actual and forecast values. See Forecasting.
The field is from a secondary data source. See Blend Your Data.
The field is assigned to a specific worksheet.
The field is assigned to all worksheets with the same data source.
The field is incompatible with one or more other fields in the view.

Fields on the Marks card

Fields placed on the Marks card use specific icons to describe how they appear in the view. For more details, see Control the Appearance of Marks in the View.

Visual Cue Description
The field is applied to Color on the Marks card.
The field is applied to Size on the Marks card.
The field is applied to Label on the Marks card.
The field is applied to Shape on the Marks card.
The field is applied to Detail on the Marks card.
The field is applied to Tooltip on the Marks card.
The field is applied to Path on the Marks card. Path is only available when the Line or Polygon mark type is selected from the Marks drop-down menu.

Sheets in the Dashboards and Worksheets pane

The following table explains each of the icons used to describe the type of sheet that can be placed in a story. A blue check mark indicates that a sheet is being used in one or more story points.

Visual Cue Description
The sheet is a worksheet.
The sheet is a dashboard.

Fields in the Calculation editor

Fields in the calculation editor are color coded by field type.

Visual Cue Description
[ORANGE] The field is a dimension, set, or measure.
[PURPLE] The field is a parameter.
[PURPLE].[PURPLE] The field is from a secondary data source.
BLUE() The field is a calculation function.
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