Using hidden field as a filter

  • 3 August 2016
  • 8 replies


I am trying to link two dashboards on Looker and what I want is that when I switch from one dashboard to the other by clicking on a field I should be able to filter the dashboard on a hidden field.

On this link it says:

Hidden fields can still be accessed in the UI if they are manually added to the URL, and will show up in some Looker windows. Therefore, think of hidden as a way to keep the field picker clean, and not a security feature.

If so, can I use my hidden field (say id) as a filter on my second dashboard?

8 replies

Userlevel 2

Swapping Drill Paths on Measures may help.

Userlevel 5

Michael makes an excellent point; using html linking will definitely help you achieve this. As long as you properly reference it, a hidden field can indeed be used in a filter!

But how do you apply it on the Looks on the Dashboard?

Can you give an example here?

Userlevel 5

Hi @rubab, sorry for the super late response here. We now have an article on filter only fields that gives an example of this!

Hi @sam, the filter only fields link is dead. I am looking for a way for the filter to invisible to the user. We are filtering on some internal ID values that are meaningless to the user (strings of digits), and we’d like them not see these IDs.

Userlevel 5

Hey @dougmackenzie !

Looker doesn’t have any notion of “hidden dashboard filter”. All dashboard filters and their values are visible to the user.


To make filter values hidden, I recommend using the sql_always_where parameter. This is an explore-level LookML parameter that lets you specify a WHERE clause to be invisibly applied to every query based on that explore. In your example, you would do something like:

explore: something {


  sql_always_where: ${} NOT IN (1243, 1231, 34253262) ;;



This would filter out the IDs inside the parentheses. You’d need to add this sql_always_where to every explore that the dashboard utilizes in order to use this as a full workaround to a “hidden dashboard filter”.

Hi @sam 

Maybe I didn’t explain my use case well enough. I actually was able to find a way to hide the dashboard filter exactly as I wanted. It involved modifying the Embed Settings of the Dashboard.

By toggling the Show Filters option, I was able to hide the filters.

Userlevel 5

Good catch! I should have mentioned that.

The limitations there are that this only works for the embed version of the dashboard, and this hides all the filters. 

But if those aren’t problems for your use case, then awesome!