How to create different Charts in Tableau – Part 1

Tableau provides whole range of Charts for data analysis.

Given your data and requirements ,it is important to know which charts are best suited.

In this blog, i will tell you how to create different types of charts in Tableau.

I will use Superstore.xls as data source. Superstore.xls comes with your tableau installation and can be located in \Documents\My Tableau Repository\Datasources\

See my blog  tableau-data-connection  to learn how to connect to excel data source

Different charts in Tableau

Tableau’s “Show Me” feature lists the charts available . It suggests which charts can be used with selected data elements.


  1. Text Table

Text table is better used to display numbers for different dimensions in your data.

To create a Text table , drop dimension/s on both Columns and Rows shelf. Drop numeric/measure on the data section or Text card(highlighted in yellow) in Marks. Text table are usually Pivot table or cross tab.

Rename this Sheet as Text table


Row and column totals can be added by  using Analysis from the menu.


  2. Heat Maps

Heat Maps are similar to Text tables. It uses color to compare different measures by different dimensions.

To create Heat Maps, duplicate the previous TextTable sheet, rename the sheet as Heat Maps. Click on “Heat maps”  from Show Me.

If Segment moves to Columns then drag it down to Rows.

On the Cards, drag Sum(Profit) from Size card to Color. You will have Sum(Profit) displayed in color in the chart. Click on the color and select “Edit color” . Configure colors like the below screen shot


Click on “Abc”  on the menu and you will have a Heat Map chart like the one below


 3. Maps

Tableau has 2 types of Maps  – Symbol Maps and Filled Maps.

In Symbol Map, you can create Maps for geographical location using the symbols in the Marks card. In Filled Maps,colors are used to fill the geographical location shapes.

To learn more about creating Maps in Tableau, visit my previous blog Maps in Tableau

  4. Pie chart

Pie chart can be used to show different slices of categories as a percentage of total.

It is a good practice to limit the number of categories. Because if the categories are in large number, it will be difficult to drive useful information from the chart.

To create Pie chart, create a new sheet and name it Pie Chart.

Drag Region to the Column shelf and Profit to the Rows shelf. Now select pie chart from “Show Me” .

In the Marks , click on the Sum(Profit) on the Angle card and select Quick Table Calculation. Select Percent of Total from the Quick Table Calculation.


Click on “Abc” from the tool bar and pie chart is ready


To learn how to create other charts, visit  Charts in Tableau

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