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A summary of the new features in the July 2018 update to Power BI Desktop
Part seven of a seven-part series of blogs

This month sees features allowing you to change the appearance of the icons at the top right of each visual, and also to change the appearance of the wallpaper surrounding a report, but otherwise all of the enhancements are fairly minor.

  1. New Features for the July 2018 Update of Power BI Desktop
  2. Visual headers (a new way to display visual titles)
  3. Wallpaper formatting
  4. Minor changes to tooltips, the formatting pane and slicers
  5. Minor chart changes
  6. Changes to custom visuals
  7. Summary of features still waiting in preview (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 25 July 2018

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Summary of features still waiting in preview

What's coming to a (Power BI) desktop near you?  The following features:

Power BI preview

Enhancements to Power BI in preview mode

Here's my take on each of the generally useful features shown above:

Feature Notes Rating Months
Shape map visual The release of the MapBox custom visual and ArcGIS visual makes it ever less likely that this will ever see the light of day. 4 6
Custom report themes Microsoft continue to add enhancements to this preview feature. 8 6
New From Web experience Currently you can only import data from HTML tables; this will analyse web pages and allow you to import almost any content. 8 3
Custom data connectors You'll be able to define your own connections to data sources, using the M language. 2 6
Q&A You'll be able to ask questions within published reports, and not just dashboards. 3 6
Dates as a hierarchy When you create a date hierarchy, this will appear in the field well. 2 6
Report page tooltips You'll be able to specify that when a user hovers over a visual they will be able to see a scaled down preview of another page as a tooltip. 6 4
Incremental Refresh Policies For Power BI Premium only, to begin with, you'll be able to update only data which has changed. 7 3
Composite Models You'll be able to mix and match data sources (so have a report getting some data via DirectQuery and some not). 3 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. The final column shows the number of months that each feature has spent in preview since I started tracking it.
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