Anyone still frustrated with Table-Next?

  • 27 January 2021
  • 36 replies

Userlevel 3


I’m curious if we’re the only ones that find Table-Next to be endlessly frustrating and constantly revert back to Table Legacy? My whole team feels the same way and most dashboards still use legacy tables as a result.


I think the biggest gripe has to do with column sizing and column names. It always does something wacky and never works the way you’d expect. If you spend the time resizing columns it usually reverts or changes shortly after. Table Legacy does a really nice job of fitting everything within the allotted width without awkwardly sized headers or rows. Even after a lot of config options it ends up weirdly displayed. 


I like a lot of the options in Table-Next like the ability to resize columns, move columns, add embedded bar charting, but the user experience feels a lot worse for our end-users and we never know how it will render on different monitors/browsers.


Am I missing something?!

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36 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

@sc0tt I am with you on this.


I can’t quite comprehend the logic used to manage column width in table-next visualisations I think the logic/engine is different, which is bizarre since the old style worked perfectly well..

Userlevel 1

I share this concern:

  1. Agree regarding table-next sizing/formatting, which is very rigid and unintuitive.
  2. While I like the Filter UX, the filters on dashboard next take forever to load/format.
  3. While I realize that Looker’s in-memory approach limits pivot/slicer functionality, it is far behind peer BI tools in this regard, and this is an important use case for exploration.
  4. Rate of change for formatting/bug fixes has been slow, the past ~10 releases.

Tables/pivots/dashboards in shared dashboards are the “backbone” of our enterprise BI instance, &  all available options (Legacy, Next, 3P Marketplace) have limited functionality and/or UI/UX gaps.

I like some of the new features conceptually (cross-filters, 3P marketplace), but would rather see Looker invest in refining the core features, since they are so imperative to user’s daily experience.


Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Now, all of the sudden I just get empty space at the end of the table ..  but surprisingly I changed it to Table Legacy and it’s the same so it must be something with the “next” dashboards

Userlevel 1

Thank you all for your comments and feedback! I’m the product manager for our dashboard experience and some of our visualizations (like Tables). This sprint we are actively engaging with our design team to improve some of these underlying issues with our tables and hope that in the near future they will be great to work with. 

We are not investing more time in our legacy tables as we hope that these fixes will remove the need for the legacy tables. Would love to hear if (other than the column resizing issues) if there are other use cases where you and your team switch back to legacy tables.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

For me the default is Table-Legacy unless I need a feature from the Table-Next that doesn’t exist in the Legacy. Those would be

  1. Transposition - used few times mostly to replicate the look of financial spreadsheets, even though Transpose function does not honour the order of columns (in the vis layer when a table calculation is moved for example)
  2. Formatting - if I need better text formatting bold/colours/italic

Because of the formatting issues: field names, column width, cell visualisation enabled by default (the mini bar charts), I don’t mind using Legacy. I hope that will change after the release that contains the work your Team is doing this sprint @Katie_Gillespie 


Userlevel 2

@Katie_Gillespie  Some requests:

  • Option to disable comment on column hover
  • Option to set minimum width for a column or other functionality to enable more usable tables on mobile, and responsive tables that work on both mobile and desktop with horizontal scroll and non-scrunched up column widths when width would not support desired min-widths, yet keeping the table truncated (without truncating or line splitting any text).
  • Option to remove sub-total row count from the parent dimension (e.g., Date (3) )
Userlevel 1

While I am always overly optimistic about the improvements that the Looker team product, overall formatting is a huge issue for everyone from senior leadership to analysts since moving over to the dashboard-next as default. I have had to revert several dashboards immediately after formatting for the tables rendered gaining any value impossible. 


The columns widths do not appropriately wrap the content like the legacy tables do and no mater the amount of effort spent to auto size or fit columns it does not work. Additionally, what might look “good” on one computer certainly does not mean it will on another. On mobile it is also completely useless to get any data results. 


The “legacy” tables do not render at all in the new dashboards, they essentially are converted to the table-next design with more limitations. If a table has say 2-3 columns than this works, but for others that might need to render 5 columns that work perfectly in the legacy table, they fail to be of any use in the new design. 


This feedback was communicated several times during the beta phase of the dashboard-next but I have yet to see any major improvement in this area. At present this is legit reason why other employees are looking at other business intelligence tools to use instead of Looker because they think the table design is horrible. I am a huge supporter of Looker but this really is a major weakness of the current product and I urge there to be serious evaluation of its competitive advantage over the legacy view. 

Userlevel 3

Here's an example of what we’re up against (not even the worst I’ve seen):

I realize it’s a bunch of columns, but this should just horizontally scroll if it’s going to look this bad. 

Userlevel 2

Any Looker folks know when we can expect to see improvements to the tables?

Userlevel 1

Any update on this please?

Userlevel 1

Any updates on this topic? Table formatting (including the recent update to Table-Legacy) has gotten significantly worse over the last year or two and fixing this should be a top priority. Table-Next features are promising but the foundational aspects around row/column sizing, header text wrapping, text size, and text padding make it practically unusable.


A list of changes I’d like to see:

  1. Better logic around automatic resizing of rows and columns
  2. Smarter text wrapping in header cells (2-3 lines is optimal)
  3. Smaller/more compact text in cells with less padding


The default formatting in the Data section looks much cleaner than is possible in the Visualization section with the current formatting options. If I had the option to use this exact format in the Visualization section (minus full field names) I’d be happy.

Userlevel 2

I think Looker gave up on innovation and fixing actual bugs that matter. Ever since Google bought the company, there has been very little to be excited about and very little progress on critical usability features, like the ever so basic table functionality. I gave up on progress here months ago.  Looker support, am I wrong?

I just got back from a short vacation and all my table columns had resized themselves while I was away. The setting of column width doesn’t seem to be working unless I set “Size columns to fit” to “yes”, which doesn’t make sense since I want to enable the horizontal scroll. Even then, the columns still resize themselves and ignore the value I have placed for their column width. Is anyone else experiencing this issue?

Userlevel 4


I definitely agree with the previous comments: Table Next brought a lot of good ideas like the possibility to drag and drop columns to arrange order, cell viz, color/font customization, all this is great BUT it’s a nightmare to get a good readable table : columns width/spacing is never saved when you update it whil you build dashboard, there are tons of bugs that makes the size reset totally unexpectedly… This is a shame… 

I think this situation is a bit like the upgraded field picker in the Explore section: good ideas but with a real lack of finish…

Hope it will get some improvements over the next versions…


+1 for addressing this. Resizing, freezing columns just does not work. And there also are some visual glitches.

Userlevel 3

+1 this is really really bad and legacy tables are now broken and unsupported

Userlevel 3
  1. Header row NEEDS to allow wrapping.
  2. “Auto-size columns” gives way too much width to the columns.
  3. Row Number column is WAY too wide (and isn’t adjustable!!)
Userlevel 6

Are people still having issues with these? I dont have much experience viewing these tables especially via email so wanted to know if its maybe just us or there are still improvements to be made here.

I have just had a chat with someone here having issues with these new tables and email schedules (single column layout visualisation) and a lot of whitespace now appearing under the rows. They have to fiddle with the height of the tile and they can work it so that the email looks ok but that means they have over cropped the tile when viewing the dashboard in the UI. This happens on both v7.18 and v21.12.

Userlevel 3


Userlevel 6

@Katie_Gillespie any info on this?

@IanT / other folks on the thread - 
Thank you for your feedback. I am a product manager for the visual analytics/ visualization team in Looker. Our team is now actively looking into the Table-Next usability issues, this is one of our top priorities and we hope that in the near future Tables would work better.


Userlevel 4

Hello @Shashank89 ,

Thanks a lot for taking it into account,

One other issue I can share as well: so you start playing with Cell visualization, you spent 5 minutes improving the color mapping (green to red for example), then you’re happy with the results. And then you resize a column, all the cell visualization configuration is reverted back to default (red to blue)…. This is really really annoying :(



Hope this will be resolved soon, as legacy features should not have to be the go-to option here

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Two more things:


  1. When new tile is added - it’s always the same size and lands at the bottom, even if
    1. There is space on the side
    2. It’s single-value visualisation that could be rendered small and jump into next available space
  2. Moving tile around doesn’t scroll the dashboard. I need to drag it a bit, drop, then scroll, then drag it again. The big filter sticky bar doesn’t help
Userlevel 6

@Shashank89 hello, I was wondering if there was any kind of timeline on deprecation of legacy tables?

We have many legacy dashboards which we are working through to upgrade and people have talked about the painful process of upgrading each table tile on the db. Is there going to be any kind of automatic upgrade or legacy switch off of these tables?