I want more than 16 columns in my Tableau table.

So my colleague Ravi Mistry posted a blog a fair few months ago now, giving a neat tip to increase the maximum number of levels of columns and rows within a table type view.

He hinted at a tip about hacking the XML to have greater than 16 levels, here I am giving him a post to refer to.


  1. Go to ‘Analysis’ on the top tool bar, navigate to ‘table layout’ and then ‘advanced’, a table options menu will appear
  2. Here you will see a ‘Maximum level of column labels’, by default this is set to 6 (and you can only set a maximum of 16. In order to make this value visible in the xml we need to change it from the default value, I will set it to 16.


  3. Save your file as a .twb file
  4. Open the .twb file in a text editor, in my example I will use notepad
  5. Find the line of xml that defines the maximum level of rows (which actually relates to column headers), it looks something like…

    <format attr=’row-levels’ value=’16’ />


  6.  Amend the placeholder value we gave by amending the maximum number of column levels value, in my case 16, with the number of columns you want in your table, I’m going to put 17.
  7. Save the file
  8. Open the tableau workbook and build out your 17 column (or however many you wish) table

Of course you can do a similar trick with the ‘maximum number of horizontal row labels’ and ‘maximum number of column labels’ by just amending the default value to ensure the value is assigned in the xml and then finding it and changing it accordingly.



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