Creating User-defined Dashboards

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Looker lets you organize your favorite Looks on dashboards, combining tables and charts in useful and interesting layouts. This tutorial teaches you how to use the Looker UI to create a new dashboard and populate it with visualizations (you can also create dashboards using LookML, which is described here).

Dashboard Introduction

A dashboard is essentially a collection of saved Looks, displayed all on one page. You can add filters to make the dashboard interactive and rearrange its tiles. After you’ve configured a dashboard to your liking, you can share it with your team. You can create as many dashboards as you want, so you can tailor each dashboard to the specific needs of the people who use it.

Creating a Dashboard

There are several ways to start the creation of a dashboard:

  • Create a blank dashboard, then add Looks or text tiles to it
  • Start from a saved Look, then add it to a new dashboard
  • Start from a query on the Explore page, then add it to a new dashboard

Think about the number and complexity of elements that you add to a dashboard. More elements require more browser resources, which increases dashboard rendering time. If rendering becomes an issue, consider creating multiple dashboards with less elements.

Starting with a Blank Dashboard

To create a blank dashboard:

  1. Click Browse.
  2. Select the Space in which you want to create your new dashboard.
  3. Click New.
  4. Select Dashboard
  5. Enter a name for your new dashboard.
  6. Click Create Dashboard.

In your new dashboard, you can click Choose Looks to add a Look to your dashboard, or click Add Text to add a descriptive text tile to your dashboard:

Starting with a Saved Look

If you have already found and are viewing a saved Look, you can add its visualization to an existing or new dashboard. To add your visualization:

  1. Open your Look.
  2. In the upper right, click the gear menu.
  3. Choose Add to Dashboard.
  4. Choose an existing dashboard, or click New Dashboard and name your dashboard in the popup window.
  5. Click Add.

Starting with an Explore Query

You can also add an explore to an existing or new dashboard by selecting Save & Add to Dashboard. Looker prompts you to save your explore as a Look first. After that you select a dashboard and click Add, as described above.

Opening a Saved Dashboard

You can manage your saved dashboards by clicking Browse and opening the appropriate Space or perspective. Click the dashboard name to open the dashboard:

Editing a Dashboard

You’ll need to put the dashboard in edit mode before you can change it. This helps to prevent unintentional changes when a user is interacting with a dashboard. To enter edit mode, simply click the Edit button in the upper right of the dashboard:

Edit the Dashboard Title

To change the title of a dashboard, click Edit to enter edit mode, then edit the dashboard title in the top left of the screen.

Add Additional Looks to a Dashboard

You can only add Looks to a dashboard when they are both saved in the same Space. If you would like to add Looks from a different Space, first copy the Look into the same Space as the dashboard.

In addition to adding a Look to a dashboard from the Explore page (described above), it’s also possible to add Looks to a dashboard from the dashboard itself. First, click Looks in the upper left:

This will bring you to a menu where you can manage the Looks that are already on the dashboard, and add new Looks from the Space that the dashboard is saved in:

In order to add a new Look, click Add to the right of the Look’s name. If you’d like to remove a Look that already exists inside the dashboard, click Remove.

Click Update Dashboard to save any changes you made from this menu.

Move, Resize, and Edit Dashboard Tiles

You can move and resize tiles on a dashboard by clicking and dragging. Simply click on the 3-line icon in the upper left of a tile to move it, or the bottom right corner of the tile to re-size it. To remove a tile, click on the gear icon in its upper-right corner and select Remove.

To edit a dashboard tile, choose the Edit … option from the gear menu in its upper right. This will bring you to an exploration pop-up that lets you edit and save the underlying Look of the tile. Keep in mind that editing the Look will impact everywhere that the Look is used, such as in scheduled deliveries or other dashboards.

Add Dashboard Headers and Text

You can add headers and text to your dashboards to split up information more easily, or provide descriptions where needed. To do so, click Text in the upper left:

This will bring up a window where you can add a title, subtitle, and/or body. All of these elements are optional, providing some freedom about what type of text is used. A subset of the Markdown markup language is supported in the body text. See this article for more information about which Markdown syntax is supported in the text tile body.

Once you save you will see your header/text tile appear at the bottom of the dashboard. It can then be moved and re-sized like any other tile to suit your needs:

Deleting a Dashboard

If you need to, you can delete a dashboard from its gear menu at the upper right of the screen:

If you accidentally delete a dashboard an admin might be able to recover it for you, so long as your admin team has not already emptied Looker’s trash as part of their maintenance process.


Now that you know how to create, edit, and delete dashboards, see this page to learn how to refresh dashboard data, add filters to a dashboard, edit dashboard settings, schedule dashboard data deliveries, and download a dashboard.

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