• Simon Beaumont

I couldn't possibly comment



I have a confession to make; for 3 years I have led a Tableau Centre of Excellence and not utilised Tableau Server comment functionality. I took the decision to disable comments early on in our Tableau journey when our users started entering comments that were not adding value to the vizzes; whether that be an amusing comment or a statement that only they could understand and interpret.


Making things easy for our users is a key aspect of our Centre of Excellence; always trying to improve and enhance our user's experience of Tableau Server. With this in mind I recently had a light bulb moment and realised I was missing a trick.


Comments don't have to be used to allow users to add comments, they can also be restricted and used solely by analysts and server administrators to add comments that guide users through a visualisation and help answer commonly asked questions.


This approach is particularly powerful when implemented using Tableau Server 10.5 as you can embed snapshot images alongside your comment, allowing your users to more easily understand the message you are sharing with them.


Here's how to do it:

  • Enable comments on Tableau Server; Go to Settings and tick the 'Allow users to comment on views' and then Save your updated setting (you will need to have administrative rights to do this step).

  • Customise the Permissions of the view you wish to add some guidance for; Tick the workbook and go to 'Actions > Permissions'.

  • Set your permissions so that your administrators (or content publishers if more appropriate) have the ability to both Add and View comments.

  • Set your permissions so non administrators can only View comments. Here is an example from our Tableau Server demonstrating this approach (the group SHFT Information Team is our analyst AD group):

  • Your administrators can then add helpful guidance using Comments within a view; providing your users with some targeted advice or instructions.


Obviously in the future I hope my Centre of Excellence can be in a position to fully utilise Tableau Server's comment functionality; allowing users to add comments and highlight their own insights from our visualisations however in the meantime the approach shared in this blog post will really enhance the experience of our Tableau Server interactors.

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Vizionary was first created in 2018