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Thie month's Power BI update includes a new logo, on-screen help and much more!
Part four 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)
  4. Personalising visuals (this blog)
  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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Personalising visuals

This feature allows people to customise reports even after you've published them:

Personalised report

Here someone is tweaking a published report in Power BI Service.

To get this to work, you first have to enable the setting (as shown below).  The rest of this page then explains how this feature works.

Unusually for a Power BI update, a few bugs seems to have sneaked through (I've counted 3 so far, although none of them changes the way in which the feature works).

Enabling personalisation of visuals

To use this new feature, go to the Power BI options dialog box:

Options and settings

Choose to work with Options and settings in the File menu.

 

Next, choose Options:

Options menu

Choose this menu option.

 

Tick the box to allow report users to personalise their visuals:

Report settings personalize visuals

Choose Report settings on the left in the CURRENT FILE section of the menu, then scroll down and tick the box shown.

Allowing a page and visual to be personalised

Even after you've enabled the feature, you still need to grant authority for a consumer of your report to tweak it.  You can do this at page level:

Personalize permission page

Click on the background of a page and enable personalisation using this option.  The Report-reader perspective drop-down allows you to choose which perspective a report consumer will see, but unless you've based your report on an Analysis Services tabular model this won't mean much to you!

 

You can also specify that an individual visual is personalisable (is that a word?), either using an icon in the visual header:

Visual header icon

This icon doesn't seem to retain its settings (it can appear unselected even after you've enabled this option).

Or using the visual's properties:

Visual header property

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the Visual header card (itself the bottom card in the list of formatting properties) and you'll see this.

 

Personalising a published visual

When you mouse over a published visual a caption appears telling you that you can personalise it (in my first example I had two visuals, and the caption randomly flitted between them).  Even after this caption disappears, you can choose this option:

Personalising a published report

Click on the icon shown to personalise this visual.

Here's what you'd see initially for this example:

Initial visual

The initial settings are the ones you used when you created the visual, before publishing it.

Here's what you might have a few clicks down the line:

Revised visual

I've changed nearly everything about this visual, but I can't change the title, scaling or data labels, it seems.

Saving your changes as a bookmark

When you've finished personalising this visual, close down the personalisation window:

Closing personalisation

Click on this cross to stop tweaking the visual.

 

You can then save your changes, as the pop-up reminder tells you:

Personalising a visual

This banner reminds you that you can save your changes.

 

You can then create a bookmark, allowing you to return to your tweaked visual whenever you want:

Adding a personal bookmark

Choose this option to create a bookmark saving your changes.

 

Here I've called mine Doughnutty chart (but chosen not to make it the default view):

New chart name

Type in a name for your bookmark.

 

I can then revert to the normal visual view:

Revert to normal view

Click on this icon to revert to the default visual view.

 

Personalised visuals are like Q&A visuals in two ways.  Firstly, Microsoft have clearly invested a lot of time and money in making them powerful and easy to use; and secondly, this owl can't see the point of either!  Let me know your views ...

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