Split Complementary Color Schemes With Tableau
31 May

Split Complementary Color Schemes With Tableau .

Data | Marketing | 0 Comments

The Color Theory is a factor in many industries, but especially in those that use visuals. When graphing data, the colors can greatly impact those viewing it.  Choosing what colors are going to be used can be critical to how the information may be perceived.

Vizual Intelligence will be releasing an e-learning course that will cover the foundation of color theory and how to apply it to data visualization.  This will include a basic explanation of the color theory and how to apply the six main color schemes to visualizations in Tableau. In the video below we talk about the tool used  to come up with the color schemes an a example of how to implement one of the main color schemes in Tableau.


See the complete video here

Interact with the dashboard below

Split Complementary Color Scheme With Tableau


Step 1

The color scheme tool we use is called Paletton. Paletton is a website that has color schemes already built in and is very easy to navigate. Paletton also makes it very easy to copy and paste custom HTML color codes so they may be exported into Tableau.




Step 2

The color scheme that will be used as an example today is a Split Complementary color scheme. You would use a Split Complementary color scheme when you want to highlight one element which would be the dominant one, but you would still like to distinguish the others. There will be one dominant color and then a combination of complementary colors. In this example, the blue dot will be the dominant point and the different shades of orange and yellow will be the complementary colors.


Step 3

The box on the bottom left is where the dominant’s HTML code can be found or entered. This code can easily be copied and pasted into Tableau. Above it to the right, is where you can see the two complementary points. Where each point falls represents the complementary hue that will be used. It is important to know that the distance between the complementary points must be 30 degrees. This can be adjusted in the rectangular box that is to the right above the color palette.


Step 4

To the right of the palette, you will find a square that is sectioned off and has colors within each section. The colors that are shown are determined by the points chosen in the palette on the left-hand side.








Step 5

When any of the colors are left-clicked, a box will appear. Within this box, you can find the HTML code of the color which can be copy and pasted into Tableau.







Example In Tableau

Here is an example in Tableau, as you can see in the legend on the right-hand side. There are four  different regions; West, Central, East, and South.

Our department is in the west and is most important to us, the West will be our dominant element in this example. We want it to stand out in the graph and also show the other three regions but in a supporting role. To do this, we will use split complementary.



To set the colors taken from Paletton, follow these simple steps.

1. Click ‘Colors’

2. Edit Colors

3. Double click the region to be adjusted


4. Paste HTML code from Paletton

5. Apply


In the full version of the e-learning course, we will go over the six main color schemes with examples in Tableau. If you have questions, comments or suggestions for topics you’d like to see, please leave them below. And don’t forget to scroll up and subscribe to the Tableau newsletter for more information and tips on using Tableau!