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Copying and Pasting Between Workbooks

Product(s): Tableau Desktop
Version(s): 8.1, 8.0, 7.0, 6.1
Last Modified Date: 19 Jun 2014

Article Note: This article is no longer actively maintained by Tableau. We continue to make it available because the information is still valuable, but some steps may vary due to product changes.


When you are working with multiple workbooks, you may find that you are setting up the same formatting, groups, and calculations in each one. Instead of creating these formats and fields from scratch each time, you can copy and paste between workbooks.

Tip: Starting with 8.1, you can also use new functionality for copying and pasting sheets between workbooks. Copying and pasting sheets also copies any information that the views in the sheets depend on, including formatting, groups, calculations, and more. For information, see Copying Information Between Workbooks in the Tableau Desktop Help.

Copy and paste custom groups

You can copy and paste custom fields between workbooks that use the same data source. For example, in a workbook, suppose you have defined a group that contains the following fields: computer peripherals, copiers and faxes, and office machines. Instead of creating the same group in every new workbook, copy and paste the group from one workbook to another.

Step 1

In the Dimensions pane, right-click the field you want to copy, and select Copy.

Step 2

In the target workbook, right-click in the Dimensions pane, and select Paste.

The group of fields is now available in the second workbook.

Copy and paste formatting

You can copy and paste formatting between any two worksheets within the same workbook or across workbooks, even if they use different data sources. Formatting that applies to specific fields copies over only if those fields exist in the target workbook.

Step 1

Select the worksheet that has the formatting you want to copy.

Step 2

Select Format > Copy Formatting. (For Tableau Desktop 6.1 and earlier, select Edit > Copy Formatting.)

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Step 3

Select the worksheet to which you want to copy the formatting, and select Format > Paste Formatting. (For Tableau Desktop 6.1 and earlier, select Edit > Paste Formatting.)

User-added image

The formatting of worksheet elements that correspond to elements in the target workbook is applied.

You can also copy and paste formatting using the worksheet tabs along the bottom of the workbook. You can do this by right-clicking the worksheet tab and selecting Copy. Then in the new workbook, you can select one or more worksheets to apply the formatting to. This is an easy way to copy formatting to an entire workbook.

Copying formatting does not copy manual sizing, zoom settings, or default label orientation. Also, if you apply formatting to individual reference lines and annotations, it is not copied to the new worksheet.

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