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

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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Anchor dates for relative date slicers

So a quick refresher first.  When you make a date field into a slicer, you can then display this as a relative date slicer:

Relative date slicer

Choose this option to get a relative date slicer.

You can then choose what you want to see:

Using relative date slicer

Here we're showing data for the last or next two years, taken from the current date.


The clever thing that this update introduces is that you can now set an anchor date:

Anchor date

You can click on the symbol shown to choose the anchor date from a calendar.


The Include today setting works as follows.  Suppose that you set the anchor date to be 1st January 2018, and show the last 1 week.  Here's what you'll get if you set Include today to Off:

Include today off

If you're not including today, you get the 7 days before "today".


If you set Include today to On, by contrast, you get the 7 days leading up to and including "today":

Include today on

If you include today, the anchor date is included within the date range.


By default, the anchor date is included in a relative date slicer (Include today is set to On).

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