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Thie month's Power BI update includes a new logo, on-screen help and much more!
Part three of a six-part series of blogs

There are a few good changes to Power BI Desktop this month, including a better icon and splash screen, on-canvas help (albeit pitched at too low a level) and the ability to let users tweak visuals you've published.

  1. October 2020 update of Power BI Desktop
  2. A new (and better) start-up procedure
  3. On-screen help (canvas watermarks) (this blog)
  4. Personalising visuals
  5. Better recognition of Excel and JSON tables
  6. Exporting data from a Q and A visual

We've been creating our idiosyncratic monthly blogs on Power BI updates since November 2016, and also deliver online and classroom Power BI courses.

Posted by Andy Brown on 22 October 2020

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On-screen help (canvas watermarks)

Power BI now includes tips for beginners, which Microsoft insist on calling canvas watermarks.

Canvas watermarks

What you see when you start a new Power BI report.

These disappear when you load some data, to be replaced by an equally irritating prompt to create a visual:

Build visuals watermark

Advice for absolute beginners.

I can't find any way to prevent watermarks appearing.  I can see that they're really useful for beginners, but feel a bit insulted when one appears in every new report that I create!

Accessing the Sample Dataset

One really nice idea for new users is that you can practise with a Microsoft dataset.  Here's how to get at this:

Sample dataset

Click on this option in the initial watermark help panel.

You can then choose to load this data:

Loading the sample dataset

Click on the button shown to use the sample dataset.

You can then choose to load the sample data:

Sample data worksheet

I was expecting something more complicated and also tidier - credit to Microsoft for using a realistic-looking example.

The world is then your oyster!

A sample chart

A little something I knocked up (in about 20 seconds).

Canvas watermarks are a nice idea, but from my experience of training on Power BI I think they're pitched at too low a level (on-screen guides to using specific visuals or features would be more useful).

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