New features in the January 2018 update of Power BI Desktop
Part five of a six-part series of blogs

This month introduces a smorgasbord of small but useful updates, including the ability to hide pages, colour data labels and to set the anchor (from) date for a relative date slicer.

  1. January 2018 updates for Power BI Desktop
  2. Features in preview for the January 2018 update
  3. Showing and hiding pages
  4. Changing the background colour of data labels
  5. Changing the areas of a chart assigned to labels and bars (this blog)
  6. Anchor dates for relative date slicers

For a cumulative list of all of the updates to Power BI Desktop in the last few months, see this blog.  Our two-day Power BI Desktop course always uses the latest version of the software.

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 January 2018

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Changing the areas of a chart assigned to labels and bars

Two changes in one on this blog page: you can now change the axis label area as a proportion of the total chart, and also get bars or columns to appear closer together (or further apart).

Changing the size of the axis label area for a chart

Until this month, the only way in which you could read truncated axis labels was either  to increase the size of a chart or reduce the label font size:

Truncated axis labels

Hmmm ... wonder what Arndale C... could mean?


You can now tell Power BI Desktop to put aside a larger percentage (up to 50%, in fact) of a chart for axis labels:

Maximum size property

Change the Maximum size property of the chart.


For the setting above, here's what our chart would now show:

Wider axis labels

You can now read nearly all of the axis labels! You could now reduce the axis label font size (or make the chart bigger) to show all of the labels in full.


Note that the same feature works for X axis labels too:

A chart with X axis labels

You now have a better way to ensure that X axis labels are visible in full for a chart.

Changing the padding for bars and columns

You can now change the spacing between columns or bars:

Spacing settings

These charts use 5%, 50% (the maximum) and 25% spacing respectively.

The way to do this is to change the Inner padding property of the chart's X-Axis (for a column chart, as above) or Y-Axis property category:

Inner padding property

You can set this to any number between 0% (which looks silly, as there is no gap between the columns/bars) and 50%.


I'm sure this feature has been lifted from Excel!

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