Creating a new Workbook - Step by Step

This document is a step by step guide of creating a new workbook process.

Table of Contents

Please click on the plus sign besides each panel to expand it:

Start building the workbook

Download a template from the server

Navigate to templates folder on Tableau Server:

Find the template you will be using and download it (click the three dots icon on its right hand column and select “Download”).

Rename and open the just downloaded template. Use this workbook to start building your project.

If you already developed worksheets in another workbook:

  • Right-click a worksheet tab in your existing workbook and click “Copy”
  • In the template workbook you just downloaded, right click anywhere in the page and click “Paste”
  • Repeat with all sheets.

Add data sources

Click the “Data Sources” tab (it should be at the bottom left):

Data Source Tab

And start adding your data sources. Please choose the following convention if you see these databases (unless technically limited):

Database Names

Choose the “Extract” radio button:

Extract Radio Button 

Make sure to:

  • Follows this wording for footer text : “This visualization was created by [Department]. Questions, feedback, or accessibility requests should be directed to [Full Name], [].”
  • choose proper icon (and change its link and alternative text)
  • if you started from a template, all other visual specs should already be satisfied

Take a look at the specs to see the details. 

Format the home page

Make sure all navigation items are about 40px height.

Maximum width of navigation panel is 700px.

Accessibility check

Add alternative text to all images.

Use UW color palettes unless you have a good reason not to.

If you have two colors such as a button with colored text and colored background, make sure to meet contrast ratio compliance (3:1).

If the previous is not possible, add borders to your chart parts to make them distinguishable.

Make sure everything on tooltips are attainable through other means as well.

Make the summary data available if possible. This will make sure that people have an alternative way to reach data they need.

Parameters and filters

Only cascading filters should be grouped in a box with a gray background.

All other filters and parameters must be grouped into a box with no background.

The title of filters and parameters should start with an action word (like "Select ...").

See the exact specs here

Formats in a glance

The exact dimensions are shown in a workbook created for this purpose. Below, you can see the screenshot ad the link to the related dashboard on the server.

Home page format:

Make sure the formats comply with the image below for home pages:

Home page

This is a link to a dashboard with notes on home page formats

Dashboard format

Make sure the dashboards formats comply with the image below:


This is a link to a dashboard with notes on dashboard formats

Create a new specification

Login to:

From top menu bar, hover over “Specifications” > then from the opened menu, choose “Create a Specification”

Then fill these out as described in the image below:

New specification

Make sure to click the “Save” button.

You can find more information on the purpose of these fields in the standards document.

Add link to Tableau workbook's “i” icon

The "i" icon takes the user to a dynamically created technical notes page where they can find useful information about the workbook such as the time data refreshes, the definitions, the owner, description, etc.

The link to this page has to be built and added to the icon in Tableau.

The syntax of the hyperlink is the following:{id}

Where {id} needs to be replaced by the specification id. You can find the specification id from cookbook's specification. Look at the address bar of the browser and take the first number in the address you see. Take a look below:

Specification id

For example:

Publish into Staging

Make sure to do the followings:

  • Make sure to run a full extract refresh and save before publishing into the server.
  • Make sure to hide sheets and hide unused fields (for optimized load).
  • If not logged in already, from top menu, click Server > Sign In > enter the following for the server:
  • Click Server > Publish Workbook from top menu

Publish window

Make sure to have the followings:

  • Choose “Staging” as the project
  • Fill out the name
  • Sheets > “Edit” > make sure to only include dashboards you want to be seen
  • Permissions: unless you would need the client/user to verify the workbook, you shouldn’t need to change this
  • Datasources: to make sure extracts work click “Edit” > “Embed all passwords”
  • Check the “Show sheets as tabs” checkbox
  • Show selections -> only choose if you really want the selection to show up in the workbook on the server
  • “Include external files” -> keep this one checked
  • Click “Publish” and click OK on notification windows

Fix the URL field on cookbook specification

Go back to specification and click “Edit” from near the top of the page. This will allow you to edit the fields. Copy the workbook's URL from Staging into this URL field. Since this is the first version of the workbook, the URL in staging is the same as the one on production (only for new workbooks).

Add definitions

From the top tabs menu, click on “Definitions” tab:

Definitions Tab

To add a definition, scroll to the bottom. You can search for existing definitions or add new ones:

Existing Definition

And click the "Add to specification" button to add it. 

You can also remove a definition from a specification.

If the definition does not exist, you need to create a new one. See this link on how to create new definitions.

Review process

After everything looks good, enter the following information in a comment in the cookbook's specification:

  • Indicate that this is a new publication request
  • Explain any deviations from standard permissions, user capabilities or report guidelines.
  • Add a link to the Staging version of the workbook. This makes sure that reviewers look at the proper version for approval.

Then click the “Send to Data Governance”.

If any reviewer has any questions or concerns, they will reach out to you and/or send the specification back for you to resolve the issue.

After approval

Since this is a New publication:

  1. Move the workbook from Staging into UW Madison Institutional Data (since this is a new workbook and only for new workbooks).
  2. Make sure the URL is correct in specification.
  3. Move the specification into “Approved” stage.

RADAR picks up the new specification overnight.

KeywordsTableau   Doc ID117596
OwnerNoah L.GroupData KB
Created2022-03-25 09:38:22Updated2024-05-01 10:34:16
SitesData, Academic Planning & Institutional Research
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