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The July 2017 Power BI Desktop updates, including new table and matrix visuals
Part five of a seven-part series of blogs

This is a bigger update than usual, with the highlight undoubtedly being the official roll-out of the much-trailed new table and matrix visuals.

  1. Updates to Power BI Desktop - July 2017
  2. New table and matrix visuals
  3. Renaming fields - at last!
  4. Incorporating custom visuals within Power BI Desktop
  5. Relative date slicers and filters (this blog)
  6. Responsive visuals which adapt to your screen size
  7. Breakdown option in waterfall charts

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 13 July 2017

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Relative date slicers and filters

You can now use relative date filtering in slicers and filters.

Relative dates in filters

Suppose that you want to show all of the sales made in the last 3 years.  You could start by applying relative date filtering to a date field:

Enabling relative date filtering

Choose this option when applying a filter to enable relative date filtering.


You can then choose from these options:

Items when the value is

You can show values which are in the last, next or current day, month or year.


Here's how to show items in the last 3 years, as an example, including today's figures:

Last 3 years

You can type in the number of time periods to go forward or back.


Relative date filtering in slicers

The first thing to note is that to use relative date filtering in a slicer, you can't turn the slicer header off:

Slicer header

I normally turn this off and use a slicer title instead, but you can't do this if you want to use relative date filtering.


When viewing a slicer, you can click on this downward arrow:

Downward arrow for slicer

You can click on this arrow in the slicer header to choose a different way to filter the data.


Choose the obvious option to use relative filtering:

Relative date filtering

Choose this option to use relative date filtering.


You can then choose the exact filter you want to apply:

Last 3 years

Here we're showing data for the last 3 years, but lots of other combinations are possible!


Relative date filters in slicers were introduced as a preview feature in May 2017 - I'm not quite sure when they  slipped into live mode. 

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