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Make a Combo Shape and Bar Chart

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Did you know you can combine a Shape and Bar chart?

The below chart is from my Dog Shelters in the US dashboard in Tableau Public.

In order to create this you need to make a dual axis but you will use a negative calculation for the Shapes.

Please note: If you have any negative values in your bar chart, it will interfere with this view.

Make your bar chart as normal by placing your metrics on the Columns and Rows shelves.

Right-click on your Columns shelf and select New Calculation. Since my bar chart contain percentages, my new calculation will be AVG(-.04). If your chart has whole numbers you can enter something like AVG(-40). You can adjust this number later if this doesn't provide you with enough spacing visually.

You should have two bar charts together. You will need to right-click on the new calculation pill you created on the Columns shelf and select Dual-Axis.

This will make two bars charts blend together! Select the new marks card for your new calculation and change it from Bars to Shapes in the type drop-down.

The shapes are really far apart now from the bars! Now you will need to right-click on the top axis and select Synchronize Axis.

Now to do some house cleaning. Hide both the top and bottom Axis. On this same Marks card, drag the Measure you used to the Shape card. Then proceed to pick custom shapes for these Measures. Your chart should now appear like mine at the top of this blog.

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