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Tutorial: Reading data from PDF Sheets in Tableau

Tableau + PDF = Yayay!

Tableau just released latest version 10.3 with exciting features which include the capability of extracting data from PDFs files. Now, you can directly import your market research report, quarterly revenue sheet etc directly into Tableau to build amazing vizs to find hidden insights.

How to Connect to PDF files?

First step download/update to latest version of Tableau 10.3

  1. Open Tableau, Connect to a File > PDF File
  2. Browse PDF and click Open
  3. My file looks like this in PDF format, Containing four columns. There is no data under Year column as data is shifted to next column

  4. Tableau will ask you to specify the number of pages you want to read from given PDF file. It provide you three options All Pages, Single Page or Range of pages (i.e 3 – 6)
  5. Tableau by default read all records as String(Character) data type, therefore you need to change the data type of fields as per the requirements. Sometimes you need to rename the column as well.
  6. Once data is prepared, then you can create viz, dashboard etc. Just like this one