Posting Your Viz: Ability to Scroll & Zoom with a Perfect Thumbnail

Posting Your Viz
provide the perfect thumbnail and ability to zoom on any device

Have you ever been on scrolling through Twitter on your phone, found a viz you liked, clicked on that viz, and found yourself looking only at the very top/left corner of the viz?  It may have looked something like this:

You probably tried to scroll and zoom into the viz, but had very little success.  You gave up quickly and maybe you'd have the chance to look at it on a computer later, but probably not.  Well, this happens constantly to me.  And it's a bummer when you find something you're really interested in, but it's difficult to view.

In reality, there are some really simple ways to allow your viz to show on the full screen and allow for zoom and scroll capabilities.  In addition to this, this method will provide you with the perfect thumbnail for posting your viz to ANY social media site.  All you have to do is post the link and that link will turn into a thumbnail.  And as I mentioned, it works with any site.  (This technique is for Tableau only).  

Okay, let's get to it.  Open your viz in Tableau Public and scroll to the bottom.  
Now click on the share link as shown below:

Once you have clicked on the share link you will be provided with a pop-up window that looks like the following:

Select and copy the URL listed in the "Link" field.  (Don't grab the Embed Code or the link for the webpage URL at the top, grab it from this location).  Please note, some changes have been made to Tableau Public and you may see tabs at the top that show "Current View" or "Original View".  This method will not work with Current View, so please make sure Original View is selected.  

Paste this copied URL in some text editor like Word, Notepad, or even an email.  Now, add the following to the end of the URL: ":showVizHome=no".  This is case sensitive!  Copy the entire newly created URL.  

You can now paste this link into any social media site, send via text, or just about anywhere else and two things will happen: 1) It will properly scale to the device in which it is being viewed.  Viewers can zoom in/out and pan with no issues.  2) It will provide a nice thumbnail preview.  It does try to make the best thumbnail possible, but will cut off some of the bottom and a slight portion of the top.  Below is what it might look like in tweet:

Now if you have your own website or blog, this feature becomes even more powerful...I will explain.  On Tableau Public, there is a place for you to add a "Permalink".  This is a link to another location in which the viz is also published or where you wrote about it specifically.  When adding a permalink, you can do the same thing that is described above, yet you don't have to add ":showVizHome=no" and you will get the extra added benefit of getting hits on your website (which helps push your website to the top of search engines).  

Go to Tableau Public, open your viz, and scroll to the bottom.  Then click Edit Details as shown below:

Once you click Edit Details, it will provide you with a variety of additional fields you can fill out.  The one we are interested in is Permalink.  Go ahead and add a link to your website as shown and then save.  

Now, do as you did before.  Click on the Share option and copy the link (not the embed code, the link).  This link actually changes when you've added your website as a permalink.  This new link can be used to share your viz and you will have the same results as above, but without adding ":showVizHome=no".  In addition, you will get hits to your website every time someone looks at that viz using that link.  Below is what it will look like when opened on a phone:

Now if you have an actual blog associated with the viz, you can add that full path to the permalink as well.  When you do that, the gray background that shows above will actually be your website instead, similar to the following.  (Edit: one good way for everyone is to copy the link to your Tableau Public page and use that in the permalink.  That way you don't have to worry about adding anything to the share link, you just copy it).

And that is really it.  It's a fantastic way to provide a quick thumbnail for any social media site, allow your viz to be easily viewed on any device, and also promote your website.  

Please note that I used a Makeover Monday visualization as an example.  However, many community projects ask that you post your visualizations in a specific manner.  When posting you visualization, please be mindful of these guidelines.  (Click here to see the Makeover Monday guidelines).  

As usual, if you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Kevin Flerlage, January 22, 2019 | Twitter | LinkedIn | Tableau Public


  1. Hi Kevin, I think showVizHome is partially broken now in Tableau Public for automatic sized dashboards. Have you noticed this or maybe you have some insight? Thanks, Vic

    1. Yes, I noticed and reported it to TP. Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

    2. Cool, thanks. Great to pull the heavyweights into the support request!


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