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The most important changes made for the May 2017 Power BI Desktop update
Part two of a seven-part series of blogs

The May 2017 Power BI Update brings in a couple of nice new query transforms and some new chart features, but the big changes are still in preview mode.

  1. Updates in the May 2017 Edition of Power BI Desktop
  2. Support for Different Types of URLs in Tables and Textboxes (this blog)
  3. New Table and Matrix Visualisations in the Offing
  4. Extracting Text Between Delimiters
  5. New Binning Options
  6. Data labels in combination charts
  7. Combining Files - Option to Choose First File

For a cumulative list of all of the updates to Power BI Desktop since November 2016 see this blog, or have a look at the Power BI courses that we run.

Posted by Andy Brown on 17 May 2017

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Support for Different Types of URLs in Tables and Textboxes

You can now embed website links, email addresses, FTP addresses and more in a table:

Different types of URL

Some of the different types of link you can create (others include news and telnet).


When you click on the South region, for example, Power BI Desktop will warn you that it is trying to open your email client (Outlook, in my case):

Email client warning message

The warning I get when I click on the email link.

Getting Different Links to Work

To get this to work, make sure you have a table containing different types of link:

Types of link

This table gives different help references for each region.

Select the link column, and tell Power BI Desktop to make it into a URL:

Web URL menu

Choose this option on the Modeling menu.

Now add a table, and the links should work automatically:

The URL links

The Web URL column shows up as links.


You can choose to display the links as icons if you prefer:

URL icons

Choose to display URL icons in the Values section of the Formatting pane.


The links work the same, but look tidier:

Icon links

Clicking on the links will still do the same thing as before.


Links in Text Boxes

Finally, you can also include links in text boxes:

Adding a text box URL

You can select text and choose a website address for it.

Here's what the link looks like:

Formatting of URL

The link looks like ... a link!


Irritatingly, when you change the format of the text in the box or try to edit the link, the URL you've entered seems to keep disappearing!

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