A summary of new features introduced in the August 2019 Power BI update
Part two of a six-part series of blogs

This was a month of few updates. Our favourite by far is that you can now group visuals, but the Key Influencers visual has also emerged from the preview shadows.

  1. New changes for the August 2019 Power BI update
  2. Grouping visuals (this blog)
  3. The new Key Influencers visual
  4. You can now choose from conditional icon sets
  5. Updating old reports to the new filter pane
  6. Features waiting in preview as of August 2019

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 19 August 2019

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Grouping visuals

Excitingly, you can now group visuals together to make them behave as one:

Grouping visuals

Use the Ctrl key to add visuals to a selection, then right-click to group them.

When you click on a grouped set of visuals, Power BI shows this:

Grouped visuals

If you click on any of the 3 visuals which you've grouped, Power BI will make it obvious what's going on.

As you might expect, when you have a group selected you can't change many properties:

Group properties

These are the only formatting properties common to all three of the visuals in this group.

Having said this, you can set a background colour for a group:

Group background colour

When you ungroup the visuals, the background colour disappears.

If you click a second time on the same visual, you'll be able to edit it individually:

Editing individual visual

Now I'm changing the properties of the logo only.

 

You can also create nested groups (the whole grouping feature has been designed to work exactly the same way as it does in PowerPoint).

Using the Selection Pane

You can drag visuals around in the selection pane to include them in (or exclude them from) groups:

Dragging visuals

Drag a visual into or out of the group shown to include/exclude it.

 

You can also use the selection pane to hide or show an entire group, not to mention including it within a bookmark.

To change the name of a group, just double-click on it (thanks, Sam - I must admit I couldn't find out how to do this).

Merging groups

If you have two separate groups, you can merge them into one:

Merging groups

This option would create a single group containing all 5 visuals, rather than a nested group.

 

Note that Microsoft have more in mind for groups, as the monthly update blog shows:

Scrolling groups

A scrolling group really would be something!

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