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Posted by Sam Lowrie on 20 July 2018
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Disappearing data labels in Power BI Charts
This is a Public Sam Announcement for a little problem that can sometimes occur in Power BI Desktop, whereby data labels disappear. The blog explains what the cause is, although doesn't necessarily offer a solution!
If you want to meet Sam (or any of the other Wise Owls), book a place on one of our online or classroom Power BI courses!
Data label basics
Suppose I have a chart with data labels:
By default my data labels are set to Auto - this will choose the best position to make all labels appear.
I can change where these data labels appear by changing the Position option:
The option that the Auto had chosen was Outside End whereas I have now chosen Inside End.
When I change the property some of my data labels disappear since there is not enough room to fit the text. Annoying, but not the issue this blog addresses.
The problem of disappearing data labels
The above chart is rather boring: what I would like to do is to add a splash of colour to the columns. Within the formatter I can change Data colors:
By turning on Show all, I can change the colour for each level of my category.
That takes ages, especially if there are loads of columns, and I'm lazy efficient and want a faster way. Instead add the Axis column into the Legend to get this:
A brilliant move that has coloured each column differently! But where are my data labels?
Unfortunately, when I try to change the position of my data labels back:
There's no option for Outside end!
The reason this occurs is that the legend is meant to be used for stacked column charts (for example for splitting sales by shop type like this):
If I could choose Outside End as the position that would put each data label in the section above it. That would be rather confusing to say the least!
Sadly there is no current fix for this. Only option you currently have is to manually choose the Data colours and the Format painter!