New features introduced in the July 2019 update of Power BI
Part two of a seven-part series of blogs

There are big changes to conditional formatting this month (you can display icons, and use percent-based thresholds), but the biggest change of all is the release - finally - of the new filter pane.

  1. Changes introduced in the July 2019 Power BI update
  2. The new fllter pane (this blog)
  3. Adding icons into the table and matrix visuals
  4. Conditional formatting using percentages
  5. Aggregation tables
  6. Little updates and 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 Sam Lowrie on 02 August 2019

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The new fllter pane

This new feature has been the highest ranked on Andy's preview feature list for some months.  Now it has finally appeared!

Power BI Filter pane

Time to say goodbye to the old integrated filter pane and move on to bigger and better things!

 

Enabling the new Filter Pane

If you are opening a new report (version July 2019 or later) the filter pane will automatically appear, but if like us you often recycle old reports you'll need to turn it on:

Power BI Filter Pane

Go to Options and Settings and then click on Report settings in the CURRENT FILE tab . Tick the box to enable the updated filter pane.

You'll need to make this change for each report. For published reports the option is slightly different:

Power BI Filter Pane

Select the workspace (in Apps or My Workspace) and then switch to the Reports tab showing all published reports.

You can now select the settings cog under Actions over to the right of the report whose filter pane you wish to display:

Power BI Filter Pane

You can now choose to enable the filter pane for this report. Annoyingly there doesn't appear to be a universal turn-on option.

 

Using the filter pane

The new pane contains most of the options which appeared in the old field well, with the notable exception of not including the drill through:

Power BI Filter Pane

The filter pane shows filters being applied to each visual (when selected), to the page and to the entire report.

Adding filters is as easy as before - simply drag and drop additional fields into whichever level you want to filter:

Power BI Filter Pane

Veteran report creators will have no problem transitioning to the new style.

 

What is new then? Well when you add a filter of any level (including cross filtering and drill through) each visual has a popup telling the user this:

Power BI Filter Pane

A new funnel icon appears on the visual header (it can be turned off).  Clicking on this will list all filters affecting that visual.

Another nice feature is the ability to rename visual, page or report filters as they appear in the pop-up, to give the source:

Power BI Filter Pane

There doesn't appear to be this option for drill through or cross filtering.

 

Not only that, but changing the column type and/or filter name will affect the pop-up, including things such as currency formatting:

Power BI Filter Slicer

Little features like this really add a nice touch. Well done BI team!

 

Formatting the filter pane

The filter pane is not only going to be visible to report consumers but interactive as well, and as such needs to blend in.  There are two options you can choose to customise the appearance of the filter pane:

Filter options

You can either customise the filter pane or filter cards (the difference between the two options is explained below).

 

Here's an example of how to change the appearance of the filter pane:

Filter pane settings on the format tab of visuals ... ... allow the pane to match the report's theme.

 

The Filter cards option, by contrast, changes the settings of the boxes on top of the panel:

Power BI filter pane

You can format available and applied filters differently, as below.

 

As stated above, available and applied filters can be formatted separately (you can switch between the two using a dropdown):

Power BI Filter pane

Rather frustratingly you can't change these formats when you have a visual selected (but you can use the page filter as a formatted reference).

Filter pane formatting can also be saved into a theme and from there into a template to be used in all future reports. Here is a sample of the code that could give you the wonderful colour scheme above:

"outspacePane": [{

"backgroundColor": {"solid": {"color": "#F2C80F"}},

"foregroundColor": {"solid": {"color": "#484644"}}

}],

"filterCard": [

{

"$id": "Applied",

"backgroundColor": {"solid": {"color": "#FF0014"}},

"foregroundColor": {"solid": {"color": "#252423"}},

},

{

"$id": "Available",

"backgroundColor": {"solid": {"color": "#FF0014"}},

"foregroundColor": {"solid": {"color": "#252423"}}

]}

Hiding and locking the filter pane (or parts thereof)

If you don't want your end users to see the filter pane (either due to shame about your formatting skills or privacy settings) you can turn it off:

Power BI Filter Pane

The default is turned on - clicking the eye will put a line through it, setting it to hidden.

If you want users to be able to see the filter pane but not change it, each card can be edited individually:

Power BI Filter Pane

The lock prevents users from changing the filter, while the eye decides if they can see it. Leaving it unlocked and visible gives a user free reign to change any formatting settings.

Most people will enjoy the new flexibility added by this new feature - and for those who don't just hide the pane and the visual header icon!

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