A summary of the new features introduced in the September 2018 Power BI update
Part four of an eight-part series of blogs

The September update of Power BI finally breathes life into report page tooltips, which have been in limbo for a while. You can also copy data from Power BI reports by right-clicking, use some keyboard short-cuts for visual design, apply built-in themes, set fixed-width padding by column example and show categories on the X axis of scatter charts.

  1. Changes introduced in the September 2018 Power BI update
  2. Report page tooltips
  3. Copying values and records
  4. Keyboard short-cuts in Power BI Desktop (this blog)
  5. Built-in themes
  6. Column From Examples now allows for text padding
  7. Improvements to dot (scatter) charts
  8. Features awaiting in preview as of September 2018

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 21 September 2018

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Keyboard short-cuts in Power BI Desktop

I'm a bit of a keyboard enthusiast (my idea of a cheap thrill is discovering a new short-cut key in Excel), so I'm pleased to see Microsoft have introduced some short-cut keys to Power BI Desktop, with plans to roll out more.

They've actually done this to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, but I'm happy to accept the fringe benefits.

Keys you can press are:

Keys What they do
Tab, SHIFT + Tab Move between sections
Left, up, right and down arrows Move around sections
Enter, Space Bar Change or choose things

As an example, suppose you want to change the background colour of a visual starting from the field well:

Field well Background colour
I want to go from here ... ... to here.

By my reckoning, here's how to do this!

  • Press the right arrow to move to the paint roller tool, for formatting.
  • Press the Tab key 15 times to go to the Background section.
  • Press the Enter key to turn Background on.
  • Press the Tab key to go to the Color dropdown.
  • Press Enter to select it.
  • Press Tab to go to the first section.
  • Press the arrow keys to choose a colour.

The behaviour of the Tab key is particularly unpredictable, as you'll see if you try to reproduce the above steps.

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