Tableau reader

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To use Tableau reader you have to have a copy of Tableau Desktop. From Desktop you save as packaged workbook (.twbx). Then you can distribute the resultant package for people to play with in Tableau reader.

Of course, if you save a visualisation to Tableau Public and then downloaded it, you get a .twbx that can also be shared to anyone with Tableau reader. Not that publishing business data to Tableau Public is a good idea, even though you can unpublish it quickly enough.

The advertised problem with using Tableau reader as a business tool for sharing visualisations is that it is lacking in security. This is true. your data is tucked away inside the .twbx and anyone can unzip the package to get the original Tableau workbook and the data file.


  1. Aggregate your data when creating the extract so that the level of detail doesn’t give away sensitive information.
  2. Zip the .twbx with a password. This is only good until the recipient unzips it and gives someone else access to the unzipped version but it works for transport.
  3. Anonymise sensitive data. You can’t really do this with numbers but you can codify the headings
  4. Sell your firstborn, your car and remortgage your house to pay a deposit on Tableau Server.


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