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Tableau Desktop’s .twbx packaged workbook files are archives which contain both a .twb workbook file and the data.

On Windows, Tableau Desktop installs an “Unpackage Workbook” command which is available by right-clicking any .twbx file.

And Tableau Desktop is coming to the Mac! But the unpackage workbook feature is not included in the initial release. As a workaround, you can rename a .twbx file to .zip, then double-click the .zip file to decompress it.

But if you want to be able to right-click (or control-click) a .twbx file and choose “Unpackage Tableau Workbook” on your Mac, here’s what to do.

Warning: this is an unsupported utility!

Download this Automator workflow file, unzip it, and double-click Unpackage Tableau Workbook.workflow. When prompted, click Install, then click Done.

service installerservice installer complete

To use, just right-click or control-click a Tableau packaged workbook and select Unpackage Tableau Workbook.

right-click

Notes

1. The file does not require a .twbx extension, as long as the file type is Tableau Packaged Workbook.

2. If the service is run on a file other than a Tableau Packaged Workbook, the service will take no action.

3. Files are unpackaged to slightly different destinations on the Mac vs PC. On PC, the .twb goes in the same directory as the .twbx; data goes inside a new folder:

Result on Windows

Result on Windows

On the Mac, both the .twb and the data directory go inside a new folder.

Result on Mac

Result on Mac

Uninstall

Go to ~/Library/Services
Delete the file Unpackage Tableau Workbook
Log out and log back in

Known issue

If you unpackage a workbook that has already been unpackaged in the same location, Automator will throw an unclear error. This is because the shell script doesn’t handle the scenario when a duplicate file already exists. (Repro: unpackage the same workbook twice in a row. To resolve, delete or rename the folder of unpackaged files.)

This is not a very helpful error message

This is not a very helpful error message

What is this thing?

It’s a simple Apple Automator workflow which calls a shell script. Sometime soon, I’ll write another blog post soon explaining the details. I also hope to post the code to github, in case you want to contribute improvements to the community.

If this was helpful to you, please leave a comment and let me know!

If it’s not working for you, feel free to leave a comment, but I make no promises that I’ll respond or be able to help – your best bet is to just follow the uninstall information above.

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