Finding Content in Looker

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This tutorial introduces you to finding existing content within Looker. Content in Looker can take the form of either a dashboard, or the results of a data exploration, which we call a “Look”.

Navigating to Saved Content with Spaces

In Looker, content is saved into Spaces. A Space can include Looks, dashboards, or even more Spaces called “subspaces.”

To navigate to saved content such as Looks and dashboards, follow these steps:

  1. On the navigation bar click Browse. On the left side of the page, Looker lists the top-level spaces and perspectives that you can access, which may include:
    • Popular perspective: Shows a list of the most visited content, which can help you get acquainted with the most useful items
    • Favorites perspective: Shows a list of Looks or dashboards that you’ve marked as a favorite
    • Recently Viewed perspective: Shows a list of your most recently viewed content, which can help you quickly revisit items of interest
    • Your Personal Space: Contains Looks and user-created dashboards, typically ones that you are developing or are mainly of interest to you
    • Shared space: Contains Looks and user-created dashboards, typically used company-wide or within departments
    • LookML Dashboards space: Contains only developer-created dashboards, typically used company-wide or within departments
    • Users space: Contains each user’s personal space, for which you can be assigned access, so you can use their personal Looks and dashboards
  2. Click the top-level Space that you want to browse. People typically start by browsing the contents of the “Shared” Space.
  3. After making a choice in the left-hand pane, you’ll see its Spaces listed on the right side of the screen. To see the contents in one of these Spaces, click its name.

Please note that you will only see Spaces that you have access to view.

Viewing Popular Content

Popular shows a list of the most viewed content:

Click on the corresponding column name to sort Popular by name, favorite status, or popularity.

If your Looker admin has configured multiple groups, you can limit the Popular content shown to the most viewed content for that group. To view a group’s most popular content, use the box in the top right to select that group.

Searching for Saved Content

If you’d like to run a search for a specific word or phrase, instead of looking through Spaces manually, you can do that as well. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Click Search in the upper right of Looker.
  2. Enter your search term.
  3. Look through the list of search results.
  4. Click on a search result to view that content.


If a Space contains other Spaces that you can access, you can navigate to a subspace by clicking its name. As you navigate Spaces, a breadcrumb at the top of the screen will help you keep track of your location:

Personal Spaces

Each user has a personal Space. Looker displays a shortcut to your personal Space on the left-hand side of the screen. Click Users to access other users’ personal spaces.

The user Spaces that you see depend on whether or not those users (or your admins) have assigned access to you to view or make changes in their Space. You can assign other users’ access to your personal space by following the directions on our Organizing with Spaces page.

Setting Your Default Space

By default, when you choose Browse, the page that will be displayed is the “Shared” Space. However, if you prefer a different Space to be the default option, you can make that change. Simply navigate to the Space of interest, then use the Gear Icon in the upper right and choose the Set as Your Default Space option.

Viewing Lists of Looks and Dashboards

As noted above, a “Look” is a saved report that can be retrieved by name and shared with other people in the organization. Dashboards consist of collections of nicely arranged Looks, shown on the same screen.

One of the best ways to start using Looker is to navigate around the existing Spaces to see what content already exists.

When you navigate to a Space, as described above, any Looks and dashboards within the space are listed:

In the list of Looks, if a Look is saved onto a dashboard, an icon is shown next to the Look name. Hovering over that icon will show a list of the dashboards the Look is saved to:

Each Look listing also includes a link to Explore from that Look. Each Look is based on a set of data defined by a model, such as a model for your purchasing data or a model for your customer order data. If a Space contains Looks based on different models, then Looker also displays the model for each Look’s listing.

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:

Marking Content as a Favorite

Sometimes it’s useful to keep the most important content to you in one place, so that you don’t need to navigate through Spaces to get to it. You can do this by using Looker’s favorite feature.

As you find content that’s important to you, click the heart icon to its right:

You can then see all of your favorite content in the “Favorites” space:

Sorting Lists of Content

To make it easier to find your content, you can also sort lists of dashboards or Looks by Name or Favorite status. Just click on the column name in the list you want to sort:

Organizing and Managing Spaces

Typically, users can organize their personal space as desired, creating subspaces and assigning access to it. You can learn how to organize spaces and their content on this page.

On the other hand, organizing shared spaces affects other users. For this reason, sometimes only particular users can create subspaces, assign access, or make other changes to shared spaces.


You now know how to find existing Looks and dashboards that were created by someone else. Next, learn how to view that content and make sense of it.

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