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

You can now search for formatting properties, have slicers which work across pages and create quick measures, among other new features.

  1. Power BI Desktop - February 2018 update new features
  2. Search for a formatting property
  3. Quick Measures
  4. Synchronising slicers across report pages
  5. Multi-select data points in a chart
  6. Overflow data labels (this blog)
  7. Marking date tables as such
  8. Extra DAX functions
  9. Features still in preview as of February 2018

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

Posted by Andy Brown on 15 February 2018

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Overflow data labels

This is an easy feature to explain, but a hard one to reproduce!  By default, data labels showing inside a column or bar will only appear if there's sufficient space:

Invisible data labels

Here the only column big enough to display the data label is the one for the South-East region.


To change the behaviour of data labels, turn the background colour on:

Show background property

Turn on the Show background property to change how your data labels appear.


The good news is that you can now see all of your data labels, but the bad news is that they've moved out of their boxes:

Data labels outside the box

Data labels outside their boxes!



Overflow property

If you now set the Overflow text property, the data labels will appear inside the box again.


By showing labels' backgrounds and letting their text overflow, you'll get this effect:

Overflowing labels

You can tell Power BI Desktop to let data labels overflow, so that you always see a label even if it wouldn't otherwise fit into the relevant column or bar.


I couldn't get this to work without first setting the Show background property, but it's possible I'm missing something.  In any case, it's hardly a feature to write home about ...

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