How to Add Filters to Tableau Dashboards

Tableau allows developers to add Filters to dashboard pages for end users to slice and dice data however they want. Filters directly placed on the dashboard page make reports more intuitive and easier to navigate to surface insights and view the most important data to each individual viewer on demand.

Filtering Tableau dashboards can be done by adding filters directly to a visualization or as slicers on the dashboard page

Filters in Tableau are fundamental tools that let users manipulate and view data dynamically. We’ll explain the benefits of using them, the different types available, and the various methods to add them to your reports.

Let’s jump in!

The 2 Methods of Adding Filters in Tableau

There are two primary methods to adding filters to your data in Tableau. There are filters that can be added at the visual level using the filter shelf, or you can add filters at the dashboard level where end users can interact with them.

Filtering Using the Filter Shelf

To filter a visualization in Tableau, drag and drop a field from the data panel to the Filter Shelf. Next, you will see a Filter Dialogue Box appear that allows you to select default filters that will be applied to your visual then click OK. These filters will be carried over to the dashboard screen when a visual is added to the dashboard layout.

The following screenshot shows the “Item Number” field being added to the Filter Shelf.

Example of filtering a Tableau visual by adding a field to the Filter Shelf and further configuring it in the Filter dialogue box

The Filter Shelf dialogue box provides additional options from basic filtering to advanced and conditional filtering options that can be configured by switching tabs at the top of the dialogue box.

When you’re finished, the new Filter will stay in the filter shelf, where you can go back and edit it by clicking on the dropdown to the right of the field name, and select Edit Filter.

Editing a filter that's already been added to the Filter Shelf

Filtering Using Dashboard Options

To add a filter to a Tableau Dashboard, go to the dashboard tab, select on a visual that’s been added, then click on the triangle icon to the right of the dashboard. A contextual menu will appear where you can add a filter based on one of the fields assigned to the selected visual.

Filters are added from the actions menu to the right of a dashboard.

How to add a filter to a dashboard page in Tableau

The dropdown menu lets you select the name of a field that’s been previously assigned to a visualization.

The add filter button and selecting a field on a Tableau dashboard

The result will be a new filter added to a dashboard off to side of the visuals that have already been added.

Screenshot of a filter that's been added to a Tableau dashboard that users can interact with like a slicer

To further configure the filter or change the style of it, selecting the filter and click the triangle to the right of it for More Options.

Changing Filters Types in Tableau

Tableau supports a number of different filter types that can be added to a dashboard. Make sure to match the style of a filter that you’re adding to a dashboard, to the type of data being filtered. Even though Tableau supports search boxes inside most of their filters, it may not make sense to make a long list into a Multiple Value list that would presented on a page due to the amount of screen real estate it will take up.

Screenshot of the different styles of filters that can be added for users to slice data directly on a dashboard

The same drop down menu that appears when a filter is selected has additional options to further customize filters to fit your dashboard needs.

Adding Multiple Filters to a Tableau Dashboard

It’s worth noting that multiple filters can be added to a dashboard that impact the same visualizations. Follow the same method as above, select a visual then click on the additional options triangle to the right of the dashboard. Then you can select each new filter and configure it further.

Screenshot of a dashboard with multiple filters assigned to it


Adding filters to Tableau dashboards is an incredibly useful way of giving report viewers the ability to slice and dice data on demand. Filters are highly customizable and can be set with multiple different styles to fit your reporting needs. On the dashboard page, you are not limited to a single filter you can add as many as you need to however the field being filtered will generally need to be assigned to the visual for it to be available as an on page slicer.

When you don’t want to give control to the end user but still need to filter data you can do so by adding fields to the Filter Shelf when building a visual. Filters added to the Filter Shelf remain in place once a visual is added to the dashboard tab.

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