Cubehelix: now for Tableau!

Good news, everyone! Everyone's favorite color scheme, CubeHelix, has now been used in Tableau!

Background: CubeHelix is a color scheme that properly de-saturates from color to black and white. It's not always the most artistic color palette, but it has the advantage of being easier to view for people with color blindness. By changing various settings, many variations on the "CubeHelix" scheme are possible.

After my previous post about the CubeHelix color scheme, I was encouraged by Jewel Loree to actually produce the color scheme to use with Tableau. It turns out, it's pretty easy!

The equations that create the color scheme are defined for RGB colors, which are simple to convert to HEX codes. I created 5 versions, using settings that I frequently employ. Again, all of them go from 100% black to 100% white, and de-saturate properly to black and white. (I didn't create any monochrome schemes, but it would also be trivial to produce.)

Here are the 5 CubeHelix schemes I created, with #1 being the "standard" palette:

If you'd like these schemes, I have created a GitHub repository. The specific preference file, formatted for Tableau (courtesy of Jewel Loree!) is here.

Here's a screenshot of the color palette in action in Tableau

Finally, here's a working example of CubeHelix in action, thanks to the awesome help of Jewel Loree, a data wrangler at Tableau in Seattle!

Diabetes Rates by County in the US

While there are absolutely arguments to be made for both color schemes, CubeHelix offers the aforementioned benefits. For example, here it is de-saturated to black/white:


  1. Hello;
    Do you know of any implementation of cubehelix within R? That would be very sweet ;) .

    1. I'm not aware of an R version, though I don't regularly use R.

      If there's a sensible way to use customized color tables/palettes/schemes then I'm certain we could easily make a version!

    2. Have a look at my cubehelix page:

      where I provide links to various implementations
      of the cubehelix scheme. This includes a recently
      added R implementation.

    3. Awesome! There you have it, Rene, straight from the CubeHelix source!

    4. Thank you very much!! I'll give it a try ASAP :) .

  2. Thank you! I have been search for information about palletes friendly to colour-blind.

  3. Hi:

    How do I load this pallet into Tableau ? (beginner user)

    1. You need to add them to the preference file, as described here:


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