A summary of the new features in the July 2018 update to Power BI Desktop
Part two 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) (this blog)
  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

For a cumulative list of all of the updates to Power BI Desktop in the last few year or two, 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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Visual headers (a new way to display visual titles)

I got so excited when I saw this! I assumed it was a new way of doing titles, but the truth - as so often in life - turned out to be a bit less exciting:

Visual header

The visual header is, it transpires, the set of icons which usually appear at the top right of a visual.

 

You can now change where and how these icons appear, as described in more detail below.

The default visual header appearance

By default, a visual header appears next to the title:

Default visual header

The default appearance for a visual header.

 

If you don't have a title, the visual header floats above your visual:

Visual header with no title

A visual header for a visual with no title.

 

Unless, that is, your visual happens to be at the top of your report:

Visual at top of report

For a visual at the top of a report, the visual header appears at the bottom.

 

The visual header properties tab (or "card")

There's a new formatting category in town!

Visual header property category

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of a visual's formatting properties and you'll come to one called Visual header.

 

I've only just discovered that Microsoft call a format properties category a card.  Since this is also the name of a visual, I find this confusing!

The visual header properties

Here are the properties you can set:

Properties for visual header

Note that most of these are on/off switches for icons which can sometimes appear for a visual. For many of these icons you won't see the effect until you publish a report.

 

Here's an example of formatting you can set:

Visual header properties Visual header icons
These properties would give ... ... these icons.

Legacy reports

Should you be moved to customise your visual headers for all of your old reports, you'll need to first enable them.  To do this, for each report first go into options:

Choose options

Choose this menu option.

Then choose to use visual headers:

Enabling visual headers

Choose the option shown and select OK.

It would be nice to be able to set a default appearance for all visual headers, but report themes (which might allow you to do this) are still stuck in preview mode for now.

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