Tableau Prep 2019.4

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An introduction to Tableau Prep, along with a look at some new features and a peek at what's coming soon!

Note: Starting in version 2020.4.1, you can now create and edit flows in Tableau Server and Tableau Online. The content in this topic applies to all platforms, unless specifically noted. For more information about authoring flows on the web, see Tableau Prep on the Web.

After you connect to the data that you want to include in your flow, you can begin cleaning and shaping your data by adding new steps to the flow or inserting steps in between existing steps.

To organize your flow, you can change the default step colors, add descriptions to provide context for your steps or cleaning actions, or reorganize your flow layout to make complex flows easier to follow.

  • Tableau Prep 2019.4 We recommend using the newest maintenance release of this version, 2021.1.2, which contains additional fixes. Download Tableau Prep 2021.1.2. Wed, 06 November, 2019 Product support. Read more Learn more about Tableau product releases.
  • Upgrade to Tableau Prep 2019.4 or a newer version. Click here for downloads of Tableau Prep: Tableau Prep Downloads and Release Notes. For more information on current releases, see Install Tableau Prep and Prep Upgrade. Option 2 Export Google Spreadsheet onto the local drive so that Tableau Prep Builder can connect.

Add or insert steps

As you build out your flow, you can add different step types to perform the actions that you need. For example add a Clean Step to do things like split fields, apply filters, or perform a variety of other operations to clean dirty data. Use a Join or Union step type to combine data tables or add a Script step type to incorporate R or Python scripts into your flow.

As your flow begins to takes shape, you may need to go back to earlier steps in your flow and insert different step types to perform various actions like adding an additional cleaning step or aggregating your data to use the same level of detail as a later step.

Note: The menu options that you see will vary depending on your Tableau Prep Builder version and whether you are adding a step to build out the next step in the flow versus inserting a step between existing steps. If you are using Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.3.1 or earlier, refer to that section to see your menu options.

You can't add input steps using these menu's. Instead you'll need to drag tables from the Connections pane to the Flow pane. For more information, see Connect to Data.

Add steps

After you connect to your data and drag a table onto the canvas, click the plus button to select a step type from the menu, or click on the suggested clean step (Tableau Prep Builder version 2020.3.3 and later and on the web) to automatically add a cleaning step to your flow.

Select a step type:

  • Clean Step: Add a cleaning step to perform a variety of cleaning actions. For more information about the different cleaning actions that are available, see Clean and Shape Data.

    Note: In Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.4.2, the Add Branch option was replaced with the Clean Step option. To split your flow into different branches, click the plus button between two existing steps and select a step type from the Add menu.

  • Aggregate: Create an Aggregation step to select fields and change their level of detail. For more information, see Aggregate and group values.

  • Pivot: Create a Pivot step to perform a variety of pivot options such as converting column data to rows, or row data to columns. You can also set up a wildcard pivot to automatically add new data to your pivot. For more information, see Pivot Your Data.

  • Join: Create a Join step to combine data tables. When you create a join from the menu option, you must manually add the other input to the join and add your join clauses. As an alternative, you can drag and drop a step (shown below) to join files automatically. For more information about creating a join, see Join your data.

    If you connect to databases that include tables with relationship data, you can also create a join from the menu in the Flow pane. For more information about joining tables using this method, see Join data in the Input step (Link opens in a new window).

  • Union: Create a Union step. Add tables to the union by dragging them to the step and dropping them on the Add option that displays. As an alternative, you can drag and drop a step onto another step to union files. For more information about creating a union, see Union your data.

  • Script (Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.3.1 and later and on the web): Create a Script step to include R and Python scripts in your flow. Script steps are not currently supported in Tableau Online. For more information, see Use R and Python scripts in your flow.

  • Output: Create an Output step to save the output to an extract file (.hyper), a .csv file, publish the output as a data source to a server, or write your flow output to a database.

    Saving Output steps to a file is not currently supported on the web. For more information about output types, see Save and Share Your Work.

  • Paste Steps: Add copied steps from the same flow. For more information about copying and pasting steps in the same flow, see Clean and Shape Data.
  • Insert Flow (Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.3.2 and later and on the web): Add flow steps that were saved from another flow into your current flow. You can add them to the end of a step or insert them between existing steps. For more information about using saved flow steps in your flow, see Create reusable flow steps (version 2019.3.2 and later)

    Note: This option was added to this menu in Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.4.2. In prior versions, you could add flow steps using right-click or Ctrl-click (MacOS) in the white space of the flow pane.

Insert steps

Insert a step between existing steps. Input and Output step types aren't available from this menu. The options vary depending on your product version. If you are using an earlier version of Tableau Prep Builder, refer to the Version 2019.3.1 and earlier section below.

  1. Hover in the middle of the flow line where you want to insert a step until the plus icon appears. Then click the icon and select a step type.

    Note: Your options may look different depending on your product version. For example Insert Flow was added to this menu in Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.4.2.

  2. Select a step type:

    • Clean Step: Insert a cleaning step between existing steps to perform a variety of cleaning actions. For more information about the various cleaning actions you can use, see Clean and Shape Data.

    • Aggregate: Insert an Aggregation step between existing steps to select fields and change their level of detail. For more information, see Aggregate and group values.

    • Pivot: Insert a Pivot step between existing steps to perform a variety of pivot options such as converting column data to rows, or row data to columns. You can also set up a wildcard pivot to automatically add new data to your pivot. For more information, see Pivot Your Data.

    • Join: Insert a Join step between existing steps . When you create a join from the menu option, you must manually add the other input to the join and add your join clauses. As an alternative, you can drag and drop a step (shown below) to join files automatically.

      For more information about creating a join, see Join your data.

      If you connect to databases that include tables with relationship data you can also create a join from the menu in the Flow pane. For more information about joining tables using this method, see Join data in the Input step (Link opens in a new window).

    • Union: Insert a Union step. Add tables to the union by dragging them to the step and dropping them on the Add option that displays. As an alternative, you can drag and drop a step onto another step to union files. For more information about creating a union, see Union your data.

    • Script (Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.3.1 and later and on the web): Insert a Script step to include R and Python scripts in your flow. Script steps are not currently supported in Tableau Online. For more information, see Use R and Python scripts in your flow.
    • Paste Steps: Insert copied steps from the same flow between existing steps. For more information about copying and pasting steps in the same flow, see Clean and Shape Data.
    • Insert Flow (Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.3.2 and later and on the web): Insert flow steps that were saved from another flow into your current flow. You can add them to the end of a step or insert them between existing steps. For more information about using saved flow steps in your flow, see Create reusable flow steps (version 2019.3.2 and later).

      Note: This option was added to this menu in Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.4.2. In prior versions, you could insert flow steps using right-click or Ctrl-click (MacOS) in the white space of the flow pane.

Version 2019.3.1 and earlier
  1. Hover over a step until the plus icon appears then click the icon and select a step type. Insert Step inserts a cleaning step between steps. All other options will create a branch from the flow.

  2. Select from the following options:

    • Add Branch: Split your flow into different branches.

    • Insert Step: Insert a cleaning step between existing steps to perform a variety of cleaning actions. For more information about the various cleaning actions you can use, see Clean and Shape Data.

    • Add Aggregate: Create an Aggregation step where you can select the fields that you want to aggregate or group. For more information, see Aggregate and group values.

    • Add Pivot: Create a Pivot step where you can perform a variety of pivot options to convert column data to rows, or row data to columns. For more information, see Pivot Your Data.

    • Add Join: Create a Join step where you can manually add the other input to the join and add the join clauses. As an alternative, you can drag and drop a step to join files. The following example shows dragging the Orders_Central Input step and dropping it on Join:

      For more information about creating a join, see Join your data.

      In Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.1.3 and later, if you connect to databases that include tables with relationship data you can also create a join from the menu in the Flow pane. For more information about joining tables using this method, see Join data in the Input step (Link opens in a new window).

    • Add Union: Create a Union step. Add tables to the union by dragging them to the step and dropping them on the Add option that displays. As an alternative, you can drag and drop a step onto another step to union files. For more information about creating a union, see Union your data.

    • Add Script(version 2019.3.1 and later): Create a Script step to include R and Python scripts in your flow. For more information, see Use R and Python scripts in your flow.
    • Add Output: Select this option to save the output to an extract file (.tde or .hyper), a .csv file, or publish the output as a data source to a server.

Group steps

Supported in Tableau Prep Builder version 2020.3.3 and later and on Tableau Server or Tableau Online starting in version 2020.4.

Use the Group option to compartmentalize sections of large complex flows into folders to make it easier to follow, troubleshoot, or share your flow with others. You can change the color of the group, add a description, copy and paste the grouped steps to other areas of your flow, or in Tableau Prep Builder, even save the grouped steps to a file on your server to reuse them in other flows.

When creating groups, the following criteria applies:

  • Steps must be directly connected with a flow line.
  • Steps can only be included in one group at a time.
  • Groups can't be nested.
  • You can add or remove steps from a group at any time, as long as you maintain the flow line connections between steps in the group. This also applies to removing steps from a flow that are already included in a group. In that scenario, the group is automatically ungrouped.

Create a group

Select a set of connected steps in your flow (you can also drag to select multiple steps in one click), then right-click or Cntrl-click (MacOS) on the selected steps and select Group from the menu.

After you create the group, you can do any of the following:

  • Click the double arrows to expand or collapse the group at any time.
  • Add more steps to the group by dragging a connected step and dropping it onto the collapsed folder.
  • Remove steps from the group. In the expanded state, right-click or Cntrl-click (Mac OS) a step and select Remove from Group.

    Note: This option isn't available if you try to remove a step that breaks the continuity of the group.

  • In the collapsed state, right-click or Cntrl-click (MacOS) to open the menu and select from the following options:

    • Rename: Change the group name.
    • Add Description: Enter a description for the group
    • Edit Color: Change the color of the group folder. This won't change the color of the individual steps in the group.
    • Expand Group: Show all the steps in the group. You can also click the double arrows to expand the group.
    • Ungroup: Remove all the steps from the group and delete the group.
    • Copy: Copies the group and all of the steps in the group to your clipboard to paste elsewhere in your flow. For more information about using copy and paste, see Copy and paste steps.
    • Save Steps as Flow (Tableau Prep Builder only): Save your grouped steps locally to a file on your computer or publish it to Tableau Server or Tableau Online to share with others or use it in other flows. For more information about saving steps for reuse, see Create reusable flow steps (version 2019.3.2 and later).
    • Remove: Removes the group and all the steps in the group from the flow.
  • (version 2021.1.2 and later) In the expanded state, right-click or Cntrl-click (MacOS) in the expanded group area to open the menu to collapse the group or ungroup the steps.

Change the flow color scheme

Tableau Prep assigns each step in your flow a color by default. This color scheme is applied throughout the flow to help you keep track of your data throughout the flow as you apply cleaning steps, join, union or aggregate the data so you know which files are impacted by your operations.

What Is Difference Between Tableau And Tableau Prep

To select a different color scheme for your steps do the following:

  1. Select one or more steps.

  2. Right-click or Ctrl-click (MacOS) on a selected step and select Edit Color.

  3. Click on a color in the color palette to apply it.

To reset the step color back to the default color, do one the following:

  • Click Undo from the top menu.

  • Cntrl+Z or Command-Shift-Z (MacOS).

  • Select the steps you changed, right-click on a selected step and select Edit Color, then select Reset Color from the bottom of the color palette.

Remove steps from the flow

At any point in the flow, you can remove steps or the flow lines between steps.

Note: You can't remove flow lines coming into or out of a collapsed step group. You must either expand the group or ungroup the steps first.

  • To remove a step or flow line, select the step or line you want to remove, right-click the element, and then select Remove.

  • To remove multiple steps or flow lines, do one of the following:

    • Use your mouse to drag and select a whole section of the flow. Then right-click or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) on one of the selected steps and select Remove.

    • Press Ctrl+A or Cmd+A (MacOS) to select all elements in the flow, or press Ctrl+click or Cmd+Click (MacOS) to select specific elements, and then press the Delete key.

Add descriptions to flow steps and cleaning actions

As you build your flow and perform various cleaning operations, you might want to add a description to help others who might later look at or work with your flow to better understand your steps. You can add a description to any individual step in your flow directly on the Flow pane, any step group, or to any cleaning action in the Changes pane to provide additional context for your changes. The description can be up to 200 characters long.

For more information about viewing changes in the Changes pane, see View your changes(Link opens in a new window).

Add a description to flow steps

When you add a description, a message icon is added underneath the step. Click the icon to show or hide the description text in the Flow pane.

  1. In the Flow pane, select a step.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Right-click or Ctrl-click (MacOS) on the step and select Add Description from the menu.

    • Double-click in the name field for the step, then click on Add a description.

  3. Type your description in the text box.

  4. Click outside the text box or press Enter to apply your changes. By default, the description displays underneath the step. To hide the description click the message icon.

  5. To edit or delete the description, right-click or Ctrl-click (MacOS) on the step or description. Then from the menu, select Edit Description or Delete Description.

Add a description to a change entry

Tableau

You can add a description to an entry in the Changes pane starting Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.1.1 and on the web.

  1. Select a step in the flow pane.

  2. Open the Changes pane or Changes tab.

  3. Right-click or Ctrl-click (MacOS) on an entry in the Changes pane and select Add Description.

  4. Enter a description for the change action.

    The description appears below the generated text for the change with a comment icon.

  5. To edit or delete the description, right-click or Ctrl-click (MacOS) on the change item, and select Edit Description or Delete Description.

Reorganize the layout of your flow

Supported in Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.2.2 and later and on Tableau Server or Tableau Online starting in version 2020.4.

As you build a flow, Tableau Prep Builder uses a default layout. Each flow is laid out and processed from left to right, with Input steps beginning on the far left of the canvas and Output steps ending on the right side of the canvas. However if you build large, complex flows, they can quickly become hard to follow.

You can clean up the layout of your flow by selecting and moving steps so the flow layout is organized in a way that makes sense to you. For example, you can fix crossed flow lines, move your flow steps to clean up extra white space, or rearrange your flow steps to show a clear sequence of events.

For example. the following flow is confusing and hard to follow:

To clean up this flow select and drag steps up, down, left or right and drop them to a new location in the canvas. Flow steps can't be moved to a position that disrupts the left-to-right process flow. For example, you can't drag a union step that is positioned before a join step, to a position that is after that join step in the flow.

When dragging flow steps to an allowed location, an orange box displays. If the location isn't allowed, no orange box displays and the steps return to their original location when you try to drop them.

To move steps in your flow, do the following:

  1. In the Flow pane, select the steps that you want to move. You can click on a specific step, drag to select multiple steps, or Ctrl-click or Cmd-click (MacOS) to select steps that aren't next to each other.

  2. Drag and drop the steps to the new location.

    Note: If you don't like the reorganization moves that you make you can click Undo in the top menu to reverse them. However, if you perform cleaning actions in between moving steps, you may undo those actions as well. The Undo option reverses your actions in the order that you performed them.

Watch 'Reorganize flow steps' in action

The following example shows rearranging a flow using drag and drop.

Use the flow navigator tool

When working with large flows, scrolling back and forth to search for a particular area of the flow that you need to go back to can be difficult. The flow navigator tool makes this easier. The flow navigator is a miniature version of your flow that appears in the lower right corner of the canvas.

Click in any area of the graphic to jump to that area of your flow or use the following toolbar options to navigate:

Toolbar optionDescription
Collapse the flow navigator graphic. In the collapsed state, you may only see the percentage indicator. Simply hover on this to expand the toolbar and click the up arrow to expand the graphic again.
Expand the flow navigator graphic.
Change the size of your flow to fit on your screen.
Zoom in and out of your flow. You can click on the percentage indicator to restore the view to 100 percent.
Thanks for your feedback!

Note: If you are looking for information about how to install Tableau Server, see the Install and Configure(Link opens in a new window) section in the Tableau Server Help instead.

This topic describes how to install and activate Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder from the user interface. For information about how to install and activate your product from the command line, see Install Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder from the Command Line(Link opens in a new window).

Before you begin

2019.4.2

To install Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder you will need two things; a Creator product key (the key number starts with the letters TC) and the installer for the version you want to install.

Note: A product key is not required if your organization uses Login-based license management for product activation. For more information see Login-based License Management(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Server help.

For information about what applications are included with a Creator product key, see the Tableau Pricing(Link opens in a new window) page.

How To Use Tableau Prep

Where's the installer?

Important: Starting with version 10.5, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Reader, and Tableau Public (desktop) only run on a 64-bit operating system. Tableau Prep Builder is only available for a 64-bit operating system. If you want to install Tableau Desktop on a 32-bit operating system, open the Product Downloads and Release Notes(Link opens in a new window) page and download the installer for version 10.4 or earlier and follow the install instructions in the Tableau Desktop Deployment(Link opens in a new window) guide for that version.

For the most current version of Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder, go to the Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window) page. In the Product Downloads section, click the appropriate link to download the installer for your product and operating system.

You can also find the installers for all products and versions on the Product Downloads and Release Notes(Link opens in a new window) page.

  1. Open the Product Downloads and Release Notes(Link opens in a new window) page and select Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder from the list on the left side of the page.

  2. Click on the version you want to install.

  3. In the Download Files section of the page, click on the installer for your operating system to download it.

Where's my product key?

You need your product key to activate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder after the install process is finished. If you have a creator license, the same key activates both Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder. You can always view your product key in the Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window). For more information about license types, see User-Based licenses(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Server help.

Note: If you have trouble signing in to the Customer Portal page, or if you need help retrieving your product key, contact Customer Service(Link opens in a new window) and provide your name, company, phone number, and email address.

As a first time user

  1. Sign in to the Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window) page on the Tableau website using your email address and password. The information you need to sign into the portal for the first time is sent to you in a welcome email from Tableau after you purchase(Link opens in a new window) the product.

  2. At the top of the Tableau Customer Portal page, click My Keys.

  3. A table opens, listing any product keys assigned to you. Copy your product key from the Key Name column in the table. Keep this key ready and secure.

    Note: This example does not show any actual keys. The highlighted area shows where your key would be listed.

As an existing user

  1. Open your existing version of Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder.

  2. From the top menu, click Help > Manage Product Keys.

  3. Copy your product key from the Product Key column in the table. Keep this key ready and secure.

    If you are not able to open the Manage Product Keys dialog to see your key, log into the Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window) and follow the instructions for first time users above.

If you don't have a product key, try the 14-day Free Trial(Link opens in a new window) or download the Tableau Desktop Public Edition(Link opens in a new window) instead. If you are a student or teacher, go to the Academic programs(Link opens in a new window) page to request a license and receive instructions about how to download your copy of Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder.

Install the product

Download the installer using the instructions in Where's the installer? For Mac, the installer is downloaded to your Downloads folder.

Note: The installer detects and displays the user interface based on the operating system display language setting.

If you're using a deployment tool that requires the Windows installer (.msi file) to install Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder, follow the instructions in Extract and run the Windows (MSI) installer to extract the .msi file from the Tableau installer .exe file.

Click the tab for the product you are installing to view the installation steps.

  1. As an Administrator, log in to the computer where you are installing Tableau Desktop.

  2. Depending on your operating system, do one of the following:

    • For Windows: Run the installer and follow the prompts.

    • For Mac: Open the Disk image file (.DMG) and double-click the installer package (.PKG) to start the installation.

    Drivers for some data sources are installed automatically when you install Tableau Desktop. See the Database drivers installed with Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder section in the Before You Install topic for specifics.

  3. To enable or disable usage reporting complete the following steps for your operating system.

    This option allows us to gather usage pattern data to improve the product. For more information about this option and how to turn it off after installation, see Turn off usage reporting. For more information about the type of data we collect, see Tableau Product Usage Data(Link opens in a new window).

    Windows

    • To opt out of providing usage data, select the Don't send product usage data check box.

    Mac

    • On the Installation Type step, in the bottom-left of the install wizard, click Customize. To opt out of sending product usage data, select the Don't send product usage data check box.

      On the Mac you can also change the settings on this page to customize your install.

      Note: Starting in Tableau Desktop version 2019.4, only the PostgreSQL driver is installed automatically on the Mac. If you need other database drivers, you can install them from the Driver Download(Link opens in a new window) page.

  4. (Optional) On Windows, to customize the install, on the Install welcome screen, click Customize and change any of the following options:

    • Install location: Specify a different location to install Tableau Desktop.

      Important: If you specify a custom directory for the install location and plan to install future releases to this same location, you need to specify a version specific sub-folder to install to. Otherwise you will need to uninstall the previous version first. Side-by-side installs of multiple versions in the same sub-directory is not supported.

    • Create a desktop shortcut: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically create a desktop shortcut for Tableau.

    • Create a Start menu shortcut: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically add a shortcut for Tableau to the Start menu.

    • Check for Tableau product updates: Clear the check box if you want to disable the product update feature. This feature checks for maintenance updates and installs them automatically. If you disable this option at install it also disables the menu option for users. For more information about the product update feature, see Control Product Updates for Tableau Desktop.

    • Install database drivers: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically install the database drivers. You can also disable one or more of the drivers from the command line. For more information about this option, see Installer properties(Link opens in a new window).

  5. Click Install to begin installation. If you run into any difficulties, see Troubleshoot Your Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder Installation.

After installation is complete, you will need to activate and register the product to begin using it. For more information, see Activate and register your product.

Important: Tableau Prep Builder is designed to work with Tableau Desktop. It is recommended that you install Tableau Prep Builder on the same machine as Tableau Desktop.
Do not install Tableau Prep Builder on the same computer running Tableau Server. Tableau Server Resource Manager (SRM) can't distinguish between Tableau Server protocol server process and Tableau Prep Builder protocol server process. If the computer resources are exhausted, SRM may terminate the protocol server process belonging to Tableau Prep Builder, which has no recovery mechanism.

  1. As an Administrator, log in to the computer where you are installing Tableau Prep Builder.

  2. Depending on your operating system, do one of the following:

    • For Windows: Run the installer and follow the prompts.

    • For Mac: Open the Disk image file (.DMG), and then double-click the installer package (.PKG) to start the installation.

  3. When prompted, accept the licensing agreement to continue the installation.

  4. To enable or disable usage reporting complete the following steps for your operating system.

    This option allows us to gather usage pattern data to improve the product. For more information about this option and how to turn it off after installation, see Turn off usage reporting. For more information about the type of data we collect, see Tableau Product Usage Data(Link opens in a new window).

    Windows

    • To opt out of providing usage data, select the Don't send product usage data check box.

    Mac

    • On the Installation Type step, in the bottom-left of the install wizard, click Customize. To opt out of sending product usage data, select the Don't send product usage data check box.

  5. (Optional) To customize the install, on the Install welcome screen for Windows or on the Installation Type step for the Mac, click Customize and change any of the following options:

    Windows

    • Install location: Specify a different location to install Tableau Prep Builder.

    • Create a desktop shortcut: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically create a desktop shortcut for Tableau Prep Builder.

    • Create a Start menu shortcut: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically add a shortcut for Tableau Prep Builder to the Start menu

    • Enable error reporting : If Tableau Prep Builder has a problem and shuts down unexpectedly, crash dump files and logs are generated and placed in your My Tableau Prep Builder Repository > Logs and My Tableau Prep Builder Repository > Logs > crashdumps files.

      To turn off this option during install, clear this check box during install. To turn this option off after installation see Turn off error reporting(Link opens in a new window).

    • Install database drivers: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically install the database drivers.

      Important:Tableau Prep Builder is only available in 64-bit and If you already have 32-bit drivers installed, you'll need to install the 64-bit version of those drivers to connect to your data with Tableau Prep Builder.

    Mac

    • Create a desktop shortcut: Select the check box to automatically create a desktop shortcut for Tableau Prep Builder.
    • Don't send product usage data Select the check box to opt out of sending product usage data.
    • Enable crash recovery (version 2020.3.3 and later): Clear the check box to turn off file recovery. In the event of a crash, flow files won't automatically be saved. For more information about managing this option post-install, see Turn off file recovery.
    • PostgreSQL database driver: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically install the database driver.

      Note: Starting in version 2019.4.1, only the PostgreSQL driver is installed automatically on the Mac. If you need other database drivers, you can install them from the Driver Download(Link opens in a new window) page.

  6. Click Install to begin the product installation.

Activate and register your product

Important: The Tableau licensing service was moved to a new data center on October 6, 2018. This means that any environments that required special configuration (static IP safe listing for example) to access licensing.tableau.com or licensing.tableau.com will need to be updated. For more information, see Tableau Community(Link opens in a new window).

After the installation process is finished, the next step is to register and activate your product. Use one of the following options:

  • From the user interface: Follow the instructions in this topic. You'll need the product key that you saved earlier. If the computer where you're installing the product has internet access, the installation process walks you through activating the product.
  • From the command line: For instructions, see Activate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder(Link opens in a new window) and Register Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder(Link opens in a new window).
  • Using Login-based license management: If you are using Tableau Server with a login-based license management enabled product key, you can activate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder with one click. For more information, see Login-based License Management(Link opens in a new window).
  • Install offline: If you're installing the product on a computer that doesn't have internet access, or if your company firewall or proxy restricts access to the licensing.tableau.com site, follow the additional instructions in Activate your product offline to complete the activation process. To activate Tableau Prep Builder offline, you must use Tableau Desktop.

  1. After the installation process is finished, open Tableau Desktop. This launches the Tableau Registration form where you can register and activate your product.

  2. Fill out the fields on the registration form and then click Activate Tableau.

    If you are activating Tableau Desktop as a trial, click Start trial now at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Select one of the following options:

    • Activate with a product key: Use this option if you are activating using the user interface and have a product key.

    • Activate by signing into a server:Use this option if you are using login-based license management to activate your product.

  4. If you are activating with a product key, delete any existing text in the Enter product key field, copy your product key (from the location that you saved it to from the Where's my product key? procedure) and paste it into the text box, then click Activate.

    A second screen appears to complete the activation process. Click Continue to finish the process.

    If Tableau can't connect to the site that authenticates that product key, it can't complete the activation and you must activate the product offline. Follow the instructions in Activate your product offline to complete the activation process.

  5. If you are activating using login-based license management enter the URL for your server and click Connect.

    Sign into your server, then complete the registration page if needed, and click Register.

  1. Launch Tableau Prep Builder.

  2. In the Activation page, select one of the following options:

    • Start a trial: Select this option if you don't have a product key but want to try Tableau Prep Builder.
    • Activate with a product key: Use this option if you are activating using the user interface and have a product key.
    • Activate by signing in to a server: Use this option if you are using login-based license management to activate your product.
    • Purchase a license: Select this option to navigate to the Tableau website to purchase a license.
  3. If you are activating with a product key, delete any existing text in the Enter product key field, copy your product key (from the location that you saved it to from the Where's my product key? procedure) and paste it into the text box, then click Activate.

  4. Complete the registration form, and then click Register.

  5. If you are activating using login-based license management enter the URL for your server and click Connect.

    Sign into your server, then complete the registration page if needed, and click Register.

When your registration is complete, Tableau Prep Builder opens and you can start preparing your data.

New to Tableau Prep Builder? Try the Get Started tutorial(Link opens in a new window) to learn how to build your first flow.

Activate your product offline

Note: If you're upgrading versions and you've paid your maintenance (Tableau Desktop only) since the last time offline activation was completed, contact Tableau Customer Service(Link opens in a new window) via email to get an updated product key before continuing with offline activation.

If you're installing the product on a computer that doesn't have internet access, or if your company firewall or proxy restricts access to the licensing.tableau.com site, then you must complete the steps below to finish activating your product. You will need access to another computer that has internet access to complete all the steps in this procedure.

To activate Tableau Prep Builder offline, you will need your product key and Tableau Desktop version 2018.1 or later installed on the same computer that is offline.

  1. In the Activate Tableau dialog, click Activate.

  2. Tableau prompts you to save a file that you can use for offline activation. Click Save.

    Note: If you're performing the offline activation process because of firewall or proxy restrictions, you might not be prompted to save the activation file. In that case, manually disconnect the computer from the network and then restart this procedure so that you can be prompted to save the activation file.

  3. Save the file to a location that you can reach from a computer that does have internet access. Use the default file name (offline.tlq).

  4. Click Exit.

  5. From a computer that has internet access, open a web browser and go to the Activation(Link opens in a new window) page on the Tableau website.

  6. Complete the instructions for Offline Activation to submit your offline.tlq file and create a activation.tlf file.

  7. Save the activation.tlf file and then copy it to the computer where you installed Tableau Desktop.

  8. On the offline computer, double-click the activation.tlf file to perform the offline activation.

  1. Launch Tableau Desktop.

  2. From the top menu, select Help > Manage Product Keys.

  3. In the Manage Product Keys dialog, click Activate.

  4. Enter your Tableau Prep Builder product key and then click Activate.

  5. Tableau Desktop detects that you are offline and shows the following message. Click Save to create an activation file.

  6. Save the file to a location that you can access from the offline computer. Use the default file name (offline.tlq).

  7. From a computer that has internet access, open a web browser and go to the Activation(Link opens in a new window) page on the Tableau website.
  8. Follow the instructions and select the (offline.tlq) file that you just created and upload it to create a create a activation.tlf file. You will need this file to activate Tableau Prep Builder.

  9. Click Upload Activation File. You should receive a confirmation dialog that the upload was successful.

  10. In the confirmation dialog click the link to download the activation file to complete the activation process.

  11. Copy the activation.tlf file to the computer where you installed Tableau Prep Builder.

  12. On the offline computer, double-click the activation.tlf file to perform the offline activation.

  13. Close Tableau Desktop.

  14. Launch Tableau Prep Builder. You will be prompted to complete the registration process form to register the product. If you have previously registered a Tableau product, the fields may be populated automatically.

Change default settings

During installation, Tableau configures default settings for your display language and repository location. If you want to change those settings you can do this after install is complete.

Tableau also enables certain features for you by default such as usage reporting or automated product updates (Tableau Desktop only). For information about how to turn off these features and more, see Change Installation Settings after Installation(Link opens in a new window).

Set your display language (optional)

When you first run Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder, it recognizes your computer locale using the User Locale setting and uses the appropriate language if it is supported. If you are using an unsupported language, the application defaults to English.

You can configure Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder to display the user interface (menus, messages, etc.) in a different language by selecting Help > Choose Language from the top menu. Restart the application to apply the change.

For Tableau Prep Builder, the display format for numbers and dates is based on the locale of the operating system on the machine where the application is installed. For Tableau Desktop you can configure date and number formatting for your workbooks. For more information see Language and Locale(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau User help.

Change your My Tableau Repository location (optional)

During install, Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder automatically creates a My Tableau <application> Repository folder structure in your documents folder on your computer. If you need to move this repository to another location, for example because you are required to have your data on a network server instead of on your local machine, you can specify a new location and point Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder to the new folder.

When setting a new location for your repository, the following rules apply:

  • The new folder must be a directory.

  • You must have permissions to write to the new folder.

  • The new folder can't be located in the existing My Tableau Repository folder structure.

Note: Changing the repository location does not move the files contained in the original repository. Instead, Tableau creates a new repository where you can store your files.

  1. Open Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder.

  2. From the top menu, select File >Repository Location.

  3. In the Select Repository Folder dialog, select a new folder that will act as the new repository location.

  4. Restart the application to use the new repository.

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