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July 31, 2013

Caution: When hiding the tooltip, Tableau doesn’t always hide the tooltip


UPDATE 8/9/2016: This issue has been fixed and release in version 9. No more ubertips if you turn off tooltips for a worksheet!!

While working on a project this past week, I noticed a bug in Tableau with tooltips when there are dimensions in the rows or columns. Consider a dashboard that looks something like this:

Now, perhaps I don’t want to show the tooltip on the bar chart (e.g., maybe it’s sensitive data or something). I highlight the sheet, choose Worksheet => Tooltip from the menu and I clear everything from the tooltip and uncheck the “Include command buttons” option.

Great! I’ve removed the tooltip. When I hover over one of the bar, I don’t see anything. But now comes the bug.

Perhaps I want to use this sheet as a filter, so I turn that on. Now I click on one of the rows, like Coffee in the South because it’s behind budget. Low and behold, I see a tooltip.


And worse yet, I can see the underlying data (notice the table icon). Try it yourself. Go ahead and click on one of the rows.

Before you completely freak out that your sensitive data is now available to everyone, I tested this on Tableau Server and if you deny the View Summary Data and View Underlying Data options, the table icon that we see in the tooltip does not appear. However, the Include and Exclude options DO still appear. An astute interactor can probably figure out a way to drill down until they see something they shouldn’t.

I submitted a bug for this, but have not received confirmation or a ticket number yet. Hopefully this gets fixed immediately. After all, when you hide the tooltip, you expect to hide the tooltip.

UPDATE 7/31/2013:

It's completely ridiculous in my opinion that neither (1) the ubertip doesn't work with the regular tooltip nor (2) you have no control over the ubertip at all. This needs to be voted up in the ideas queue.

From Tableau Support:
"I understand that the tooltip command buttons have been disabled in a view. When clicking on a mark or data item in the view, the buttons do not appear, but when clicking on a column or row header (dimension) the buttons do appear.

This functionality is expected when clicking on row or column headers. These tooltips are called ubertips and are different from the tooltips displayed when clicking on a data mark. This functionality is the same in Tableau Desktop 7.0 and 8.0. At this time the ability to disable the command buttons on ubertips is not functionality built into the product."


  1. I selected the same row heaser in the embedded dashboard "Coffee" in the "South" and the Ubertip does not appear. I also downloaded the workbook and it does not appear. Is there a workaround for this??

    1. It looks like this fix was released sometime in the 9 cycle.

  2. Hi..Mine is a different issue...Pls help..I was trying to create hover texts for each row ....where as when I'm scrolling the data up and down the hover text is also moving ..

    How to fix a hover text fixed for respective row