Read about the many new features introduced in the March 2019 update
Part two of a ten-part series of blogs

This is the biggest single update for some time, introducing the new modelling view, tooltip styling, single-select slicers and much more besides.

  1. The March 2019 Update to Power BI Desktop
  2. A new modelling view to change your Power BI life! (this blog)
  3. Changing the appearance of tooltips
  4. Single-select slicers
  5. Viewing date components in the field list
  6. Automatic heat maps and improvements to map formatting
  7. Improved selection pane
  8. New DAX functions
  9. Lots of other miscellaneous changes
  10. Power BI features waiting in preview, as of March 2019

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 20 March 2019

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A new modelling view to change your Power BI life!

In a crowded field, this is the stand-out update for us (it's been waiting in preview for a few months now):

The new modelling view

The new Model View. It may look similar, but as you'll discover if you read on down the page, it's MUCH better!

What I've done in this blog is to show the main new features that the new modelling view enables, starting with one of Wise Owl's bugbears.

When I first wrote this blog (yesterday, as it happens) I overlooked one major benefit of the new model view: that it gives you the ability to create multiple layouts for the same database.  I've now covered this in a separate blog.

Hiding multiple columns is now possible!

For years PowerPivot has allowed you to hide multiple columns from its report view in one go, whereas in Power BI you've had to hide them one at a time.  This irritating feature is now a thing of the past:

Hiding mulitple columns

Want to hide these 5 columns from 3 different tables? Use the Ctrl or Shift keys to select them as shown, then right-click and choose the option shown.

Searching for columns

However, it's actually even better than that.  What you often want to do in Power BI is to hide the ID columns, to stop them cluttering up the list of fields in Report View.  This is now easy:

Searching for fields

Type in text in the search box (here I've typed id) and you'll see all of the fields whose names contain this text.  You can then hide them all in one go, or simultaneously change any other of their properties for that matter.

 

The above screen shot contains a resize arrow on the left.  There seems to be a bug in the new update which prevents you releasing the mouse after resizing the FIELDS window shown, although this is more annoying than anything else.

Changing the properties of multiple fields

It's often the case that you want to assign the same properties to a number of fields.  No longer do you have to do this one by one!  For example, to change the default format of multiple date fields, first select them:

Two date fields

Here I've used the Ctrl key to select two different date fields, from different tables.

You can then change any of the properties listed:

Formatting properties

I've shown the advanced properties here too. To change the date format of all of the selected fields you could just click on the drop arrow shown.

 

Assigning fields to folders

If you have a lot of fields in a table you can divide them into folders (although as things stand you can't combine fields from different tables into the same folder, which would be more useful):

Display folders

Here I'm saying that the Title column should go in a display folder called Main fields.

You can assign multiple fields to the same folder by first selecting them.  Why do this?  Below I've divided my film fields into two sets:

Display folders viewed

The most interesting fields are on the Main fields folder.

 

These folders then appear when you're creating reports:

Folders in report view

If you divide your fields sensibly it should make it easier for report designers to create reports based upon your data model.

 

You can even create subfolders, by using the \ character:

Creating a subfolder

Here the Title field is in its own dedicated subfolder!

You can gauge the importance of a change by how annoying it is for anyone trying to train in Power BI.  This change gets 10 out of 10 - we are having to rewrite a whole courseware chapter, redo all our screen shots and change the way we teach Power BI!

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