Tableau Public 8.1 Launches

on November 20, 2013

Download Tableau Public 8.1

We're excited to announce today that the latest version of our free data visualization software, Tableau Public 8.1, is now available for download. This newest release builds on our recent efforts to facilitate more sophisticated analysis and to make visualizing data fast, easy and beautiful.

In this post, we'll take a look at a workbook that showcases a number of the new features, and we'd like to invite you to take advantage of a number of other resources available to you:

  • Watch a free on-demand video outlining the new features of version 8.1
  • Attend a free live webinar where we'll train you on how to use the new features
  • Visit the Tableau Desktop 8.1 new features site to learn about the latest version of our software for business

So What's New?
To illustrate the usefulness of the new features in Tableau Public 8.1, we created the following workbook which shows the emergence of internet usage in the 21st century, by country. This workbook contains data published by the World Bank, and highlights the following new features:

  1. Box and whisker plots
  2. Forecasts with confidence intervals
  3. Formatable quick filters
  4. Quick filter "Apply" option
  5. Transparent text boxes and images
  6. Date quick filters with calendar select
  7. The new Rank table calculation

Here's the example workbook - can you spot the new features? Take a look and then scroll down for the answer key.

Okay, now let's take a look at the new features one at a time:

  1. Box-and-whisker plots
  2. Box-and-whisker plots were introduced by John W. Tukey in 1977, and are a great way to compare the distribution of data grouped into a number of different categories. In this case, we created a box-and-whisker plot of the internet usage rate by country, with each region defining a different category, or column. To do so, we simply control-selected the fields Country/Region, Region, and Internet users as follows:

    Box-and-Whisker Plot

    We then filtered to the year 2010, added Region to Color and sorted Region by Median internet users, in descending order. The resulting box-and-whisker plot is shown below:

    Box-and-Whisker Plot

  3. Forecasts with confidence intervals
  4. Tableau Public 8 introduced the ability to add forecasts to time series data, and 8.1 now adds the ability to add confidence intervals of 90%, 95% or 99%. To do so in this workbook, we dragged Date (year) to the Columns shelf, added AVG(B: Internet users (per 100)) to the Rows shelf, and added a forecast line by right-clicking in the graph space and selecting Forecast > Show Forecast. We then edited the forecast by right-clicking again and selecting Forecast > Forecast Options and changing the settings as follows:

    Forecasts with confidence intervals

  5. Formatable quick filters
  6. Next up, we heard from our users that they wanted the ability to change the look and feel of quick filters. Prior to 8.1, it wasn't possible to change the font, font color, or font size of quick filter selection items, and it also wasn't possible to add shading or borders to quick-filters. Those options are available now, so in this example dashboard we were able to keep the font consistently Segoe UI throughout, as shown below:

    Formatable quick filters

  7. Quick filter "Apply" option
  8. In Tableau Public 8, we added the ability to multi-select categories in a quick filter (like in our Region filter in the top right of the example dashboard), but we heard from our users that it would be helpful to first change what's selected and what's not selected and then apply those changes all at once, instead of applying the selections automatically as they're made by the user. In response to this request, we added the "Show Apply Button" option to Multi-select quick filter types, as shown below:

    Quick filter Apply option

  9. Transparent text boxes and images
  10. A huge step forward in Tableau Public 8 was the addition of floating dashboard elements. Prior to Tableau Public 8, everything on a dashboard had to exist in a tiled configuration. With version 8, any dashboard object could be placed on top of another, allowing for more creative and beautiful dashboard layouts. Now, with version 8.1, we're extending the usefulness of floating dashboard objects by allowing users to create transparent text boxes, images and legends. In our example dashboard, the title and the World Bank logo are transparent dashboard objects floating over the world map as shown below:

    Transparent text boxes and images

  11. Date quick filters with calendar select
  12. A further addition in 8.1 is the ability to allow people interacting with a dashboard to specify a date value by selecting the date from a calendar. Previously, the user would either have to type in the date into the readout box, or they would need to carefully nudge the slider to the left or the right until they reached the precise date. Now, they can just click on the date in a quick filter and the familiar calendar view opens, as shown below:

    Date quick filters with calendar select

  13. The new Rank table calculation
  14. In data journalism, ranking a list of items is very important, as it immediately allows readers to identify the order of a long list. Previously, authors of Tableau Public visualizations needed to use a somewhat cryptic INDEX() calculated field to generate a rank. Now, in 8.1, users can select Rank as a built-in Table Calculation, as shown below:

    The new Rank table calculation

    Not only is a ranked list created, but Tableau allows the user to configure how to deal with ties. In this case, Sweden and Luxemburg are tied in 4th place with 90 internet users per 100 in 2010, so the next on the list, Denmark, is given the rank number six.

    Other Features in 8.1
    Additionally, using Tableau Public 8.1, authors can easily create percentiles, view a dashboard in the application in presentation mode, specify which day a week starts on, arrange fields into folders in the Dimensions and Measures areas, and use the Dateparse function to quickly format messy date formats.

    As you can see, the intention with this new release is to make it easier to perform more sophisticated analysis, and to make visualizing data fast, easy and beautiful. Be sure to download Tableau Public 8.1 and try it out for yourself. When you create something, be sure to let us know by tweeting us @tableau or emailing us directly at

    Let us know your thoughts on these new features by leaving a comment below, and be sure to tweet about your favorite new feature using the hashtag #81FAV.

    Thanks for stopping by,


Hello Congratulations on the new release.

Is there a 64 Bit version of Tableau Public 8.1 as well?


Hi Guys,

I read that Tableau is now available for Mac… please could you tell me where I can download a copy?

Thanks very much,

Hi, is there an easy way to upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1 ? Is there a menu item somewhere or setting to do it automatically ?

thanks for such a great free tool ...!

You're welcome! To upgrade, you just need to download and install 8.1. There's no setting currently that will allow you to automatically upgrade.