Dashboard PDFs - customization or improvement available?

Userlevel 1

I note some of these issues have come up before - for example: Reducing Size In PDFs - some more problems I find with the PDF exports:

(1) they’re large as noted

(2) (perhaps why they’re large) they seem to be images either of the whole dashboard (the “tiled” pdf) or of each look (the “single column” pdf). So you can’t cut and paste any of the numbers or strings from an exported PDF to another application, you can only copy the entire image (either of the look or the whole thing).

(3) Also there are no links. Now links to Looker pages might not be helpful if the PDF is being shared outside of your Looker users, but external links should be good for everybody, and they’re missing from dashboard pdf’s.

(4) There doesn’t seem to be any way to control colors, fonts, etc. (it’s whatever the Looker interface shows online, but this might not be ideal for a PDF)

(5) They’re a single loooong page (if there are a lot of looks on the dashboard). Is there an option for a “one look per page” PDF?

If there was some way to export a dashboard either in HTML or a spreadsheet format (for example combine the xlsx exports of each look in the dashboard into separate sheets of a single spreadsheet document) that would at least give a bit more flexibility. Right now dashboard exports really seem kind of broken…

16 replies

@apsmith Thank you for breaking down your PDF enhancement and improvement note by note. Each of your listed points has been added as feedback regarding dashboard/PDF exports.



Userlevel 1

Thanks. Is there a list somewhere that we can see of feedback on such things (dashboard PDF’s in this case)? Outside of Discourse that is, where I noticed a handful of issues raised…

Userlevel 1

Wide tables are also cut off.

@Jay_Stricks Feedback noted and passed on to our Product Team. Thanks! 👍

@apsmith there isn’t an available link or list to follow. But if you reference the ticket number #88798, that will help point out team towards your original feedback and the related topics.

Userlevel 2

Also in the email message body, there is no way we can add links to other dashboard, look or outside links. Is there a way to add hyperlink in message body or attached multiple dashboards in single schedule email?

Userlevel 3

Hey @kshah7, when scheduling a dashbaord, the scheduler panel has a section called “Message” this will be the body of the email that is going to be sent for that dashboard.

This text box here will accept any links you have (to another look, dashboard, external resource).

Userlevel 1

I’ve been doing a bit more testing of pdf downloads, and realized the “single column” format actually does split the pdf up into pages quite nicely, so my issue #5 at the top is handled pretty well in the “single column” download format.

However, I also discovered a new issue for some of our looks in “single column” format that isn’t there in the “tiled” pdf download:

(6) If the look has more than 35 pivot columns, the “single column” format (at least for a bar graph visualization) loses the legend. The “tiled” pdf format always shows exactly what the Looker dashboard displays (all pivot columns shown in the legend). For 35 or fewer pivot values, the legend displays correctly in both.

Userlevel 3

Hey Arthur, was wondering if would be willing to send in a screenshot to Looker support at so that we can investigate that issue a bit further. Sounds like there might be a rendering issue that we’d like to share with our engineers.

Userlevel 3

As an FYI for followers of this post, the Single Column to print PDFs with page breaks is described here: Printing Looker Dashboards as single column PDFs to include page breaks between dashboard elements

I would be interested in seeing this list as we have been complaining about pdf printing/generation for 2.5 years and it’s not improved a great deal. I would love to understand how many other clients this is impacting?

It would also be useful to find out exactly what changes are coming and when they plan to be implemented? Do you have a roadmap that I can view?

Userlevel 4

This now works with Chromium, just make sure you do it in the html: not link: (although you can have both!)


dimension: story_title {

type: string

sql: ${TABLE}.story_title ;;

html: <a href="{{ view_name.story_url._value }}" target="_blank">{{rendered_value}}</a> ;;


Userlevel 4

There’s a new “Paper Size” option if using Chromium

Userlevel 3

Passing along some minor feedback I received from several end users. It would be helpful to have an additional option of sending/scheduling a dashboard or report with: in-line visualization AND a pdf as attachment.

In-line viz (image) is great to minimize steps for the end user, but having the pdf right away as attachment is more convenient to download/print out.

I have a need to send out several iterations of the same dashboard with the only difference being a different name filtered. (Sending reports to each Customer with metrics on a weekly basis).


Is there an efficient way to do this short of schedule-sending 100 PDFs? Even better if one could bulk send a ZIP (so I can send all reports to our Senior Director) with all files.

Would appreciate any help I can get!