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The November 2020 update includes zoom sliders and a better apply filter button
Part three of a three-part series of blogs

This month's update allows you to zoom in on a particular part of a chart using sliders, and also lets you save up filters to apply them all in one go.

  1. Power BI Desktop - November 2020 Updates
  2. Zoom Sliders for Charts
  3. Changes to applying filters to reduce your number of queries (this blog)

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 27 November 2020

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Changes to applying filters to reduce your number of queries

This is an area of Power BI which many people will have been unaware existed (confession time: I learnt a lot writing this blog!).  It's all about this button:

The Apply button

You can get this Apply button to appear when you have made a change to any filter, and want to apply those changes.

 

You can also, it seems, display an Apply button on a slicer:

Slicer apply button

Apparently you've been able to do this for some time!  You can turn this feature on using the options dialog box shown below, although strictly speaking it's not a new feature and so shouldn't have been mentioned in this blog.

 

The point of both features is to speed up your reports.  Under normal circumstances, whenever someone changes a basic filter or slicer choice Power BI has to run one or more queries against the underlying data model to refresh all the report visuals - which takes time.  Displaying an Apply button allows Power BI to run update queries once and once only.

The Apply button has been there for advanced filters for some time.  What's different this month is that you can display it for basic filters too, ensure that only a single button appears regardless of how many filters you've set, and even change the colour of the button!

First things first - enabling the feature

The reason you may not be familiar with this feature is that it's not enabled by default.  To set it, go into Power BI options:

Power BI options

Choose these options from the File menu.

Now scroll down and choose this option:

Single apply button

Scroll down to choose the Query reduction tab for your current Power BI report, and choose to display a single Apply filter button.  Note that the option above this enables the display of an Apply button for slicers.

The Apply button

Having chosen the option above, an Apply button will appear:

Apply button at bottom

Note that the button will be greyed out if you haven't changed any filter (the yellowy colour doesn't appear until there's a change to apply).

Changing the colour of the Apply button

Excitingly, you can have any colour you want for the Apply button!

Changing button colour

Click on the background of your page to change its properties, and scroll down the Filter pane card's properties until you can set the Checkbox and Apply color, as shown towards the bottom of this screen shot.

 

Quite what the Checkbox part of this does I can't discover - the official Microsoft comprehensive page on filters doesn't throw any light on the subject either.

  1. Power BI Desktop - November 2020 Updates
  2. Zoom Sliders for Charts
  3. Changes to applying filters to reduce your number of queries (this blog)
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