Blank Character for Navigation Buttons

Not terribly long ago, I wrote about how to use transparent shapes for navigation buttons to use on top of custom background images. However, there are some difficulties with using this approach. The main one is that the shape, while transparent, still has a shape. This means that it may or may not fit the space of your custom image background button. Additionally, because it’s a shape, there is the step of creating a button and then importing it. These small steps take extra time, especially when you have to create a few navigation buttons.

So here is an easy and super quick solution. Use a blank character! You can open the corresponding workbook here.

Instead of an image navigation button, select a text button. Copy and paste the following text between the quotes (yes, it is blank so just trust me that something is there). Once copied, paste it into the Title in your “Edit Button” window. If this doesn’t work, you can also copy it from my dashboard or from this site.

‘‏‏‎ ‎’

You will know it is successful when the number of characters goes from 0 to 5. Then close your window.

Now you have a blank navigation button that you can use on your dashboard. One tip, I like you create menu bars and use vertical containers to house my various navigation buttons. In the example workbook, I provide two dashboard pages: Home and Overview. The Home page is the main landing page with one large background image and the Overview page has just a header image. The navigation buttons typically would be in that vertical container on top of the text in the image.

Now, of course you can use Tableau’s native text navigation button option. So why use this method? Well, I find it easier to customize the menu bar. Tableau’s fonts and colors for navigation buttons are limited. Additionally, it’s faster for me to create a few headers in Figma and use the blank navigation buttons than it is to create each button and either an image or text in Tableau.

So there you have it! Another tool for your Tableau tool belt. I hope that was helpful!




  1. Lindsay, this helps solves an issue I’ve had with formatting text navigation buttons (they seem to currently center text by default). Overlaying a blank text navigation button over a properly placed floating text box, I can now give the appearance of a left justified or indented button. Huge help! Thanks so much for sharing!


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