Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Tableau Public?

Tableau Public is a free service that lets anyone publish interactive data to the web. Once on the web, anyone can interact with the data, download it, or create their own visualizations of it. No programming skills are required. Be sure to look at the gallery to see some of the things people have been doing with it.

Q: Who is Tableau Public for?

The free version of Tableau Public is for people. This includes writers, bloggers, students, professors, hobbyists, journeymen, critics, citizens and more. It’s also meant for organizations, but only as an introductory service. If your organization wants to put data online for the public, you are welcome to use this as an introductory service. If you like what you see, contact us at info-public@tableausoftware.com to discuss a commercial relationship.

Q: How does Tableau Public work?

Tableau Public includes a free desktop product that you can download and use to publish interactive data visualizations to the web. The Tableau Public desktop saves work to the Tableau Public web servers – nothing is saved locally on your computer. All data saved to Tableau Public will be accessible by everyone on the internet, so be sure to work only with publically available (and appropriate) data.

Q: I have my own blog or website. Can I use Tableau Public to share data there?

Yes. Use Tableau Public to share data and insights with your community. Embed the content in your blog or website, or share it via links on web pages or in emails. Use our website to find out how.

Learn more about Sharing Views in the Knowledge Base.

Q: Is there a limit on storage space for the data?

Yes, there is a 1 gigabyte limit on storage space for data. For the vast majority of users, we expect that 1 GB will be more space than needed.

Learn more about Data Requirements and Limitations in the Knowledge Base.

Q: Do I need to be a programmer to use this?

No programming skills of any kind are required. It is a simple drag and drop process that anyone can easily learn.

Q: I work for an organization that has lots of data to share with the public. Can we use Tableau Public?

Yes -- as long as you and everyone at your organization together use less than 50 megabytes of space. Tableau Public gives your organization (e.g., a company, government agency or educational institution) the opportunity to explore its capabilities. If your organization wants to put data online for the public, please contact us at info-public@tableausoftware.com to discuss a commercial relationship.

Q: Do I need the free desktop product if I already own a commercial version of Tableau Desktop?

No. Tableau Desktop comes in three editions: Professional Edition ($1,999), Personal Edition ($999) and Public Edition (free). If you already have Professional or Personal Edition, you’ll find that your latest upgrade includes the ability to publish to the Tableau Public servers. There is nothing in Public Edition that isn’t included in the latest versions of the paid products.

Q: What type of data limitations does Tableau Public have?

Tableau Public can connect to Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and multiple text file formats. It has a limit of 1,000,000 rows of data that is allowed in any single file.

Learn more about Data Requirements and Limitations in the Knowledge Base.

Q: Can I set permissions or protect the data I save to Tableau Public?

All content saved to Tableau Public is accessible to everyone on the internet. As the author, you are the only one who can delete your own content, but anyone on the internet can view it. In addition to viewing it, anyone can download a copy of your workbook (including the underlying data) as well, which will let them work with and build upon your original.

Q: What online blog services is Tableau Public compatible with?

Embedding Tableau Public content into a blog requires the blog software to support embedded html content, including script tags. Some popular blog sites which are compatible with Tableau Public embedded content are:

Blogger (by Google) – www.blogger.com

Typepad – www.typepad.com Edit your posts in HTML mode rather than Rich Text, otherwise the Tableau Public embed codes don’t get preserved.

Wordpress - www.wordpress.org. On this site you can download and install a software script called WordPress. To do this you need a web host. WordPress is completely customizable and can be used for almost anything.

There is also a service called www.WordPress.com which lets you get started with a new and free WordPress-based blog, but it is less flexible than the WordPress you download and install yourself. Blogs hosted on Wordpress.com do not take advantage of tools like Tableau that use JavaScript.

Q: If I publish my data on Tableau Public, is my data now public?

Yes, your data on Tableau Public is now accessible on the world-wide web and is downloadable by anyone. We strongly suggest you only publish data you are willing to share with anyone.

Q: What kind of technology is a Tableau Viz?

It is a thin AJAX based JavaScript application.

Q: How do people find the visualizations I save to Tableau Public?

Once you save your work to Tableau Public, it may be shared (by emailing a link or embedding the work in your blog, wiki, or website). If you embed the work onto a webpage, anyone who visits the page will see the live interactive view. If you email a link, just clicking the link will open a browser page with the view loaded.

Learn more about Sharing Views in the Knowledge Base.

Q: What’s the "Download" link on the Viz?

Any Tableau Public viz can be downloaded by pressing the download link in the lower right corner. It saves to your computer as a TWBX file. Anyone with Tableau Desktop (Professional, Personal or Public Edition) can open the file and review or extend the work that was behind the original posting.

Learn more about Downloading Tableau Public Workbooks in the Knowledge Base.

Q: Is there a plug-in required to see the Tableau Viz?

No plug-ins are required. You just need a browser with JavaScript enabled.

Q: What happens if I delete a workbook from Tableau Public and there are links to it in blogs or other web locations?

Once a workbook or view is deleted from Tableau Public, it cannot be retrieved from Tableau Public by anyone. All links or other references to it that may have been shared will not be able to load the viz and will display an error message on the page.

Q: What are the system requirements for the desktop software?

Please refer to the Tableau Public System Requirements page

Q: What do you mean by "Data In. Brilliance Out."?

This is our vision for Tableau Public. In captures both our twin goals of making Tableau incredibly easy to use and spectacularly powerful.

Q: Does Tableau Public work on a Mac?

Macintosh users can view Tableau Public content in their browser. Tableau Desktop Public Edition used for authoring content is a Windows application only.

If you are using a Macintosh computer that has an Intel processor, you can use virtualization software such as VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop to install Windows and run Tableau Desktop Public Edition. Alternatively, you can use a built-in utility called BootCamp to install Windows and run the Tableau software.

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