Unhide Sheets in Tableau

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This post about how to unhide sheets in Tableau was first written in 2011. Tableau has evolved significantly since then and unhiding sheets is far easier. The post starts with 2020 edit.

To unhide all of the sheets on a Tableau dashboard simply right click on the dashboard tab and select Unhide All Sheets. All of the visible sheets on the dashboard will appear.

However what happens if there are sheets on the dashboard that are not visible. For example if there’s a hidden worksheet only used in the tooltip. Those sheets only used as a chart in tooltip won’t unhide when unhiding all sheets on a dashboard.

To unhide those “viz in tooltip” worksheets is almost the same as unhiding the dashboard worksheets. Only this time find the worksheet containing the tooltip hidden sheet. Right click the worksheet tab and Unhide All Sheets. That will make your hidden sheets in tooltip reappear.

Menu when right clicking on Tableau dashboard or worksheet tab

And now back to the orginal 2011 post…

I’ve researched how to unhide sheets in Tableau and concluded there isn’t a quick and easy way to do it.

When the hidden sheets are on a dashboard you have to individually select and unhide each sheet. This can be time-consuming if there are many hidden sheets in the workbook.

The bigger problems occur when you have hidden the sheets and then delete the dashboard containing the worksheets. Then there is not a simple way to retrieve the hidden sheets. As far as I know the only way unhide these sheets is to modify the XML behind the Tableau workbook.

Firstly take a backup of the workbook just in case you make a mistake altering the XML. Then open the workbook in a text editor, such as notepad, to see the XML.

From Tableau copy the name of a visible worksheet. This must be a worksheet, not a dashboard. Next find the worksheet name in the XML.

You’re looking for a bit of XML that says:

<worksheet name='WORKSHEET NAME YOU'RE FINDING'>

That line is the beginning of the XML to copy. You need to find the first instance of the HTML tag </worksheet> in the XML appearing below the above XML. Copy all of the text from <worksheet name=’WORKSHEET NAME YOU’RE FINDING‘> to </worksheet> including those 2 lines.

You now need to paste that code directly underneath this line </worksheet>. Now the code is duplicated alter the worksheet name from WORKSHEET NAME YOU’RE FINDING (i.e. the unhidden sheet) to the HIDDEN WORKSHEET NAME. When you open this file in Tableau you might need to alter the filters, layout, etc, but at least you’ll be able to see the sheet once again.

The next question is what happens if you don’t know the name of the hidden sheets? I haven’t used this yet but there are some downloads available from Tableau that should enable you to view all objects so you can find the hidden worksheet names to use in the above steps. http://www.tableausoftware.com/support/forum/topic/howto-get-list-all-worksheets-and-connections-workbook

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