Formatting is often overlooked when creating Power BI reports, yet it is something that really elevates a report. I highly recommend spending the time to format or set up a style of formatting reports when you start using Power BI.
To help you on your journey I am doing a Power BI Formatting blog series where we are going to look at different ways you can format Power BI reports.
In today’s example we are going to look at formatting slicers, which is Power BI’s interactive report filters.
When you select a field to be a slicer it will default to a list type filter. Here is an example of a slicer for vendor class in our report.
Let’s review the formatting options available when you select the paint roller icon. We are only going to review options that are specific to slicers.
- Orientation: Switch between vertical and horizontal to make the list items appear like buttons.
- Selection Controls
- Single select
- Turn this on if you want users to only be able to select one value from the slicer at a time.
- Multi-select with CTRL
- Defaults to on. Turn off if you want users to be able to select multiple values without needing to use the CTRL button.
- Show “Select all” option
- Turn on if you want a select all option. I generally do not use this as clearing out all selections from your slicer defaults to showing all.
- Slicer Header
- If you turn the header off you will lose the clear and list options available in the visual, so I do not recommend turning it off. You can change the header text here to give the slicer a different name.
- Here you can set the color and text formatting for the values displayed in the slicer.
- Single select
Within slicers you can also change a few things by selecting the down arrow or ellipsis located in the upper-right hand side of the visual itself.
- Down Arrow
- Change between list and dropdown style.
- Add a search box to the list if you have a larger set of data.
Date and Number Slicers
There are a few different options with date and number slicers. We are specifically going to look at date fields, but it’s helpful to know that number slicers will have most of the same options.
When you select a date field for a slicer it defaults to using the date hierarchy, which will provide a list to choose year, quarter, month and day.
If you want to only select between year and month you can remove quarter and day by selecting the x next to that data value in the visualization pane.
If you want to be able to search between specific dates you can switch from using the document hierarchy to the actual document date by selecting the down arrow next to your date field on the visualizations tab.
When you select this date format there are a few more options available to you from the down arrow within the visual itself.
- This is the option shown in the example above and allows you to set your beginning and end date.
- Looks the same as the between option but greys out the first date box so you only have to enter the end date.
- Looks the same as the between option but greys out the second date box so you only have to enter the beginning date.
- This lists all dates available as we saw in the text slicer.
- Keeps all dates listed but is formatted as a dropdown box to save space.
- Relative Date
- Allows you to search within a time period specific to today, such as the last 7 days or the next 2 years.
- Relative Time
- Similar to relative date but allows you to look at hours and minutes.
There are a few differences in what is available on the formatting tab when you select the paint roller as well.
- There is no option to switch between vertical and horizontal.
- With the between, before and after options a slider bar will appear. If you do not want to use the slider bar you can turn it off.
Although slicers are a cool interactive feature for your end users I do find that formatting is important for saving space on your reports and making it easy for end users to navigate the report.
-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant