Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool. It combines various components like labels and colors to present data visually. This makes it easy for anyone to extract insights from the data, even non-analysts. 

You can use Tableau to join tables from one or more connections and make generalizations like creating calculated fields, groups, pivot fields, extract filters, etc. After that, you may need to reuse the data in the new form or even share it. This means that you’ll have to export the data. In this article, you will learn about the procedure for Exporting Tableau to Excel and the limitations of the procedure.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Tableau

Tableau Logo- Exporting Tableau to Excel

Tableau is a tool that is used for applications related to Business Intelligence and Data Visualization. This can help you get important insights by analyzing the data and provide objective measurements to support and help in strategic decision-making in a business organization.

The platform supports an easy-to-learn user interface and additional functionalities to collaborate with other employees in the organization. The user can get data from multiple sources and perform analyses on the aggregated data. Tableau is helping industries to reduce the analysis time and provides functionalities while ensuring flexibility, security, and reliability.

Official documentation about Tableau can be found here.

Procedures for Exporting Data from Tableau to Excel

Below are the 5 procedures that you are required to carry out to export data from Tableau to Excel

Exporting Tableau to Excel Part 1: Export Crosstab of Data

This is one of the ways of exporting Tableau data into Excel. You can export the data used to generate a visualization in Tableau into Excel in the crosstab format. Once you export the view as a crosstab, the Excel application will be automatically opened and a crosstab version of the view will be pasted into an Excel workbook. 

This method provides Tableau users with an easier way to export Tableau data to other applications, but the performance of the export may be affected since copying and formatting of the data is done simultaneously. If the view to be exported has a lot of data, a dialog box asking you whether to export the formatting will be opened. If you decide to exclude exporting the formatting, you may get improved performance. 

If you’ve added many visuals to your dashboard, select the visual that is to be exported.

On Tableau Desktop, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Select “Worksheet”. 

Step 2: Choose “Export”, and then “Crosstab to Excel”. For Mac users, this will open a dialog box where the file can be saved. You should then open the file manually in Excel. 

On Tableau Online or Tableau Server, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Open the dashboard or view and select “Download”. 

Step 2: Choose “Crosstab”. Select sheets from the workbook from where you need to export the data. 

Exporting Tableau to Excel Part 2: Copy the Data to Clipboard

You can still copy the data that was used to generate the visualization into clipboard.

You can then paste the data into an application of choice such as Excel. The following steps demonstrate this:

Step 1: Create the view. 

Step 2: Select “Worksheet”, -> “Copy”, -> “Data”. 

Step 3: Open your Excel application, then paste the data into it. 

Note that when copying the data, any field which is an external filter will not be copied.

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Exporting Tableau to Excel Part 3: Copy the Crosstab of Data to Clipboard

It’s possible to copy the crosstab version of the view to transfer or paste the data into Excel. The pasted data will always appear as a crosstab, even in cases where the initial view didn’t use the crosstab format. 

However, when copying a crosstab, you are restricted by the following conditions:

  • All records in the view must be copied. You’re not allowed to copy only a subset of the records. 
  • This option is only valid for aggregate views. You can’t apply it on disaggregated data views since a crosstab is an aggregated view of data. This means that you must select the “Aggregate Measures” option from the Analysis menu so that the process of copying the crosstab may work correctly. 
  • A crosstab cannot be copied if the view contains continuous dimensions like continuous times and dates. 
  • Other restrictions may be applied based on the view data.

After making sure that you meet the above conditions, follow the steps given below to copy the crosstab:

Step 1: Create the view. 

Step 2: Select “Worksheet” -> “Copy” -> “Crosstab”. 

Step 3: Open your Excel application and paste the crosstab there. 

Exporting Tableau to Excel Part 4: Exporting Visualizations as Images

Tableau also allows you to export images. Simply follow the following steps:

Step 1: Select “WorkSheet” -> “Copy” -> “Image” from the Menu option. 

Step 2: Choose the layout that you need to apply to the image. You can hide or show the Title, Caption, or the Legend of the image. You can also choose to have the legends displayed at the bottom or to the right of the image. 

Step 3: Open Excel and paste the image there. 

Exporting Tableau to Excel Part 5: Extracting Data using Dimensions Pane

Follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Click the “View Data” icon from the Dimensions pane. This will open a data pane that shows the data contained in the data source. 

You can use the data pane to modify how the columns are ordered by dragging and dropping the data columns. You can also modify the number of rows shown from the rows box shown at the top. 

Step 2: After finalizing the view, right-click the top left of the header to select the rows. 

Step 3: Click the “Copy” button to copy the data to the clipboard. Paste into Excel. 

Limitations of the Procedure

The following are the limitations of exporting data from Tableau into Excel:

  1. The process of exporting data from Tableau into Excel is lengthy and complex. It requires an individual with expertise in using Tableau. 
  2. It’s not possible to export real-time data from Tableau into Excel. 


In this article, you will learn about the procedure for Exporting Tableau to Excel and the limitations of the procedure. 

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Nicholas Samuel
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Skilled in freelance writing within the data industry, Nicholas is passionate about unraveling the complexities of data integration and data analysis through informative content for those delving deeper into these subjects. He has written more than 150+ blogs on databases, processes, and tutorials that help data practitioners solve their day-to-day problems.

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