Using symbol fonts in Tableau number formatting

In his post at, my Slalom colleague John Mathis uses an interesting custom number formatting trick that shows arrows indicating an increase/decrease over prior year.


This post explains how to do that.

Open the Windows application Character Map by either 1) typing [Windows] + R then “charmap” or 2) typing [Windows] + S, search for “character map”, click on Character Map.



Select the “Segoe UI Symbol” font.


In the “Search for:” box at bottom, type “triangle” and click the Search button.


Double-click on the “Black Up-Pointing Triangle” and “Black Down-Pointing Triangle” symbols to add them to the “Characters to copy:” box.


The two symbols are automatically copied to the Windows clipboard, but you can click the Copy button to make sure.

Go to Tableau Desktop and paste the two arrows into the field’s default number format.



Add more text to the custom format as needed.


You are done!

How I Designed the Cigar Stand / Club Caddy

A few colleagues asked me how I designed my St. Patrick’s Day shamrock cigar stand + club caddy so here is a timelapse video I captured showing how I did that using Autodesk 123D Design.

In the video, you’ll see how I sketched the major features (first from the top profile, next from the side profile), extruded them once I was comfortable with the sketch dimensions, tweaked the extruded items, and then mirrored one side to the other (huge timesaver when designing a symmetric object). The video ends with me drawing a cigar and a golf club grip for referencing. At the point where the video ends, I was ready to export to my slicing software Simplify3D and print a prototype to test fit/finish. The major things I did after this video ends was to carve the “flap” out for the cigar and club rests, tweak the hinge so that it rests at a perfect 90-degree angle when opened, fillet/round the edges and added the shamrock.