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Changes introduced in the June 2019 Power BI update
Part three of a seven-part series of blogs

Although there aren't many changes this month, the ones that there are of unusually high quality. The new look to Power BI is welcome (even if it does mean we have to rewrite all of our courseware), and we're looking forward to using the new conditional formatting options and visual header tooltips.

  1. Changes introduced in the June 2019 Power BI update
  2. A new look-and-feel (sob!)
  3. More conditional formats / expression-bound formatting (this blog)
  4. It is now possible to filter slicers themselves
  5. Visual header tooltips
  6. Assorted other minor changes
  7. Features waiting in preview

For a cumulative list of all of the updates to Power BI Desktop in the last few years see this blog, or have a look at the Power BI courses that we run.

Posted by Andy Brown on 14 June 2019

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More conditional formats / expression-bound formatting

I suspect this will be a regular item in my monthly update blog for some time, as it becomes possible to make the format of more and more parts of a Power BI report dynamic.

What I'll do on this page is show in detail one example of conditional formatting, and then list all of the parts of a report which now support this feature.

Example of how to bring up conditional formatting

So I have a pie chart with a light grey background:

Pie chart

The background colour has been set to grey.

When setting the colour, there's no clue that anything more ambitious is possible:

Missing icons

Microsoft need to display an expression icon next to any property which can be dynamic!


However, if you let your mouse linger over the property, a hint appears that there's more to it than meets the eye:

Conditional formatting icon

When you linger over the property, three dots appear on the right.


You can either click on these three dots or right-click on the property to show the conditional formatting option:

Conditional formatting short-cut menu


Setting conditional formatting

To use conditional formatting effectively you often have to understand how to create measures in DAX, but here's a simple example which doesn't use measures.  Suppose that you want the background colour of your pie chart to depend on which environment you choose in a slicer:

Slicer choice

Here I've gone for Water, which gives a blue background.

It helps that I've got an additional Colour column in the underlying table for the slicer:

Slicer colours

I've assigned a different standard colour name to each environment.


To achieve this you could set the background colour of the visual to be the value of this Colour column:

Colour rule

Here we're colouring based on the value of a field.

So what can you conditionally format?

I think I prefer the term expression-bound formatting, but hey ho ... here are the new places you can apply conditional formatting.  Let's start with visual background colours, which we've just seen:

Background colours

This is as above (where a conditional format has been applied, Power BI shows a function symbol to warn you of this).


Then there are the font and background colour of titles:

Title font colour Title background colour
Title font colour ... ... and background colour

For a card visual, the category label colour ...

Category label

I must admit I always turn off category labels for cards and add my own title instead!

... and also the data label colour for a card visual:

Data label colour

Staying with my theme, here the label is in blue, because I've chosen the Water environment.

Finally, you can conditionally format the fill colour for a gauge:

Gauge fill colour

The gauge fill colour is blue here, as again I've chosen the Water environment.

I wonder what order Microsoft choose when applying conditional formatting to formatting properties?  Alphabetical? Random? Ease of coding?  Or perhaps there's a focus group deciding the order?

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