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Finding Content in Looker

Content in Looker can take the form of either a Look, which is a saved snapshot of the data that results from a query, or a dashboard, which is a collection of tiles showing visualized query results.

You can navigate to saved content from a folder or a board, search for content, or navigate to content from your homepage.

Navigating to Saved Content

In Looker, content is saved into folders. A folder can include Looks, dashboards, or even more folders, called subfolders. You will only see folders (or subfolders) that you have access to view.

Navigating to Content in Folders

One of the best ways to start using Looker is to navigate around the existing folders to see what content already exists. The Browse menu and the left panel show the top-level folders that you have access to view:

Click the name of the folder that you want to browse. People typically start by browsing the contents of Popular or Shared folders.

For more information on creating, editing, and organizing content with folders, see the Organizing and Managing Access to Content documentation page.

Top-Level Folders

Depending on the homepage settings your admin has specified, the Browse menu and left navigation may include the following options:

You can also access the following options from the Browse menu and left navigation:

Navigating to Content in Subfolders

After you choose a folder, Looker displays its contents on the right side of the screen. If a folder contains other folders that you can access, those are listed at the top of the right side:

You can navigate to a subfolder by clicking its name. As you navigate folders, a breadcrumb at the top of the screen will help you keep track of your location:

Navigating to Dashboards and Looks from Folders

When you navigate to a folder, any Looks and dashboards within the folder are listed:

Folders give the following information and options for Looks and dashboards:

Looks have additional information and options:

If a list of Looks or dashboards is too long to fit on a single page, you can navigate through the pages of the list using the arrows at the bottom right of the list:

Sorting Lists of Content

To make it easier to find your content, you can sort lists of subfolders, Looks, and dashboards within folders. You can sort subfolders by name or created date. You can also sort dashboards and Looks by name, created date, updated date, or favorited date, depending on the folder you are viewing.

In grid view, you can use the sort menu and the ascending/descending arrow to choose the order of the icons.

In list view, you can use the sort menu and the ascending/descending arrow, or you can click on a column header to sort the list of content by that column. Click the header again to switch between ascending and descending sort order.

Using List View and Grid View

Folders display visually representative icons of dashboards and Looks, using thumbnails to show a preview of the color and type of visualization — without revealing the actual data.

When viewing a folder, you can switch between list view and grid view. When you switch between list and grid views, your selection will apply throughout that folder. If you navigate to another folder, Looker will display content using the view you selected previously.

List View

By default, Looker displays the Looks and dashboards within your folders in list view:

In list view, all of the information and icons are displayed for each piece of content:

Grid View

If your folder is in grid view, your Looks and dashboards will look like this:

In grid view, you can hover over a thumbnail to see its icons and description:

Navigating to Content on Boards

Boards allow users to organize existing dashboards and Looks without having to change where they reside in Looker. In order to view a board and its contents, you must have at least the View access level for that board. If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level, you can make changes to the board, such as adding and removing content.

You can find boards by searching for them, or by selecting them from a window that displays all boards that you have access to. The Browse menu and the left sidebar in Browse show boards that you have created or added to your list of boards:

Viewing the Content on a Board

When you navigate to a board, you will see any Looks or dashboards that have been pinned to that board and that you have access to view. Access to the content that is pinned to a board depends on your access level for the board, your access level for the folder in which the content is stored, and the model the Look or dashboard is based on.

Boards are organized into sections, which can be created and arranged by contributors with the Manage Access, Edit access level for the board.

Viewing the Information Section of a Board

Boards include a collapsible information section with information about the board and its contributors. To open the information section of a board, select the information (i) icon, to the right of the board’s sharing menu and three-dot menu:

The information section of a board displays the following information:

  1. Under the About this board text, the number of people who have added the board is listed.
  2. If a description has been added to the board, it will be displayed under Description. Board contributors can add text and Markdown links to the board’s description.
  3. The Created section displays information about who created the board and when the board was created.
  4. The Contributors section lists the number of contributors in parentheses. Beneath the Contributors heading is a list of contributors. A board’s contributors include the creator of the board and users who have made changes to the board.

Viewing All Boards

To view a list of boards that you or other users have created, select the Boards heading in the Browse menu or left navigation in Browse.

Looker displays the Find boards at your organization window, which lists all boards that you or others in your organization have created and that you have access to.

By default, the Find boards at your organization window lists all boards that you have access to. To view only boards that you created or that you have added to your list, select Show my boards or Show boards I’ve added from the Show all boards drop-down:

You can also sort the boards you have access to by name, creator, creation date, or most popular by selecting the corresponding option in the Sort by name drop-down:

Searching for Saved Content

As an alternative to browsing through folders, you can use specific words or phrases to search your Looker instance for saved content:

  1. Click the Search icon in the upper right of Looker.
  2. Enter your search term.
  3. Look through the list of search results. The results for your search will include folders, boards, Looks, dashboards, and other content to which you have access.
  4. Click on a search result to view that content.

Curated Search

Curated Search does not apply to Closed Systems.

When Curated Search is enabled, search results will include content from shared folders, your personal folder, and boards. Content that is saved in other users’ personal folders will be included in the results only if such content is also pinned to a board. The search results will exclude content that exists only in the personal folders of other users:

To include content from other users’ personal folders, click the switch next to the feature name in the search menu to disable Curated Search:

Viewing Content on Your Homepage

To navigate to your homepage, select Home from the Browse menu or left navigation panel in a folder, or select the Looker icon in the top left of the application. If your Looker admin has set a board as your homepage, then the name of the board will appear instead of Home.

Depending on the settings your admin has specified, you might see one of the following when you navigate to your homepage or log in to Looker:

Pre-built Homepage

If your admin has set the pre-built Looker homepage as your homepage, your homepage will display visually representative icons of dashboards and Looks, using thumbnails to show a preview of the color and type of visualization — without revealing the actual data:

  1. Select the thumbnail for a Look or dashboard to open it, or hover over the thumbnail to see its description and gear menu.
  2. Choose See All in the favorites section to open your Favorites folder.
  3. Choose See All on the Recently viewed by you section of the page to open the Recently viewed folder.
  4. Select a group from the Group drop-down menu on the Recently viewed by others section to see that group’s recently viewed content.
  5. Check the Company News sidebar for announcements from your Looker admin.

Content is organized on this page in the following sections:

Click on a thumbnail to open the Look or dashboard. You can also hover over a thumbnail to see more information and options:

Folders

Your admin may have set your homepage to the Shared folder, or another folder in your organization. For example, if your homepage has been set to the Shared folders folder, you will see this when you log in to Looker:

This page lists folders, dashboards, and Looks that you have created or have access to. See the Navigating to Content in Folders section for information about navigating to content from folders.

Boards

If your admin has set a board as your homepage, the name of the board will appear in the Browse menu and left navigation.

See the Navigating to Content on Boards section for information about navigating to content on boards.

URL-Based Homepages

An admin may set the homepage to point to a URL-based folder, board, or another page in Looker, such as a Markdown file or a specific dashboard.

If your admin has set your homepage to a URL other than a folder or board, you can navigate to your homepage by selecting Home from the Browse menu or by selecting the Looker icon in the top left of the application.

Conclusion

You now know how to find existing dashboards and Looks that were created by someone else. Next, learn how to view and use dashboards.

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