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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.
- October 2020 update of Power BI Desktop
- A new (and better) start-up procedure
- On-screen help (canvas watermarks)
- Personalising visuals (this blog)
- Better recognition of Excel and JSON tables
- Exporting data from a Q and A visual
Posted by Andy Brown on 22 October 2020
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This feature allows people to customise reports even after you've published them:
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:
Choose to work with Options and settings in the File menu.
Next, choose Options:
Choose this menu option.
Tick the box to allow report users to personalise their 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:
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:
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:
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:
Click on the icon shown to personalise this visual.
Here's what you'd see initially for this example:
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:
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:
Click on this cross to stop tweaking the visual.
You can then save your changes, as the pop-up reminder tells you:
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:
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):
Type in a name for your bookmark.
I can then revert to the normal visual 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 ...