Tableau Tip – Removing/adding sample workbooks

So this week I have no #Reviz project. It will be back next week but in the meantime I decided I would launch the Tableau tips section of my site, where I will post all manner of, well, Tableau tips.

I start off with one that I learnt today and Martijn Verstrepen, CTO of The Information Lab Netherlands, should take the credit for this.

It came from a question by Simona Loffredo on whether it was possible to change the ‘Sample Workbooks’ that appear when you open Tableau Desktop. Searches on the Tableau Community suggested not, but Martijn found the answer.

And now I have this.

sample workbooks.png

First question, why would we want to do this?

One example would be that if you are looking to develop the Tableau service within a company and wanted users to have sample workbooks of areas relevant to their business, or workbooks that showed best practices.

Another would be if you wanted a set of ‘template’ workbooks that users could quickly access, add their data source and begin building their work around a predetermined dashboard layout.

So how?

  1. Locate the location of your Tableau install, and navigate to the ‘Workbooks’ folder and then the country.C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau 9.3\help\Workbooks\en_GB
  2. Copy your desired packaged (.twbx) workbooks to this location. If you wish to add a thumbnail as well for the workbook, paste these here as well.
  3. Edit the ‘Samples.Manifest’ xml file in a text editor to include the details of your new workbooks.

    For each workbook your xml string should look like:


    Make sure too open your xml file with the following tag

    opening tag

    And close your xml file with this tag

    closing tag

    I have uploaded my samples.master file here so you can review the structure I have used. And below is an image of the files that I have strored in the location: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau 9.3\help\Workbooks\en_GB


Once you have restarted Tableau you will now have your customised Tableau sample workbooks.

Customising the Tableau interface can really help engage new users and can massively help with retention and usability. I hope to include more blogs on this subject as I post more tips.


Disclaimer: This should be seen as a hack. Tableau do not support this process; and when upgrading to future versions of the software you will have to repeat the process.


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