Tableau File Types and their uses – Tableau Tutorial

Each file is created to serve a definite purpose in software. The workflow of the software develops separate data at each stage. In the same way, Tableau has different types of file types too. Let’s discuss the file types in Tableau and their purpose and usage. Top 10 Reasons Why Tableau is a necessity for Business Intelligence.

Tableau File Types

There are mainly 7 Tableau File Types that as follows,

  1. Tableau Workbook (.twb)
  2. Tableau Packaged Workbook (.twbx)
  3. Tableau Data Source (.tds)
  4. Tableau Bookmark (.tbm)
  5. Tableau Data Extract (.tde)
  6. Tableau Packaged Data source (.tdsx)
  7. Tableau Preferences (.tps)

Tableau File Types

Tableau File Types with their Extension

1. Tableau Workbook (.twb)

This is an extension for the Tableau Workbook file. This is the default file type for tableau users. This file contains all the information related to your dashboards and worksheets created in your original workbook. It contains the information related to metadata created and data source connections. It does not contain the actual data. Do you know how many types of data in tableau?

If you want to share your file with a colleague, he should also have access to your data source along with this file. It requires live data connections to view this file. You can access this file when connected to live data go to file and save as a drop-down will be shown select Tableau workbook on it.

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2. Tableau Packaged Workbook (.twbx)

This is an extension of the Tableau Packaged Workbook file. This Packaged Workbook contains the actual data along with with the information related to the data source connections and metadata created while connection. This file is used when you need to share with someone but that person does not have access to the data source. The packaged workbook provides the workbooks and worksheets by extracting the data using .tde file. People who do not have a license of Tableau Server can also access this file.

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3. Tableau Data Source (.tds)

This is an extension for the Tableau Data Source file. If you want to use your original data quickly, the Data source file comes into the picture. It does not contain the actual data but has the necessary information to connect to it and the modifications performed on it. Data source files can be published on the Tableau Server or can be saved locally. This type of file is useful and very helpful in a large enterprise.

4. Tableau Bookmark (.tbm)

This is an extension of Tableau Bookmark File. Bookmark file contains only one sheet and is the quickest way to share your work. It allows you to share a single worksheet. If you are working with a team and all in the team are working on separate worksheets. These separate worksheets then can be combined to form a single workbook. To create a Bookmark file, then select a window from the toolbar and then select Bookmark, click on Create Bookmark.

5. Tableau Data Extract (.tde)

This is an extension for Data Extract File. The data extract file is the local copy or subset of the data source. It should be refreshed to get updated data. It does not store any worksheets or dashboards just have the sharable underlying data. Using Data Extract File improves performance. Depending on the version of Tableau the extracted file is created, it gives the extension of .hyper or .tde.

6. Tableau Packaged Data source (.tdsx)

This is an extension of Tableau Packaged Data Source File. This Packaged Data Source file contains local cube files, Access files, Excel files, Text Files, local files such as Extract files and zip files such as data source files. If your client has access to your data source and needs all the information of the data along with the metadata changes, Tableau Packaged Data Source file is the best solution. This file can be used by the recipient offline. To access the hard copy of the file you can unzip the data file and save it on your desktop, opening it in Excel later.

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7. Tableau Preferences (.tps)

This is an extension for the Tableau Preference file. This file is mainly for color preferences across all the worksheets of the workbook. If you want to make your workbook with a consistent look and feel. In other words, if you want to apply a custom theme to your workbooks this Tableau Preference File is useful.

Reference Table for Tableau file Types

File Extension File Type Description
.twb Tableau Workbook This is the default file that contains information related to your data but not the actual data itself.
.twbx Tableau Packaged Workbook This file contains the actual data along with all the necessary information regarding it.
.tds Tableau Data Source This file quickly connects to the data source and provides the data as it contains all the necessary information to connect to the data source.
.tbm Tableau Bookmark This file contains a single worksheet and can be added to the entire workbook.
.tde Tableau Data Extract This file is the local copy or subset of the data source.
.tdsx Tableau Packaged Data source This file contains the data source along with the metadata that contains information about the changes in the original data.
.tps Tableau Preferences This file can customize the whole worksheet according to our preferable color and theme.

Learn More,

Thus, we discussed the file types in Tableau namely Tableau Preferences, Packaged Data Source, Data Extract, Bookmark, Data Source, Packaged Workbook, and workbook. We also discussed the importance of each file type and their roles.