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New features in the January 2018 update of Power BI Desktop
Part two 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 (this blog)
  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
  6. Anchor dates for relative date slicers

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 11 January 2018

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Features in preview for the January 2018 update

I'm introducing what I hope will become a new regular monthly guest-spot to the blog this month - a list of features still in preview:

Preview features

Features in preview in the January 2018 update of Power BI Desktop.

Notice the words Preview features might change or be removed in future releases (this explains why I don't blog about them until they come out of preview mode!).

Here's a quick run-down of what's to come (see the footnotes for what the columns mean):

Feature Notes Rating Months
Shape map visual This has been in preview mode since time immemorial.   It will allow you to colour different states, countries, districts, etc. 4 1
Custom report themes These are like Microsoft Office themes, allowing you to change the look and feel of all your reports. 7 1
Numeric range slicer This will allow you to show (for example) all sales between 10 and 20 thousand. 6 1
Spanish language support You'll be able to use the Q&A facility in Spanish!  2 1
Quick measures Instead of having to create your own measures to do common tasks (such as averages), you'll be able to use quick measures. 7 1
Custom data connectors These will let you create your own connections to data sources that you define, using the M language. 2 1
Bookmarks Bookmarks will let you capture the current state of a page (including any filters and other choices), alliowing you to revisit it at any future time. 6 1
Adobe Analytics connector This will - I assume - allow you to connect to Adobe Analytics! 1 1
Q&A As well as being able to ask questions about dashboards in Power BI Service, you'll now be able to do this for reports too (and ask questions within Power BI Desktop too). 3 1
Dates as a hierarchy When you include dates in a visual, you automatically get a hierarchy.  This hierarchy will now be shown n the fields list. 2 1


  1. The subjective Wise Owl rating goes from 1 (of little importance for most Power BI Desktop users) up to 10 (will have a huge impact on your everyday report designs).
  2. I'll update the Months column each month to show the number of months each feature has spent in preview (the current winner must surely be shape map visuals).
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