Create a dashboard template

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1. Overview

Use a dashboard template to define a common base or starting point from which to design dashboards. For example, if you want to create a set of dashboards with the same banner and background graphics, you can put these common elements in a dashboard template, and then use the template to create new dashboards. If you ever need to change the common elements, you just need to do this in one place by modifying the template instead of changing multiple dashboards.

Related video: Dashboard Template

2. Creating a template

To create a new template, go to the main menu, click New, and then click Template

Create a new template from the main menu
Create a new template from the main menu

This opens the Dashboard Designer screen and creates a new template item in the Explore window under the Dashboards folder.

New template item under Dashboards folder
New template item under Dashboards folder

2.1. Adjust the properties

You can adjust some canvas properties that will affect all of the dashboards based on this template. This includes changing the canvas background, the re-size mode, and the font settings.

For example, click Properties and indicate the default font settings in the Text tab.

Default font settings
Default font settings

Note
This will define the default dashboard-wide font settings, which can be overriden on individual elements.

2.2. Add elements

You can add elements to the canvas for your template just like you would for a regular dashboard.

For example, drag an image file from Windows Explorer and drop it directly onto the template canvas. The image can be used as a banner for a series of related dashboards.

Add a static image to the template as a common header
Add a static image to the template as a common header

Next, click Components from the toolbar and select Rectangle. This rectangle will serve as a background frame for data visualizations.

Add a rectangle to the template to serve as a background frame
Add a rectangle to the template to serve as a background frame

Reposition and resize the rectangle, then set its appearance properties from the Properties panel.

Set the appearance of the rectangle
Set the appearance of the rectangle

3. Using a template

You can use a template when you create a new dashboard.

For example, go to the main menu, click New, click Dashboard, and then click the template you just created.

Select the template
Select the template

The Dashboard Designer screen opens, showing the elements from the template but greyed out. You won't be able to move any of the elements of the template because the template is locked.

If you go to the Layers panel, you'll see that there is a template layer corresponding to the template this dashboard is based upon. It's possible to have more than one template layer if your template has multiple layers. Template layers appear greyed out in the Layers panel, but you can still show or hide them, or click the plus sign to see the elements within the layer. The lock icon is not available for template layers because they are always locked.

New dashboard based on a template
New dashboard based on a template

Note
You cannot reorder template layers in the Layers window. You can however reorder regular layers relative to the template layers.

You can now add content to the dashboard.

Drag a metric set from the Explore window and drop it onto the white part of the canvas. Then reposition the resulting visualization on top of the background frame (rectangle).

Switch to View mode to see the completed dashboard.

Dashboard based on a template
Dashboard based on a template

You can now build additional dashboards using this same template.

4. Detaching a template

In some situations, you may need to change the template on one dashboard without it having an effect on the other dashboards.

From the toolbar, select Detach Template.

click Detach Template
click Detach Template

All of the elements and settings are carried over from the template to the dashboard. They still appear greyed out and are grouped on the template layer, but you can now move and edit them.

Note
The option to Detach Template will not be available if there is a conflict of IDs or script names between the template and dashboard. This situation may happen with templates and dashboards that were created prior to Dundas BI version 5 or when you manually change script names in a conflicting manner.

5. See also

 

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