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  • Mara Pereira

Power BI tricks I can't live without - Part 2


Hello everyone!!


As the first post about Power BI tricks I can't live without was very successful, I decided to do a second post with a few more tricks for you.


Some of them are a bit different, as they are a not exactly a Power BI feature.


Are you curious? Check this out!



1. Unicode characters

Not sure what I'm talking about? Let me share a few examples of unicode characters:

🐶🛸🏝🌞🌼📈


I'm pretty sure you can recognise most of them!


And now you might be asking yourself "Why would I want to use those?"... Well, here is the answer: unicode is almost universally accepted by computing platforms, browsers, and mobile devices!


This means that you can use unicode characters on your Power BI report. How? Well, just copy paste them to any text field you want!


You can create a new column with unicode characters, add a title with a unicode character... And my favourite: unicode characters in Buttons!!


Copy + Paste, as simple as that:


Want to try this one out?

I usually go to this website to get my unicode characters, but there are loads of websites you can use:

Unicode Search 😄 (xahlee.info)



Note: If you don't see any unicode characters or if they look odd, that is probably because of your operating system. This is a limitation of using unicode characters.



2. Power BI Data Stories Gallery

Again, not exactly a Power BI feature, this one is more like a recommendation.


Running out of ideas on how to design your report? Not sure where to go to get some inspiration?


Just go to the Data Stories Gallery!


Link to the gallery:

Data Stories Gallery - Microsoft Power BI Community



3. Report theme generator

Did you know you can import your own personalised theme to Power BI?


You can use the simple version:

https://powerbi.tips/tools/color-theme-generator/


Or the complete version:

Report Theme Generator V3 - (powerbi.tips)


To be honest with you I tend to use more the simple version, as I usually just want a 6 or 8 colour palette, I like to be creative 😅. You can just look for the HEX code of the colours you want and past it in the generator. You can later download the JSON file, this will be your theme!


The complete version allows you to do a very refined theme where you can change pretty much anything from the default colours of a bar chart, you can change the legend settings, axis and so on.


Once you're done with the theme generator, you can then import it into your Power BI report:



4. Colour palette generator

Yes, another nice to have that is not exactly related to Power BI. I use this one a lot when I'm doing my blog posts, saves me a lot of time!


I'm obsessed with colour palettes that look good in reports!


The ones I use the most, all free:

> Coolors - The super fast color schemes generator!

> Color wheel, a color palette generator | Adobe Color

> Colormind - the AI powered color palette generator



This is the generator from Coolors:



5. Change default interaction from cross highlight to crossfilter

Isn't it annoying when you need to change all the interactions from cross highlight to cross filter in your report manually?


Grrrr... it sure is!


Well, there is a "hidden" option you can activate if you don't like this default behavior:



You can still change the interactions between the different visualisations manually if you want to. Most of the times I find it easier to have everything as cross filter by default, and later change the visuals I want to cross highlight.




6. Hiding the filter pane

Such an easy one!! If for some reason you need to hide the Power BI filter pane, you can just click on the eye symbol:



You won't see the changes on Power BI Desktop though, the pane will always show.


To see the changes you need to first publish your report. If you open it on Power BI service you won't see the filter pane anymore.



7. Hierarchy slicer

Did you know you can build hierarchy slicers without a hierarchy? If you never used hierarchy slicers, you will be amazed by how simple it is!


Just use a normal slicer visual, and drag as many fields as you want it!


Bonus: you can also easily change the collapse/expand icon:



8. Apply button on filter pane

Using Direct Query and the users are saying it's taking them forever to load the report whenever they apply a filter on the Filter Pane?


Say no more! Power BI "hidden" options to the rescue!


You can add an "Apply" button to your filter pane, so that your report doesn't try to update the data every time you apply a filter. The apply button allows the user to apply the selected filters only when he is ready to do so.


You also have options to:

- Add "Apply Buttons" to all filters to apply changes when you're ready

- Add an "Apply Button" to each slicer



9. Change the page size

I'm almost embarrassed when I remember how long it took me to figure out you can actually change the size of your report page...


I guess we've all been there at some point in the beginning of our Power BI journeys!


If you don't know how to do it, here is a little demo:



Bonus: if you make your page long, it's worth to change the "Page View" option, as shown at the end of the gif video.


10. Drill through

I think everyone around here heard about drill throughs, but do you know how easy it is to add a drill through to your report?


It's pretty easy! In this case I wanted to add a drill through for the region field, so that users can see details about a specific region of their choice:


You can add as many drill through fields as you want to your drill through page!


If you don't know yet about drill throughs, here is a brief explanation from Microsoft Docs:

" With drill through in Power BI reports, you can create a page in your report that focuses on a specific entity such as a supplier, customer, or manufacturer. When your report readers use drill through, they right-click a data point in other report pages, and drill through to the focused page to get details that are filtered to that context. "



Happy New Year!!



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