Formatting Individual Columns in Tableau (Dual-Axis Crosstabs)

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A simple step by step explanation with screenshots attached!

Tableau can only format based off one value.  For example, you can have a chart that displays Sales and Profit, but you can only set color based on one of them.




What we really need is to be able to apply individual formatting to each column.  This is where the “Dual-Axis Crosstab” comes in.

Here is a step wise analysis

Step 1: 

Create a sample calculated field which will be used as the base for our columns.




Step 2: 

  1. Drag the Calculated Field onto the “Columns” Shelf
  2. Change the “Mark” Type to “Text”
  3. Right-Click inside the Column -> Select “Format” -> Click the Icon that looks like a Pen, -> Remove “Zero Lines”
  4. Right-Click on the Axis Header -> Select “Edit Axis” -> Change the Title to something reasonable
  5. Still in the “Edit Axis” Window, open the “Tick Marks” Tab -> Select “None” and “None”
  6. Drag the Desired Measure onto the “Text” Shelf
  7. Resize the Column




Step 3:

  1. Drag the “Field” Calculated Field to the “Columns” Shelf and place it beside the previous one
  2. Next to the Word “Marks” above the “Marks” Shelf, Select the “Down Arrow” -> Select “Multiple Mark Types”
  3. Now, we can cycle between your different fields
  4. Drag another measure to the “Text” Shelf for the new field
  5. Repeat “Step 2” to clean this column up as well




Now, we can apply individual formatting to each column by cycling through them on the “Marks” Card.  For example, you can color the “Profit” Column by “Profit” and color “Sales” by “Sales.”

Step 4:

Repeat the above process for adding any more measures you want. Add any dimensions you would like, to the “Rows” Shelf




Now, we can see that all “Orange” values should be looked into.

While this is a very simple representation, there is so much more that can be done here.


For more such informative blogs, keep a tab on TechBlog!

Until Next Time!

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