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Learning bookmarks in Power BI Desktop
Part two of a five-part series of blogs

You can use bookmarks to take your reports to the next level - they take a while to get used to, as this blog shows, but they're worth the hassle!

  1. Bookmarks - What are they, and why should you care?
  2. Creating, naming and connecting to bookmarks (this blog)
  3. Using the DATA option of Bookmarks
  4. Using the Display option of Bookmarks
  5. Using the ALL/SELECTED option of bookmarks

Posted by Sam Lowrie on 14 March 2018

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Creating, naming and connecting to bookmarks

This page shows how to get started with using bookmarks in Power BI Desktop.

Showing the Bookmarks and Selection Panes

The first thing we need to do is turn on bookmarks (while no longer in preview, there is still a tick box we need to select). Open the view tab:

Bookmark and selection panes

Not to sound like the archetypal fuzzy-faced hipster, but I remember when there were only two boxes in here.

Although you don't have to use the selection pane, it does make life easier when creating bookmarks. Ticking the two boxes shown will have added two windows:

Selection pane and bookmark pane power bi

The Selection pane allows you to choose which objects are visible. Handy when editing a very busy report: simply turn off the objects you don't want!


Creating a Bookmark

To get us started we'll recreate my main menu example. Choose the page you want to move to when the image on the home page is clicked:

Filtering bookmarks

On this page I have applied a page level filter so that only amphibian information is displayed.

To create a bookmark to this page, in the Bookmarks Pane click Add:

Power BI Desktop Bookmarks

Double click or use ellipses to rename a bookmark.

Click View to create a slide show of all the bookmarks.

changes the bookmark to match the current page.

removes the bookmark. 


When creating a bookmark there are several options that can be saved: Data, Display and Current page.

Option  What it does
Data Saves all settings regarding the data on the current page (such as filter settings, cross highlighting from other visuals, drill downs on visuals and any sorting). 
Display Includes spotlighting and the state of the visual in the selection pane (on or off). 
Current page  This appears to stop access to the bookmark whilst presumably carrying over the filtering. Further investigation needed!
All visuals The current states (chosen above) will be reflected on all of the pages' visuals.
Selected visuals Only visuals that are selected when the bookmark is created will have their settings fixed. This is useful when you want one table to always stay the same.

I've covered these options in more detail later in this blog.

For the time being choose the options as shown in the screen shot above, then return to the main page (the one you want to establish the link from):

Images Main Menu Bookmarks

Tinder has some strange algorithms ...

Configuring your bookmark

Choose an image to link the bookmark to. In this case I want to click on the frog and then look in the Format Image pane which replaces the Visualisation pane.

Bookmarks Link Power Bi Desktop

Find the Link option and toggle it on. There are two choices under type: Back and Bookmark. Choose Bookmark, then select the bookmark of your choice.


Clicking on the image (holding down the CTRL key in Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service) will activate the bookmark and take you to that bookmark:

Home Bookmark

On this page I've added a bookmark to the home button - this will always take me to the home page.

Creating a Back button

Optionally rather than applying a bookmark like I have done to the home icon, you could instead use a back button. A back button will return the user to the page they came from. Like a bookmark, this can be any shape or image:

Back Button Bookmarks

The shape I used is generated when you create a drill through report. I created a drill-through then cut the image to use here.

Click on the shape or image then in the relevant pane (in this case FORMAT SHAPE) choose Link. Then select Back from the options:

Back button Power BI Desktop

Now you can spend all day moving back and forth between your pages!

Currently textboxes can't have bookmarks. To get round this, overlay an object (such as a rectangle) on top of the textbox, then change the fill property to either clear or off.

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