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Changes to Power BI Desktop for August 2021
Part three of a five-part series of blogs

This month sees individually customisable shapes and further refinements to the X axis constant line, among other improvements to Power BI Desktop.

  1. Changes to Power BI Desktop for August 2021
  2. You can now tweak the properties of individual shapes
  3. More options for the X axis constant line (this blog)
  4. Sharing Q and A synonyms
  5. A New Date/Time Format for DAX

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 31 August 2021

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More options for the X axis constant line

Microsoft introduced the X axis constant line back in March.  They've now tweaked this to allow two new features.

Pre-constant or post-constant shading

You can shade the area to the left or right of the x-axis constant line:

Shading before constant line

The shading emphasises the before and after effect.

Here are the settings for the above chart, by way of illustration:

X axis constant properties

These settings are on the Analytics tab, not the standard formatting tab.  The properties are reasonably self-explanatory, which is just as well: there are a lot of them!


Setting an expression for the constant line position

The value at which the X axis constant line crosses the X axis can now be an expression.  In the chart below, it's set to the median of the statistic being shown:

Median statistic

For variation I've shaded the area to the right of the line, not the left!

To set the value for the constant line dynamically, click on the expression builder to the right of the Value property:

Expression builder

Click on this icon to set an expression for the value.


Choose the field you want to use:

Number of units field

Here we're basing our statistic on the number of units in the various shopping centres.


Choose the statistic you want to use:

Median statistic

Here we're positioning the constant line at the median of this number.

Note that you'll now need to rename your line:

Renaming line

Double-click on the line name to change it.


And that is surely the last tweak Microsoft will give to this feature!

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