Today’s Tableau Tip comes from my colleague, David Baldwin. I am privilleged to work with him at Teknion Data Solutions, a Tableau Gold Partner providing data consulting solutions.
David is also Tableau Trainer – travelling the country to teach others how to use Tableau to see and understand their data. One of the questions he often gets is how to convert Tableau into PowerPoint presentations.
Here’s David’s answer:
How to Convert Tableau to PowerPoint
Let’s face it. PowerPoint is ubiquitous and many companies have policies requiring PowerPoint for presentations. Rats! Wouldn’t be so much cooler to put a complete presentation in Tableau including not only data visualizations but images, lines of text and even animation? Alas! Sometimes we have to bow to cultural dictates and put static screenshots of interactive visualizations into a pptx file.
How does one best do this? Below is one approach where, admittedly, I thumb my nose a bit at PowerPoint by starting from a Tableau workbook that has been designed as a “PowerPoint-like” presentation.
Choose “Entire Worksheet” and set the orientation to “Landscape”
Open the resulting PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Within Adobe Acrobat Pro choose File > Save as Other > Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation. . Note that this selection choice is not available in Adobe Acrobat Standard. Alternatively, you might experiment with other PDF software packages such as Nitro or Foxit. If you do come across a good “free” solution – please tell me in the comments.
Presto! You have a PowerPoint presentation! However, we’re not done yet.
Note in the attached pptx file that the first page is a mess. There’s not a whole lot we can do to fix this. The fastest choice is to just take a screenshot of the first dashboard in the twbx file. The cleaner approach (which may be important if you plan to print the pptx file) is to recreate the page within PowerPoint.
Notice that the pages have artifacts on them. Fortunately, these artifacts are relatively easy to clean up.
To clean up artifacts, within PowerPoint go to View > Slide Master.
Within each Master Slide remove the offending artifacts. (See below.)
With just a little more cleanup work, you should be good to go!
Want to understand how Tableau works and how you can use it like a master?
Joshua Milligan is a four-time Tableau Zen Master. His passion is training, mentoring, and helping people gain insights and make decisions based on their data through data visualization using Tableau. He is a principal consultant at Teknion Data Solutions, where he has served clients in numerous industries since 2004.
Joshua served as technical reviewer on several Tableau titles and is the author of the book Learning Tableau.