The text mark type is useful when you want to display the numbers associated with one or more dimension members. This type of view is often called a text table, a cross-tab, or a Pivot Table. Tableau displays your data using text when:
The Mark menu is set to Automatic,
and you place one or more dimensions as the inner fields on both
the Rows and the Columns shelves. The inner fields are the fields farthest to the right on the shelves.
You select Text from the Mark menu.
To complete the view, you must place a field (typically a measure) on Text. In the view below, the Sales measure, which is aggregated as a summation, is used to complete the table.
You can create a cross-tab of any data view by selecting the Worksheet > Duplicate as Cross-tab menu item.When you add additional levels of detail by placing a dimension on the Detail, Color, Shape, Size, or Text target on the Marks card, the values are shown side-by-side and wrap to fill the cell. Allowing the text to stack up makes it possible to create word cloud visualizations like the one shown below.
If the application window is too small to fill all of the text, the cell displays an ellipses to indicate that there are too many values than can fit.
To try some hands-on exercises for building text tables, see Building Text Tables.