Use Set Action for Tableau Viz in Tooltip Grand Totals


Have you noticed that your Tableau viz in tooltip is not working for grand totals? See how the Grand Total viz in tooltip doesn’t filter?

Tableau viz in tooltip not filtering for grand totals
Notice the amounts per sub-category are higher than the total?

In the above image, showing the totals per sub-category in the tooltip, notice the amounts? The totals per sub-category are greater than the grand total for the country. Clearly this isn’t possible.

This is because the viz in tooltip doesn’t filter when hovering over the grand total. It’s showing the sub-category totals for all countries, not only the country displayed in the tooltip.

How do I get grand totals to filter when using a viz in tooltip?

Set Actions is the answer.

Very similar to how Set Actions can maintain the rank with a viz in tooltip, Set Actions also work to make the viz in tooltip filter for Grand Totals.

Although a small hack, it is straightforward to set up.

How to use Set Actions to filter the viz in tooltip for Grand Totals

The easiest way to demonstrate this is to create it. This is using one of the Superstore data sources Tableau provides.

Build a simple heatmap showing Sales by Country per Year. Switch on the Grand Totals so you see the total per Country.

Also build a simple bar chart of sales by sub-category. This bar chart will be the viz in tooltip.

Create a new dashboard and drag in the heatmap. Next set up the viz in tooltip. Within the heatmap tooltip, add the Sheet to the tooltip and by default it filters for the relevant Country and Year.

A Tableau tooltip containing a worksheet to show the viz in tooltip
Add the worksheet to the tooltip

However, hover over the grand total, and it shows the data for every country, not only the country of the row.

This is another great use case for set actions.

Add a Set Action to filter grand totals in the tooltip viz

Create a set on the Country field and select all values.

Creating a Tableau Set Action
Create a Set Action on the Country dimension

Call this set action [Set Country]

A Tableau set containing all member countries
All of the Countries are in the set be default

Drag [Set Country] to the filters shelf of the Tooltip viz, the sub-category bar chart. By default Set filters are boolean, and it will be set to True – i.e. it displays all selected values.

Now the set is created and is ready to work on the tooltip viz.

Back to the dashboard to create the set action.

On the menu bar choose Dashboard – Actions. Add Action and Change Set Values.

Set up the action to run from the Heatmap sheet and run on Hover. The data source is the Superstore data source and it will Assign values to set. The set to affect is the [Set Country] and Clearing the selection will Add all values to set (which is as it is now with all countries selected).

Add a new Tableau Set Action to filter the viz in tooltip grand totals
Add a new Tableau Set Action

Now hover over the Grand Total and see the result.

The viz in tooltip now filters in the Grand Totals!

Want to master set actions in Tableau? Take this 2.5 hour online course, a Tableau Masterclass in Parameter and Set Actions.*

Download the workbook showing how to filter grand totals in a tooltip viz from Tableau Public.

See it in action below in the embedded workbook.

*We may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase this course

2 thoughts on “Use Set Action for Tableau Viz in Tooltip Grand Totals”

  1. Thank you! This worked great for a text dimension. However, I’m trying to get it to work for totals of months in a quarter, and I can’t get it to cooperate. I created a custom date (months) and used that in the view and as the source for the set. Did everything else the same. Any ideas for how to make this work? Thanks.

    • I’m unsure why it doesn’t work. Are you able to replicate using Superstore and post to Tableau Public?


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