about tableau reader
what is tableau reader?
Tableau Reader is a free application that lets anyone view and interact with Tableau packaged workbooks. These packaged workbooks are created using Tableau Desktop, and are self-contained documents that combine the data and the Tableau visual analysis into a single file.
Tableau Reader makes it possible to share your visualizations and dashboards with anyone – without the need for them to have a Tableau Desktop license. With Reader, people can be viewing, filtering, printing and understanding your visualizations and dashboards in minutes.
frequently asked questions
What does Tableau Reader Cost? Tableau Reader is a free application. It is free to download and install on any machine. Reader can be downloaded at http://www.tableausoftware.com/downloadreader.
What files can Tableau Reader open? Tableau Reader opens packaged workbooks. These are special files that are created by the Tableau Desktop products (Tableau Professional and Tableau Personal). The packaged workbook combines the data file along with the Tableau visualizations into a single file which can be distributed to anyone with any of the Tableau products, including Reader.
Where can I get some example files to use with Reader? Check out our Visual Examples gallery. You'll find dozens of examples from a variety of industries and topics.
Does Reader query the database live? Tableau Reader only works with the data that has been included in the packaged workbook. If the workbook was built from an XLS, CSV, or MDB file, a copy of the data file is included into the package at the time it was saved. Reader will use that ‘included’ data as the source for the visualization. If the original data came from a relational database (like Oracle, MySQL, or SQL Server) then an extract file from the database must be created to include in the package.
What is an extract file? An extract file is a snapshot of data that is retrieved from your database and saved locally on your desktop. If you create an extract, and then save your workbook as a packaged workbook, the data snapshot will be combined with your Tableau visualizations into a single file which can be shared with other people, including those with Tableau Reader.
Why is using Tableau Reader better than just publishing a PDF file? Using Tableau Reader and packaged workbooks is a convenient and flexible way to share visual analyses to others that don’t have a copy of Tableau Desktop. Tableau Reader allows people to interact with the visualizations by setting filters, re-sorting data, paging through the data, and using legend highlighting and flexible zooming and sizing of the views to focus on relevant data points. While publishing a PDF file works well in many cases, using Tableau Reader provides for a more interactive experience for the viewer.
Where can I run Tableau Reader? Tableau Reader is an application built to run on Windows operating systems. It runs on Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Server, and Vista.
So how do I get started? It's easy.
- Using Tableau Desktop (if needed, get a free trial and install), you create a Tableau workbook containing all the visualizations and dashboards you want to share. The more quick filters, sheet links, sliders, page shelves, and other interactive elements you include, the more your intended audience will be able to interact with your workbook.
- You export your Tableau workbook as a "Tableau packaged workbook". Tableau creates a special file type with the file extension ".twbx". This file contains all your relevant data to support your visualizations and dashboards.
- You share your packaged workbook file with your audience and tell them to download Tableau Reader at http://www.tableausoftware.com/downloadreader.
- Your audience installs Tableau Reader. It takes just a few minutes. They use Reader to open the packaged workbook you sent them and they're seeing and interacting with visualizations and dashboards you created.