Finding content in Looker

Stay organized with collections Save and categorize content based on your preferences.

Content in Looker can take the form of either a Look, which is a saved snapshot of the data that results from a query, or a dashboard, which is a collection of tiles that show visualized query results.

You can navigate to saved content from a folder or a board, search for content, or navigate to content from your homepage.

All navigation occurs within the left navigation panel. To open or hide the panel, click the three-line icon in the upper left:

In Looker, content is saved into folders. A folder can include Looks, dashboards, or even more folders, called subfolders. You will only see folders (or subfolders) that you have access to view.

One of the best ways to start using Looker is to navigate around the existing folders to see what content already exists.

To view a list of your folders, expand the Folders section in the left navigation panel. Select the name of a folder to open it.

For more information on creating, editing, and organizing content with folders, see the Organizing and managing access to content documentation page.

Depending on the homepage settings your admin has specified, left navigation may include the following options:

  • Home shows your homepage, if your Looker admin has enabled the pre-built homepage or another homepage option. If your admin has set a board as your homepage, the name of the board appears instead of the text Home.
  • Overview shows the organization-wide default homepage, if your admin has configured a different default homepage for you or a group you belong to. If your admin has set a board as your organization-wide homepage, the name of the board appears instead of the text Overview.

You can also access the following options from the left navigation:

  • Recently Viewed shows a list of your most recently viewed content, which can help you quickly revisit items of interest.
  • Favorites shows a list of Looks or dashboards that you've marked as favorites by clicking the heart icon on the right side of the content's listing in a folder.
  • Boards shows the names of boards that you have created or added to your list of boards.

Finally, these options are available in the Folders section:

  • All folders contains a top level directory with entry points to additional folders.
  • My folder contains Looks and user-created dashboards, typically ones that you are developing or that are mainly of interest to you.
  • If you have set a specific default folder, it will appear here.
  • People contains all the personal folders for other users that you have access to. You can be given access to another user's personal folder so that you can use their personal Looks and dashboards.

    If a Looker admin has enabled the Default Private Personal Folders option on your Looker instance and you are not a Looker admin yourself, you will not see other users' personal folders in the People folder unless you have specifically been given access. See the Settings documentation page for more information on this option.

  • Shared folders contains folders, Looks, and user-created dashboards, typically used company-wide or within departments.

  • The LookML dashboards folder contains dashboards that developers have created using LookML.

After you choose a folder, Looker displays its contents on the right side of the screen. If a folder contains other folders that you can access, those are listed at the top of the right side:

You can navigate to a subfolder by clicking its name. As you navigate folders, a breadcrumb at the top of the screen will help you keep track of your location:

When you navigate to a folder, any Looks and dashboards within the folder are listed:

Folders give the following information and options for Looks and dashboards:

  • Select the checkmark to select an item for operations like moving, deleting, and copying. Once you select an item, Looker will display buttons for the actions you can take on the selected items.

  • If a description was written for the Look or legacy dashboard, the description is displayed under the title of the Look or dashboard.

  • Metadata, or information about how many views the Look or dashboard has and who created it, is displayed under the title of the Look or dashboard.

  • The presence of the calendar icon indicates that the Look or dashboard is scheduled for content delivery. Click the icon to open the content's Schedule pop-up, where you can see and edit the content's delivery options. Clicking the calendar icon for a dashboard that uses the new dashboard experience opens the legacy Scheduler.

  • If the heart icon is colored solid purple, it indicates that the item is marked as a favorite. You can click the icon to add or remove the item from your Favorites.

  • The three-dot menu provides options for configuring the content and for delivering its data.

Looks have additional information and options:

  • The presence of the dashboard icon indicates that the Look is used in a dashboard. Hover over the icon to see the list of dashboards. If the Look isn't used in a dashboard, it will not have a dashboard icon.
  • The Last Updated column shows when the Look was last edited.
  • Each Look has an Explore From Here link to explore from that Look.
  • The Model column shows the name of the model associated with the Look. Each Look is based on a set of data defined by a model, such as a model for your purchasing data or a model for your customer order data.

If a list of Looks or dashboards is too long to fit on a single page, you can navigate through the pages of the list using the arrows at the bottom right of the list:

Sorting lists of content

To make it easier to find your content, you can sort lists of subfolders, Looks, and dashboards within folders. You can sort subfolders by name or created date. You can also sort dashboards and Looks by name, created date, updated date, or favorited date, depending on the folder you are viewing.

In grid view, you can use the sort menu and the ascending/descending arrow to choose the order of the icons.

In list view, you can use the sort menu and the ascending/descending arrow, or you can click on a column header to sort the list of content by that column. Click the header again to switch between ascending and descending sort order.

Using list view and grid view

Folders display visually representative icons of dashboards and Looks, using thumbnails to show a preview of the color and type of visualization — without revealing the actual data.

When viewing a folder, you can switch between list view and grid view. When you switch between list and grid views, your selection will apply throughout that folder. If you navigate to another folder, Looker will display content using the view you selected previously.

List view

By default, Looker displays the Looks and dashboards within your folders in list view:

In list view, all the information and icons are displayed for each piece of content:

Grid view

If your folder is in grid view, your Looks and dashboards will look like this:

In grid view, you can hover over a thumbnail to see its icons and description:

Boards allow users to organize existing dashboards and Looks without having to change where they reside in Looker. To view a board and its contents, you must have at least the View access level for that board. If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level, you can make changes to the board, such as adding and removing content.

You can find boards by searching for them or by selecting them from a window that displays all boards that you have access to. The boards that you have created or added to your list of boards appear in the left navigation panel:

You can expand a board to display a list of its sections directly in the left navigation panel:

Similarly, you can expand the sections of a board to display any Looks or dashboards that have been pinned to that section:

Hovering over the name of a pinned item reveals a tooltip that indicates whether that content is a Look or a dashboard. You can open a Look or a dashboard that has been pinned to a board by selecting its name.

Viewing the content on a board

When you navigate to a board, you will see any Looks or dashboards that have been pinned to that board and that you have access to view. Access to the content that is pinned to a board depends on your access level for the board, your access level for the folder in which the content is stored, and the model the Look or dashboard is based on.

Boards are organized into sections, which can be created and arranged by contributors with the Manage Access, Edit access level for the board.

Viewing the information section of a board

Boards include a collapsible information section with information about the board and its contributors. To open the information section of a board, select the information (i) icon, to the right of the board's sharing menu and three-dot menu:

The information section of a board displays the following information:

  1. Under the About this board text, the number of people who have added the board is listed.
  2. If a description has been added to the board, it will be displayed under Description. Board contributors can add text and Markdown links to the board's description.
  3. The Created section displays information about who created the board and when the board was created.
  4. The Contributors section lists the number of contributors in parentheses. Beneath the Contributors heading is a list of contributors. A board's contributors include the creator of the board and users who have made changes to the board.

Viewing all boards

To create a new board, or find an existing board, select the plus icon in the Boards section:

After you select Browse all boards, Looker displays the Find boards at your organization window, which lists all boards that you or others in your organization have created and that you have access to.

By default, the Find boards at your organization window lists all boards that you have access to. To view only boards that you created or that you have added to your list, select Show my boards or Show boards I've added from the Show all boards drop-down:

You can also sort the boards you have access to by name, creator, creation date, or most popular by selecting the corresponding option in the Sort by name drop-down:

Searching for saved content

As an alternative to browsing folders, you can use specific words or phrases to search your Looker instance for saved content.

Note for admins: improved search is automatically enabled on instances that are hosted by Looker in a Kubernetes environment.

If improved search is enabled on your instance, you can use a new search function that provides better results and ranking, including:

  • Fuzzy matching to return results if search terms are out of order.
  • Spell correction to compensate for incorrectly spelled words that are entered into search.
  • Improved ranking that automatically includes both curated and non-curated results without your needing to choose which result set you want to see. This is why the Curated Search switch is not available when improved search is enabled.
  • Faster search results. To increase search performance, improved search does not return LookML files. You can still search for LookML files within a LookML project.

To perform an improved search:

  1. Click the Search icon in the top navigation bar.
  2. Enter your search term.
  3. You'll see a list of search results that includes folders, boards, Looks, dashboards, and other content to which you have access.
  4. Click on a search result to view that content.

If improved search is not enabled on your instance, you will see Looker's legacy search:

  1. Click the Search icon in the top navigation bar.
  2. Enter your search term.
  3. You'll see a list of search results that includes folders, boards, Looks, dashboards, and other content to which you have access.
  4. Click on a search result to view that content.

Curated search does not apply to closed systems.

When the Curated Search feature is enabled, search results will include content from shared folders, your personal folder, and boards. Content that is saved in other users' personal folders will be included in the results only if such content is also pinned to a board. The search results will exclude content that exists only in the personal folders of other users:

To include content from other users' personal folders, turn off the Curated Search switch in the search results dialog box.

Viewing content on your homepage

To navigate to your homepage, select Home from the left navigation panel. If your Looker admin has set a board as your homepage, the name of the board will appear instead of Home.

Depending on the settings your admin has specified, you might see one of the following when you navigate to your homepage or log in to Looker:

Pre-built homepage

If your admin has chosen the pre-built Looker homepage option, your homepage will display visually representative icons of dashboards and Looks, using thumbnails to show a preview of the color and type of visualization — without revealing the actual data:

  1. Select the thumbnail for a Look or dashboard to open it, or hover over the thumbnail to see its description and gear menu.
  2. Choose See All in the favorites section to open your Favorites folder.
  3. Choose See All on the Recently viewed by you section of the page to open the Recently viewed folder.
  4. Select a group from the Group drop-down menu on the Recently viewed by others section to see that group's recently viewed content.
  5. Check the Company News sidebar for announcements from your Looker admin.

Content is organized on this page in the following sections:

  • Your Favorite Dashboards and Looks shows the Looks or dashboards that you have marked as favorites by clicking their heart icons, which you can do from your homepage as well as on the folder or page you want to favorite.
  • Recently Viewed Dashboards and Looks shows content that has been most recently viewed, both by you and by a selected user group. If your Looker admin has configured multiple groups, you can use the drop-down list in the Recently viewed by Others section to show the most viewed content for a specific user group.
  • Announcement sidebar appears on your personalized homepage if your Looker admin has set the pre-built Looker homepage as your homepage and added content to the sidebar. The sidebar may include text, links, and images from your admin. You can hover over the sidebar to see additional information and links, if your admin has included them.

Click on a thumbnail to open the Look or dashboard. You can also hover over a thumbnail to see more information and options:

  • Select the checkmark for options to select the item, select all, copy, move to trash, or move.
  • On a Look, the presence of the dashboard icon indicates that the Look is used in a dashboard. Hover over the icon to see the list of dashboards that include the Look.
  • The presence of the calendar icon indicates that the Look or dashboard is scheduled for content delivery. Click the icon to open the content's Schedule pop-up, where you can see and edit the content's delivery options. Clicking the calendar icon for a dashboard that uses the new dashboard experience opens the legacy Scheduler.
  • The three-dot menu provides options for configuring the content and for delivering the data.
  • Select the heart icon to add or remove the item from your favorites.
  • If a description was written for the Look or for the dashboard, the description is displayed under the title of the Look or dashboard.

Folders

Your admin may have set your homepage to the Shared folder, or another folder in your organization. For example, if your homepage has been set to the Shared folders folder, you will see this when you log in to Looker:

This page lists folders, dashboards, and Looks that you have created or have access to. See the Navigating to Content in Folders section for information about navigating to content from folders.

Boards

If your admin has set a board as your homepage, the name of the board will appear in the left navigation.

See the Navigating to Content on Boards section for information about navigating to content on boards.

URL-based homepages

An admin may set the homepage to point to a URL-based folder, board, or another page in Looker, such as a Markdown file or a specific dashboard.

If your admin has set your homepage to a URL other than a folder or board, you can navigate to your homepage by selecting the Looker icon in the top left of the application.

Conclusion

You now know how to find existing dashboards and Looks that were created by someone else. Next, learn how to view and use dashboards.