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Datafam Colors: A Tableau Color Palette Crowdsourcing Project

A couple of weeks ago, I saw the following tweet from Rodrigo Calloni:

 


 

I absolutely loved the idea of a contest where Tableau would add some of the community’s most popular custom color palettes. But I also wondered if we could go even further and find a way to easily crowdsource palettes from the community. I reached out to Rodrigo and we began discussing how we might be able to collect people’s favorite palettes then make them readily available. And thus was born our Datafam Colors project. Here’s how it works:

 

1) Community members (you!!) complete a simple Google Form to submit your palette. The form asks for your name, email (don’t worry—it will be kept private), palette type, palette name, and a list of the hex colors. You can submit as many palettes as you like.

 

2) A Tableau workbook automatically updates to include your palettes. The update uses Tableau Public’s Google Sheets connector so it will update once daily.

 

3) Using the workbook, community members can browse all the different palettes, then download a preferences.tps file containing all the palettes (this file just needs to be placed in your Tableau Repository directory).

 

4) You now have access to all the palettes submitted by the community!

 

The Workbook

The start page of the workbook gives you basic information about project, the number of palettes, contributors, etc., as well as some samples of the palettes that have been submitted.

 

 

If you click on the palettes (at the bottom), you’ll be taken to a detailed page where you can browse all the palettes:

 

 

You’ll see the name of the palette, who submitted it, the description (if one was provided), along each of the colors, including the hex code and the color name (courtesy of the color-name-list project). I should note that all the colors displayed are approximations of the actual color. While the differences should negligible, you can click the palette to see the exact colors on coolors.co.

 

The buttons in the upper right hand corner allow you to (from left to right):

 

1) Download the preferences.tps file.

 

2) Toggle between dark and light backgrounds.

 

3) Submit your own palettes to the project (opens the Google Form referenced earlier).

 

4) Open a menu which allows you to sort and filter the palettes.

 

Examples

At the time I’m writing this blog, there are 93 palettes, submitted by 9 different community members (I’m hoping to see those numbers grow quickly!). All of the palettes are quite nice but a few of them are so beautiful, I just have to share them here.

 

Mark Bradbourne shared 8 “Flat” palettes which are absolutely gorgeous (these are also available on Mark’s website, along with many others: Sons of Hierarchies Palette Archive).

 


We also have some lovely palettes from Neil Richards, which were borrowed from his viz, 100 Colour Palettes, which visualized Canva’s 100 Color Combinations.

 

 

And there are many others, including two large palettes from Jonathan Drummey which are meant for visualizing satellite vegetation index data; there are color deficiency-friendly palettes from Catherine Tsouvaltsidis; and many more!

 

Of course, this project is community-driven, so I’m hoping that you’ll add your favorite palettes so that this can continue to grow and add value to the larger Tableau community.

 

Other Color Resources

Before I wrap up this blog, I just want to share a handful of other useful resources for Tableau color palettes:

 

Sons of Hierarchies Palette Archive – As note earlier, Mark Bradbourne has compiled a collection of palettes that you can easily download and add to your preferences file.

 

100 Colour Palettes – Also referenced earlier, Neil Richards has a collection of 100 palettes.

 

Color Palette GeneratorJosh Tapley has created a tool which allows you to see how various palettes look on actual charts.

 

Color Palettes for TableauJacob Olsufka’s beautiful workbook provides numerous downloadable palettes.

 

Generate Tableau Colour PaletteSeffana Mohamed has created a free Alteryx tool which allows you to quickly generate palettes for your Tableau preferences file.

 

Tableau Color Palette Generator Tool created by Luke Stanke/Tessellation allowing you to generate your own Tableau color palettes.

 

Of course, the Tableau community is amazing, so I’m sure there are tons of other color resources available, which I haven’t included here. Feel free to share your favorite resources in the comments.

 

 

Thanks for reading and please be sure to submit your most useful palettes so we can continue to grow this project!

 

Ken Flerlage, June 7, 2021

Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub | Tableau Public




10 comments:

  1. How do you download preferences.tps file ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Open the visualization (https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/ken.flerlage/viz/DatafamColors/StartPage), then click the palettes at the bottom. This will take you to a detailed list of every available palette. From there, click the first button in the upper right (the cloud with a down arrow).

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  2. I followed your directions to the anonymous poster above. Not sure if I did something wrong? This file isn't in a recognizable format for me. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you read the Tableau help article about the preferences file? https://help.tableau.com/current/pro/desktop/en-us/formatting_create_custom_colors.htm.

      Feel free to email me at flerlagekr@gmail.com

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  3. Have any good instructions/posts involving allowing end users to change a color palette on demand. I have a use case involving allowing color blind users to change the palette to something more interpretable for them but still default to the specific color palette in our requirements. All the workarounds I've found involve things like duplicate datasources and/or duplicating measures; which create downside. Thanks much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This can be pretty easily done using a parameter. Create a param with the options. Then create a calculated field referring to that parameter. Then drop that on the detail card, then click the icon to the left and change it to color. You can have multiple pills on the color card (though you need to first add to detail as described above). By doing that, you can specify different colors for each dimension.

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  4. Do you have any good mechanisms for allowing an end user to select/change the color palette on a dashboard? I have a color blind related use case and the workarounds (duplicate data source/duplicate measures) I've found so far create downside. Basically, I want to use a default palette per requirements but allow color blind users the ability to change to Tableau's color blind palette. I'd like to offer this solution within the workbook itself and not via javascript api/embedding if that's possible.

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  5. Thanks for this great resource. It would be helpful to be able to filter the 'Datafam Colors' Tableau Public dashboard by the number of colors in the palette.

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  6. Is anything lost or changed by replacing the current 'preferences.tps' file in my directory with the 'preferences.tps' file from your Tableau Public dashboard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you've created any of your own custom palettes, then those would be wiped out, unfortunately. I've been just putting all my custom palettes into this tool so they will always been in the tps file I download.

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