Custom Scroll Control for Synchronized Scrolling

Sep 21, 2018

Klaus Schulte

Custom Scroll Control for Synchronized Scrolling. — When I did this week’s #workoutwednesday challenge, I learned how to use the Index-Formula to filter measures within a view to create the BANs in my viz (click the image to play with the interactive version on Tableau Public). Probably not too spectacular to many of you.


When I was thinking about this new finding I remembered a discussion on twitter where some guys discussed their need for synchronized scrolling in multiple sheets on their business dashboards. There is also an idea in the Tableau Community Forum to implement this as a standard feature in upcoming Tableau versions with already lots of votes.

I used my new knowledge about the index-formula to create a workaround for such a synchronized scrolling like in this example (click to play with the interactive version on Tableau Public).

Custom Scroll Control for Synchronized Scrolling

(There are for sure better ways to visualize Sales and Profit, so please take this visualization just as an example.)

If you have two or multiple tables or graphs with the same granularity (imo the only case where synchronized scrolling does make sense) und you feel the need for this, just implement the following few formulas in your viz:

1. Create two index formulas

index columns
index rows

and make them discrete.

convert to discrete

2. Add both formulas to your viz

bring formulas to viz

Make sure that Index Columns is computed across the table and Index Row down the table.

3. Create two “Scroll-Parameters”

Create two parameters like this one:

Create parameters

Note: It has to be a range-parameter to get the little arrows for controlling the parameter.

4. Create conditional filters

That’s the trick: with this custom scroll control you don’t actually scroll but filter rows and columns out of the viz.

Create two boolean calculations to filter the viz on Index Column and/or Index Rows:

Filter on Columns
Filter on rows

5. Bring the filters to your viz

Make again sure that the filter Index Columns is computed across the table and the filter Index Row is cumputed down the table. Both boolean calcs have to be ‘true’.

Applying filters

6. Implement Custom Scroll Control for Synchronized Scrolling

Create the dashboard. For the real look and feel make sure that your tables or vizzes have same widths and heights. I hid the headers for the index-dimensions and customized the parameter not showing the readout box.

Custom Scroll Control for Synchronized Scrolling
Custom Scroll Control for Synchronized Scrolling

That’s it.

Custom Scroll Control for Synchronized Scrolling: A quite simple approach, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has been ‘invented’ before (but haven’t searched for it).

Hope you enjoyed reading and find use cases for this!


Apr 9, 2020, 10:01:38 PM
Anila says:

Is there any way to flip the scroll up/down parameter? It is so counter intuitive to scroll left to right for the up/down purpose. Any visual hacks for that?

Dec 12, 2019, 1:20:08 AM
Bayan Bevrani says:

Hi Klaus, I two of my worksheet have the same rows but the level of detailes are different. Hence the index() for each talbe is different any idea how I coud fixed the index number when each table have differnt LODs? thanks.

Oct 1, 2019, 5:53:56 PM
Christa Hamilton says:

I followed all of the steps, my only difference is I am only trying to scroll up and down. The left to right is not necessary. I can’t get it to work. Do I need to do the same as other filters, where I say apply to all in dashboard? Thanks!

    Oct 1, 2019, 5:59:29 PM
    Klaus Schulte says:

    Hi Christa, yes you have to apply the filter to both (or all) sheets you want to scroll simultaneously. Are you able to share a workbook? Happy to take a look.

Sep 24, 2019, 11:42:58 PM
David Parker says:

Very Very Very clever, thank you. Only problem is that it doesn’t work when you have a data grid with multiple measure values.

    Oct 22, 2019, 8:40:56 PM
    Mary says:

    Yes very clever, thanks!. I had same issue with measures across columns. Index only shows 1 for each column. Was there a resolution?

    Sep 25, 2019, 11:31:59 AM
    Klaus Schulte says:

    Thank you David! Not sure about why it shouldn’t be possible in your case though. Happy to take a look at it!