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#PowerBI visualisation ideas: using images in slicers, filters and matrix visuals

It's incredible how I always learn something new about Power BI every week!

This week, I was talking with a customer, and they showed me one of their newest reports. In this report, I saw that the slicer contained images instead of the usual text.

The first thing I asked was: are you using a custom visual to display the images, perhaps a chiclet slicer?

To my surprise, the answer was "No, this is just the standard slicer visualisation...". I was mind blown!

After the meeting, I decided to test it myself. I'm not sure for how long this feature has been available, but it looks very new to me!

Check out the different ways you can use it below!

First of all, for you to be able to use images in a slicer, you need an image URL column in your dataset!

In my case, I have a table with sample sales data, and I have a column with an image URL for the correspondent country.

The first thing you need to do is change the data category of the column to Image URL:

Four different ways to use images in slicers and filters

1) Use images in a list slicer:

2) Use images in a dropdown slicer:

I didn't particularly like this option. The reason is that when the dropdown list is open, you can see and select the images, but when you close it, if you only have one option selected, it will show you the image URL which doesn't look very nice.

3) Use images in the filter pane:

I'm not sure I like this option either, for the same reason of the previous option: it shows the URL of the image when you have only one option selected. Also, the UX doesn't look as nice as other options (personal opinion).

4) And finally, my favourite: use images in an horizontal slicer!

From all the options, this is definitely my favourite!

It's the one with the best UX in my opinion, will be using this one a lot in the future for sure!


If you want something similar to a slicer, but you also want to show a bit more information, a matrix visual might do the trick too!

If you use an Image URL field as column for the Matrix, you can get a very similar result to the ones I showed before:

How to do this "filter" with a matrix visual? Check the video below to find out:

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