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Changes to Power BI Desktop in the November 2023 update
Part three of a four-part series of blogs
Although the main innovations in this update are in preview, two of them are turned on now by default: button slicers and reference labels for cards. We also can't resist the temptation to show the new DAX query view, even though it's still very much in preview only.
Just like button slicers, the new reference labels for cards may still be in preview, but they're turned on by default:
More gushiness from the Microsoft update blog: "As the second step in our 5-stage new card visual journey, this November upgrade will keep you smiling from ear to ear!".
Because this preview feature is turned on I've decided to blog about it now, rather than waiting until it is formally released.
It seems only a few months ago (possibly because it was - June 2023) that Microsoft introduced the new card visual:
An example of the new card visual, containing an image and a callout.
Not content with releasing a new card visual, Microsoft have now added a feature allowing you to add reference labels to a card visual as either rows or columns, and using sentence or tabular format:
Sentence (text is displayed as is)
Tabular (labels are displayed in a table)
Labels are displayed with each label above its data
For each reference label you can also display an additional Detail (so next to the total sales value shown above, for example, you could show an additional statistic of your choice), but since I'm already bewildered by the choice available to me I think I'll leave this to the reader's imagination.
Everything to do with reference labels for a card is added here:
The Reference labels formatting card.
You can then add one or more data items:
Here I've added two data items to the card showing the average price.
You can then choose which of the data items that you've added you want to format (it's easy to miss this stage out):
Here I'm choosing to format the first data item, the total sales.
Each label consists of the Title and the Value (there's also a detail as mentioned in the hint above which I'm not getting into):
The formatting set for our first reference label.
Once you've formatted each individual reference label you can then format the whole set, but you must first deselect any series:
Before you can apply general formatting you must first choose All here (again, it's easy to miss this).
You can then set whether a dividing line will appear above your reference labels:
Here I've gone for a thick dashed dividing line.
Finally, you can set the background, all-important layout and spacing:
Here I've gone for centre-justified columns.
Here's what the above settings would give:
What the above card would look like, complete with dividing line and background colour for the reference labels.
Personally, I think this is completely over the top. Who has the time to fine-tune part of a report to this extent? And is this even something that was needed? Couldn't I have created this effect with 2 or 3 separate visuals? Or am I being ungrateful?
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