Chapter 57. How to Conditionally Format Individual Rows or Columns

Almost every Tableau user has also been, or still is, a heavy Excel user. Being that we almost all learned Excel first, it is natural to approach a tool like Tableau for the first time with some preconceived notions about how we think it should work. While there is some overlap between the reporting outputs of the two software programs, it can take some time to understand how the two programs differ as well as best fit together.

While there are tremendous advantages to using both programs, I’ve seen firsthand how learned behavior for Excel can become a barrier to adoption of Tableau. One such example relates to conditional formatting, and the ability to modify individual rows or columns. This is very easy to do in Excel because you can modify every single individual cell exactly as you wish. While Tableau certainly has many encoding options available through the Marks Cards, it can seem a little “all or nothing.” For example, if you place a measure on the Color Marks Card, then all marks on the view are colored.

This chapter shows you how to use the legends per measure feature and a trick to conditionally format in Tableau like you can in Excel.

How to Use Legends Per Measure

One of the features released with Tableau version 10.2 helps solve the limitation of “all or nothing” encoding. With legends per measure, if you build a highlight table with multiple measures, then color the marks by the Measure Values field, ...

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