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Table Chart Options


Table charts provide direct views of your data. They can be formatted to illustrate elements of the data that you’d like to highlight. For example, the use of the Cell Visualization option in the table chart below allows it to quickly show the relative values in the Lifetime Orders and Average Sale Price columns. The Cell Text Layout and Row and Header Formatting options have also been used to customize the appearance of headers and individual series.

Building a Table Chart

You can choose to use a table chart by running a query and clicking the table icon on the Visualization bar. For more information about building a query, see the Exploring Data in Looker documentation page.

Table charts accept dimensions, measures, pivots, subtotals, table calculations, custom fields, and row or column totals. As with other chart types, table charts support up to 5,000 rows and up to 200 pivoted columns.

Once your chart is created, you can edit your table visualization in the visualization menu. This menu can be accessed by clicking the gear in the upper right corner of the Visualization bar.

Some of the options listed below may be grayed out or hidden in situations where they are incompatible with the composition of your table or where they would conflict with other settings you have chosen.

Data Bar Options

Several options on the Data bar can affect both your visualization and the data table.


The option to add subtotals to your table visualization appears on the Data bar when your data table contains at least two dimensions. Select the Subtotals checkbox and press Run. Subtotals appear only in the table visualization. They do not appear in the data table.

Subtotals are calculated for all dimensions other than the rightmost dimension. To change the dimensions that are subtotaled, reorder the positions of the dimensions in your data table.

There are some things to keep in mind about how subtotals work:

Subtotals can be collapsed or expanded in the table visualization. See the Collapse Subtotal section for more information.

Dialect Support for Subtotals

The ability to use subtotals depends on the database dialect your Looker connection is using. In Looker 21.0, the following dialects support subtotals:

There are some things to keep in mind about dialect support for subtotals:

Row Totals

If your chart contains pivots, you can add row totals to your chart by checking the Row Totals checkbox in the Data bar. See the Exploring data in Looker documentation page for more information.

The arrow to the right of the Row Totals checkbox allows you to toggle the placement of the totals column between the far right default placement and a placement further to the left, after dimensions and dimension table calculations.


You can add column totals for measures and table calculations by selecting Totals in the Data bar. See the Exploring data in Looker documentation page for more information.

Column Limit

If your data table contains pivots, you can add a column limit to your chart by entering any number between 1 and 200 in the Column Limit box. Dimensions, dimension table calculations, row total columns, and measure table calculations outside of pivots are not counted toward the column limit. Pivoted groups each count as one column toward the column limit. See the Filtering and limiting data documentation page for more information.

Row Limit

You can add a row limit to your chart by entering any number between 1 and 5,000 into the Row Limit box on the Data tab. If your query exceeds the row limit you have set, you cannot sort row total or table calculation columns.


If you have the appropriate permissions, you can add table calculations to your chart by clicking the Calculations button on the Data tab. See the Using table calculations documentation page for more information.

If your Looker instance is enabled for custom fields, the Calculations button will not appear on the Data tab. Instead, you create table calculations from the Custom Fields section of the Field Picker.

Column Menu Options

When column menu options are accessed through a dashboard tile in view mode, changes to settings are not saved. To save changes to settings, enter edit mode on the dashboard, click Edit in the tile’s three-dot menu, and change the settings in the edit window that appears.

Table charts have a gear menu at the upper right of each column that provides options for freezing, copying, and resizing table columns as you view them.


Clicking the Freeze option freezes a table column to the left side of the chart. The frozen column remains visible on the left side during horizontal scrolling. Multiple columns can be frozen.

To unfreeze a column, click the gear menu again and select Unfreeze.

Copy Values

Clicking Copy Values copies the column header and all the values in the column, which can then be pasted into a spreadsheet, text file, or Looker filter. You can also click on a cell or a range of cells within the visualization and copy the contents using the keyboard shortcuts Command-C (Mac) or Ctrl+C (Windows).

Autosize All Columns

Clicking Autosize All Columns sizes the width of each column to fit its column heading name or its longest data value, whichever is wider.

Reset All Column Widths

Clicking Reset All Column Widths resizes the widths of all columns to their default widths.

Sorting Columns

The default sort order is explained on the Exploring Data in Looker documentation page.

You can sort columns in the table visualization by clicking on column headers within the visualization. Each time you click a header, its column switches between ascending and descending sort order. A chevron appears in the column header to indicate that the chart is sorted by that column. The chevron points up to indicate an ascending sort and down to indicate a descending sort.

You can sort by multiple columns by holding down the Shift key and then clicking on the column headers in the order you would like them sorted.

If subtotals are enabled, the leftmost subtotal is always sorted. Sorting occurs within each subtotal category independently.

If you reach a row limit, you will not be able to sort row totals or table calculations.

Manually Moving and Pinning Columns

Clicking and dragging column headers in the table visualization allows you to move any column, including pivot groups and individual pivot columns, to any other location in the visualization. The order of the columns within the Data table will not change.

While you are clicking and dragging a column, if you approach the left edge of the visualization, a pin icon appears:

If you drop the column while the pin icon is present, the column will be pinned to the side of your visualization. The pinned column remains visible on the side during horizontal scrolling. Multiple columns can be pinned.

If you drag a column outside of the bounds of the visualization, an icon of a crossed-out eye appears:

If you drop the column while the eye icon is present, the column will not move from its original position.

Manually Resizing Columns

To manually resize columns, click the right border of the column header and drag it left or right.

Plot Menu Options

Table Theme

Table Theme provides several table coloring options:

Show Row Numbers

Show Row Numbers toggles whether to show a row number at the beginning of each table row.

Show Row Numbers is disabled when you use subtotals in your table chart.

Show Totals

Show Totals toggles whether to show column totals at the bottom of each table column.

Show Totals is disabled when Totals are not added to your report.

Show Row Totals

Show Row Totals toggles whether to show row totals at the beginning or end of each table row.

Show Row Totals is disabled when Row Totals are not added to your pivoted report.


The Transpose option is available for visualizations that contain only one dimension. When Transpose is selected, the visualization’s rows will switch to columns and the columns will switch to rows.

Limit Displayed Rows

Limit Displayed Rows enables you to show or hide rows in a visualization, based on their position in the results. For example, if your visualization was displaying a 7-day rolling average, you may want to hide the first 6 rows.

Click Limit Displayed Rows to enable or disable this feature. Once enabled, you can specify the following options:

In the Data section below your visualization, any excluded rows will be shown in a darker color, and will be marked with a symbol to the left of the row number:

This option is dependent on the row order, so changing the query's sort order or adding a row limit can change the rows that are shown or hidden in the visualization.

Series Menu Options

The series menu controls how your chart shows each data series.

In a table chart, each column is listed in the series menu for customization.

Truncate Text

When Truncate Text is turned on, the text that appears in column headers and data cells will be truncated and followed by ellipses. When it is turned off, text inside data cells wraps to subsequent lines.

To view the full version of truncated or wrapped text inside a data cell, double click the interior of the cell; press escape or click outside of the cell to return to the truncated or wrapped version.

The default setting for Truncate Text is on.

Show Full Field Name

Show Full Field Name toggles whether to show the view name along with the field name for each column header. When Show Full Field Name is off, generally only the field name shows; however, measures of type count display only the view name instead.

Size Columns to Fit

Size Columns to Fit sizes the widths of all columns so that the table perfectly fits the width of the pane in which you are viewing it. Widths set using the Size Columns to Fit option are saved when you save your visualization as a Look or add it to a dashboard.


The Customizations section allows you to customize each column in the visualization.


The Label field lets you create a custom label for the column that will appear in the visualization.


The Width field lets you set the width of the column by entering a number from 1 (narrowest) through 1,000 (widest). Widths set using the Width field are saved when you save your visualization as a Look or add it to a dashboard.


The Format option appears for columns that contain numeric data. Using the drop-down menu, you can choose a predefined format or create a custom format for the values in that column. If you choose Custom from the drop-down, use Excel-style formatting to create your custom format. Excel-style formatting is described on the Adding Custom Formatting to Numeric Fields documentation page.

Cell Text Layout

The formatting icons allow you to set the font color; background fill color; bold, italic, or underline font styling; and horizontal alignment for text inside the data cells for that column.

Customizing cell text layout is not available when the Cell Visualization option is set to on.

Column headers can be styled using the formatting menu.

Collapse Subtotal

The Collapse Subtotal option appears for columns that have subtotals. Enabling this option will collapse all subtotals for that column. The subtotals will remain collapsed when you save your visualization as a Look or add it to a dashboard.

You can collapse subtotals on individual cells by clicking the arrow on the left side of the cell, but those changes are not saved.

Cell Visualization

The Cell Visualization option appears for columns that contain numeric data. When this option is turned on, horizontal bar visualizations appear in the column cells, representing the value of the data in each cell. The bar length is plotted from zero (in which case no bar appears) to the maximum data value.

A color palette appears when the Cell Visualization option is enabled. The default color palette for the bar visualizations comes from the color collection selected in the Collection menu option. Clicking the palette allows you to select a different palette from the collection or create a custom palette by clicking the Custom tab on the palette picker that appears. The bar colors reflect the data values from the minimum (left side of the palette) to the maximum (right side of the palette).

The Value Labels checkbox also appears when the Cell Visualization option is enabled. This checkbox toggles the appearance of value labels for each data point on a chart. The value labels appear to the right of the bar visualizations for columns with only positive values or only negative values. For columns with both positive and negative values, value labels appear to the right of the bar visualizations for negative values and to the left of the bar visualizations for positive values. Value Labels defaults to on.

If a column is pivoted by another series, bar visualizations are plotted for that column in each pivot group; and the minimum and maximum values are shared across the pivoted columns. If a series is used to pivot columns, bar visualizations are not available for that series, even if it contains numeric data.

The Cell Visualization option defaults to on for the first measure in the table visualization. For other columns with numeric data, it defaults to off.

Formatting Menu Options

Color Collection

Choosing a color collection from the Collection drop-down menu determines the palettes available for conditional formatting rules or cell visualizations.

A color collection allows you to create themed visualizations and dashboards that look good together. You can see all the palettes in each of Looker's built-in color collections on the Color collections documentation page. Your Looker admin may also create a custom color collection for your organization.

Once you select the color collection, the palettes for any cell visualizations and the Palette section for each conditional formatting rule will update with a palette from that collection.

Row and Header Formatting

Rows allows you to set the font size for cell text between 1 and 99 points.

Header allows you to set the font size, text color, background fill color, and horizontal alignment for column headers. Header font size can range between 1 and 99 points.

Enable Conditional Formatting

You can apply conditional formatting to columns in a table visualization when subtotals are not present and the Cell Visualization feature is set to off for those columns. Turn on Enable Conditional Formatting to define rules that color code your table, either on a scale or by specifying values that are of interest.

The image below shows a sample visualization where all values are colored on a scale, changing from red to yellow to green as the values scale from low to medium to high:

This second example shows a visualization where all values over 5,000 are highlighted and made bold:

Defining Formatting Rules

You specify how to color code your visualization in the Rules section:

When you first enable conditional formatting, there will be one rule, set to the default of color coding on a scale.

You can choose whether to apply a rule to all numeric fields in the visualization, or to apply the rule just to one or more fields using the Apply to box:

In the Format box, choose whether to color code values along a scale or based on a logical condition:

If you choose to format based on a logical condition, when you enter a value in the Format box, do not use thousands separators.

Color Coding on a Scale

If you are color coding values on a scale, click the color palette to choose your colors:

You can choose one of several existing palettes, or you can create a custom palette. To create a custom palette, click on the Custom tab of the palette picker. There you have several options:

In addition, if you are color coding values on a scale, you can use the following options to modify the color coding:

Color Coding Based on a Logical Condition

If you are color coding values based on a logical condition (in other words, using one of the Format options beginning with If value is), choose the Background Color, Font Color, and Font Style for values that meet the condition. By default, the background color is set to the first color of the categorical palette you have chosen for your conditional formatting rule.

Include Totals

If conditional formatting is enabled, Include Totals toggles whether totals are included in the color coding scheme.

Include Null Values as Zero

If conditional formatting is enabled, Include Null Values as Zero toggles whether null values should be represented as a zero.