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The November 2020 update includes zoom sliders and a better apply filter button
Part two 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 (this blog)
  3. Changes to applying filters to reduce your number of queries

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Posted by Andy Brown on 27 November 2020

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Zoom Sliders for Charts

These should be such a good idea!

Zoom sliders for a chart

Here I've added a zoom slider to both axes of this chart.

The idea behind them is that you can highlight part of a chart (so in my example above, the chart goes from 2015 to 2021, but I've chosen to highlight 2016 to 2018 only).

Power BI saves the zoom settings of your visual, so you could use this feature to focus in on a particular area of data while allowing users to expand a chart subsequently to see the whole picture.

Enabling zoom sliders

You can add this feature to bar, column, line, combo and scatter charts as follows:

Zoom slider formatting

Expand the new Zoom slider card to see the properties available.

 

The properties are:

Property What it means
X axis, Y axis Whether you can see a zoom slider on each axis.  Zoom sliders only work with numbers and dates (so if for example you're comparing data horizontally across regions, you won't see an X axis property appearing).
Slider labels Whether additional labels appear next to the slider.  In the example above this option is turned on, which makes the chart look a bit messy (it's probably a good idea to choose either slider labels or axis labels, but not both).
Slider tooltips Whether a tooltip appears as you drag a slider up or down (see diagram below).

Here's what a slider tooltip looks like (it only appears when you're dragging one of the circles):

Dragging a circle

This tooltip shows that the current upper value being displayed is 11,000.

 

Conclusions

I started this blog by saying that this should be such a good idea.  The reason I'm a bit underwhelmed is that I was expecting something different.

Scroll bar

I was expecting scroll bars which would allow me to slide across the years while keeping the left-hand axis visible!  Maybe it's just me, but I feel Microsoft missed a trick with this feature.

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