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Power BI March 2024 Feature Summary

Power BI March 2024 Feature Summary

Welcome to the March 2024 update! Here are a few, select highlights of the many updates we have for Power BI. There are new updates for Visual calculations, edit your data model in the Power BI Service, and deliver report subscriptions to OneDrive SharePoint.

There is more to explore, please continue to read on.

We are thrilled to announce the general availability of Exam DP-600, which leads to the Microsoft Certified: Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate certification.  

Microsoft Fabric’s common analytics platform is built on the instantly familiar Power BI experience, making your transition to Fabric Analytics Engineer easier. With Fabric, you can build on your prior knowledge – whether that is Power BI, SQL, or Python – and master how to enrich data for analytics in the era of AI. 

To help you learn quickly and get certified, we created the Fabric Career Hub. We have curated the best free on-demand and live training, exam crams, practice tests and more. 

Also, become eligible for a free certification exam by completing the Fabric AI Skills Challenge. But hurry, the challenge only runs from March 19 – April 19 and free certs are first-come, first-served! (limit one per participant, terms and conditions apply). 

  • Version number: v: 2.127.1080.0
  • Date published: 3/25/24

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Visual calculations update  image

You can now add and edit visual calculations on the service. You can add a visual calculation by selecting New calculation from the context menu on a visual after you publish a report to the service.

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Also, after you publish a report that has visual calculations in it, you can access the visual calculations edit mode by selecting a visual calculation and choosing Edit calculation.

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To learn more about visual calculations, read our announcement blog and our documentation.

Blogs: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/blog/visual-calculations-preview/

Docs: https://aka.ms/visual-calculations-docs

On-Object Interaction Updates

Why not both? To balance the needs of our existing users who prefer to build visuals quickly in the pane, with the needs of our new users that need guidance when picking a visual type or appropriate field wells, you no longer must choose one or the other path, now there’s both!

This month, we streamlined the build pane and moved the visual suggestions feature to be inside the on-object build button only. Need help building your visual? Use the on-object “suggest a visual” experience. Already know your way around, use the build pane as you already do today.

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Gauge visual now supported! The gauge visual now supports the new on-object formatting sub selections. Simply double click on your gauge visual to enter format mode, then right-click on which part of the visual you’d like to format using the mini-toolbar.

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The pane switcher has been renamed to Pane manager and spruced up this month. Based on your feedback, we’ve updated the order of the pane listings and added the settings that pertain to the Pane manager directly in this menu. Let us know what you think!

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Mobile layout auto-create  image

You know that mobile optimized report layouts are the best way to view data in the Power BI mobile apps. But you also know that it requires extra work to create that layout. Well, not anymore…

As of this monthly update, you can generate a mobile-optimized layout with a click of a button! This long-awaited feature allows you to easily create mobile-optimized layouts for any new or existing report page, saving you tons of time!

When you switch to the mobile layout view in Power BI Desktop, if the mobile canvas is empty, you can generate a mobile layout just by selecting the Auto-create button.

The auto-create engine understands the desktop layout of your report and builds a mobile layout that considers the position, size, type, and order of the visuals that the report contains. It places both visible and hidden visuals, so if you have bookmarks that change a visual’s visibility, they will work in the automatically created mobile layout as well.

You can edit the automatically created mobile layout, so if the result is not exactly what you expected, you can tweak it to make it perfect for your needs. Think of it as a starting point you can use to shorten the way to that beautiful, effective, mobile-optimized report you envision.

To enjoy the new mobile layout auto-create capabilities, switch on the “Auto-create mobile layout” preview feature in Power BI Desktop: File > Options and settings > Options > Preview features > Auto-create mobile layout.

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We invite you to try out the mobile layout Auto-create feature and share your feedback with us!

Expanding Spatial Data Integration: Shapefile Support in Azure Maps Visual

After successfully integrating WKT and KML formats in February, we’re now stepping it up a notch by extending our support to include the Shapefile format. With just two clicks, you can now seamlessly overlay your spatial data onto Azure Maps’ base map. Whether through file upload or a hosted file, Azure Maps’ reference layer empowers you to effortlessly incorporate your data. Get ready to elevate your data storytelling to new heights, embracing flexibility and unlocking fresh insights with our upcoming release!

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Data bars in matrix subtotal/total conditional formatting

In this Power BI release, we are happy to upgrade the data bars for Matrix and table to apply them to values only, values and totals, or total only. This enhancement gives you better control and reduces unnecessary noise to keep your tabular visuals nice and clean.

In this Power BI release, we’re excited to introduce an upgrade to the data bars for Matrix and Table visuals. Now, you have the flexibility to apply data bars to the following options:

Values Only: Display data bars based solely on the values within your visual.

Values and Totals: Extend data bars to include both individual values and their corresponding totals.

Total Only: Show data bars exclusively for the overall total.

This enhancement provides better control over your tabular visuals, reducing unnecessary noise and ensuring cleaner presentation.

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Data labels alignment

We’ve made significant improvements to the data labels in our charts. Now, when you use a multi-line layout with title, value, and detail labels, you have the flexibility to horizontally align them. This means you can create cleaner, more organized visualizations by ensuring that your labels are neatly positioned. To experience this enhancement, follow these steps: 1) navigate to the Data Labels section, 2) click on Layout, and finally, 3) explore the Horizontal alignment options for aligning your labels.

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Write DAX queries in DAX query view with Copilot  image

The DAX query view with Copilot is now available in public preview! Enable the feature in the Preview section of File > Options and settings > Options, click on DAX query view, and launch the in-line Copilot by clicking the Copilot button in the ribbon or using the shortcut CTRL+I.

With Fabric Copilot, you can generate DAX queries from natural language, get explanations of DAX queries and functions, and even get help on specific DAX topics. Try it out today and see how it can boost your productivity with DAX query view!

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A more detailed blog post will be available soon.

Enhanced row-level security editor is Enabled by Default image

We are excited to announce the enhanced row-level security editor as the default experience in Desktop! With this editor, you can quickly and easily define row-level security roles and filters without having to write any DAX! Simply choose ‘Manage roles’ from the ribbon to access the default drop-down interface for creating and editing security roles. If you prefer using DAX or need it for your filter definitions, you can switch between the default drop-down editor and a DAX editor.

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Learn more information about this editor including limitations in our documentation. Please continue to submit your feedback directly in the comments of this blog post.

Selection expressions for calculation groups image

Calculation groups just got more powerful! This month, we are introducing the preview of selection expressions for calculation groups, which allow you to influence what happens in case the user makes multiple selections for a single calculation group or does not make a selection at all. This provides a way to do better error handling, but also opens interesting scenarios that provide some good default behavior, for example, automatic currency conversion. Selection expressions are optionally defined on a calculation group and consist of an expression and an optional dynamic format expression.

This new capability comes with an extra benefit of potential performance improvements when evaluating complex calculation group items.

To define and manage selection expressions for calculation groups you can leverage the same tools you use today to work with calculation groups.

On a calculation group you will be able to specify the following selection expressions both consisting of the Expression itself and a FormatStringDefinition:

  • multipleOrEmptySelectionExpression. This expression has a default value of SELECTEDMEASURE() and will be returned if the user selects multiple calculation items on the same calculation group or if a conflict between the user’s selections and the filter context occurs.
  • noSelectionExpression. This expression has a default value of SELECTEDMEASURE() and will be returned if the user did not select any items on the calculation group.

Here’s an overview of the type of selection compared to the current behavior that we shipped before this preview, and the new behavior both when the expression is defined on the calculation group and when it’s not. The items in bold are where the new behavior differs from the current behavior.

Type of selectionCurrent behaviorNew behavior without a defined selection expressionNew behavior with a selection expression defined
Single selectionCalculation group selection is appliedN/A, no change to behaviorN/A, no change to behavior
Multiple selectionCalculation group is not filteredCalculation group is not filteredCalculation group evaluates specified multipleOrEmptySelectionExpression
Empty selectionErrorCalculation group is not filteredCalculation group evaluates specified multipleOrEmptySelectionExpression
No selectionCalculation group is not filteredCalculation group is not filteredCalculation group evaluates specified noSelectionExpression

Let’s look at some examples.

Multiple or Empty selections

If the user makes multiple selections on the same calculation group, the current behavior is to return the same result as if the user did not make any selections. In this preview, you can specify a multiOrEmptySelectionExpression on the calculation group. If you did, then we evaluate that expression and related dynamic format string and return its result. You can for example use this to inform the user about what is being filtered:

EVALUATE
{
CALCULATE (
[MyMeasure],
'MyCalcGroup'[Name] = "item1" || 'MyCalcGroup'[Name] = "item2"
)
}
-- multipleOrEmptySelectionExpression on MyCalcGroup:
IF(ISFILTERED ( 'MyCalcGroup' ),"Filters: "& CONCATENATEX (FILTERS ( 'MyCalcGroup'[MyCalcGroup] ),'MyCalcGroup'[MyCalcGroup],", "))
IF (
ISFILTERED ( 'MyCalcGroup' ),
"Filters: "
& CONCATENATEX (
FILTERS ( 'MyCalcGroup'[Name] ),
'MyCalcGroup'[Name],
", "
)
)
-- Returns “Filters: item1, item2”

In case of a conflict or empty selection on a calculation group you might have seen this error before:

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With our new behavior this error is a thing of the past and we will evaluate the multipleOrEmptySelectionExpression if present on the calculation group. If that expression is not defined, we will not filter the calculation group.

No selections

One of the best showcases for this scenario is automatic currency conversion. Today, if you use calculation groups to do currency conversion, the report author and user must remember to select the right calculation group item for the currency conversion to happen. With this preview, you are now empowered to do automatic currency conversion using a default currency. On top of that, if the user wants to convert to another currency altogether, they can still do that, but even if they deselect all currencies the default currency conversion will still be applied.

Current

Note how both the currency to convert to as well as the “conversion” calculation group item is selected.

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New

Notice how the user must only select the currency to convert to.

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Read more about selection expressions in our calculation groups documentation.

The selection expressions for calculation groups are currently in preview. Please let us know what you think!

DAX query view improvements image

We released the public preview of DAX query view in November 2023, and in this release, we made the following improvements:

  1. Re-ordering of query tabs is now available.
  2. The share feedback link has been added to the command bar.
  3. Coach marks for DAX query view.

And we have released additional INFO DAX functions.

Learn more with these resources.

Edit your data model in the Power BI Service – Updates

Below are the improvements coming this month to the data model editing in the Service preview:

Autodetect relationships

Creating relationships for your semantic model on the web is now easier using autodetect relationships. Simply go to the Home ribbon and select the Manage relationships dialog. Then, choose ‘Autodetect’ and let Power BI find and create relationships for you.

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Sort by column

Within the web you can now edit the sort by property for a column in your semantic model.

Row-level security

We have made several improvements to the row-level security editor in the web. In the DAX editor you can now do the following actions:

  • Utilize IntelliSense to assist in defining your DAX expression.
  • Verify the validity of your DAX expression by clicking the check button.
  • Revert changes to your DAX expression by selecting the X button.

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Please continue to submit your feedback directly in the comments of this blog post or in our feedback forum.

Undo/Redo, Clear all, and New filter cards in Explore

This month we’ve added a few new features to the new Explore experience.

Undo/Redo

Now it’s simply to undo your previous action or use the ‘Reset all changes’ to go back to the last save state of your exploration.

Note: If you haven’t saved your exploration yet, then reset will clear your canvas back to blank.

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Clear all

The new ‘clear all’ feature allows you to wipe your canvas back to blank. This works great when using Explore as a whiteboarding space, maybe you have a new thought you’d like to explore and want to essentially erase what you have in one click. This is made simple with the new ‘clear all’ option.

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New filter card styling

When using the filtering experience in Explore you’ll now notice an update to the filter cards style and readability. We hope these improvements make filters easier to use and accessible for more users. Let us know what you think!

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Deliver report subscriptions to OneDrive SharePoint image

You can now send subscriptions to OneDrive SharePoint (ODSP). With this update, all your large reports, both PBIX and paginated reports can be sent to ODSP. At this time, the workspace must be backed by a premium capacity or equivalent fabric capacity.

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We currently support “Standard” subscriptions.

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You need to select the “Attach full report” option.

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We support more output formats for paginated reports.

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Once you select the output format, you can select the OneDrive or SharePoint option, the location and enter the subscription schedule to have your report delivered.

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Learn more about subscribing to ODSP here. This feature will start lighting up in certain regions as soon as this week, but depending on the geography in which your Power BI tenant is located, it may take up to three weeks to appear. Also, since this feature will not be supported in Sov clouds while in preview.

Custom visual SSO support

Custom visuals that use the new authentication API are also supported when viewed in the Power BI Mobile apps. No additional authentication is required, making sure that the data exploration experience in the mobile app is as delightful as possible, without any interruptions.

New title flyout for Power BI Desktop developer mode

You can quickly recognize when you are working on a Power BI Project (PBIP by looking at the title bar:

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If you click on the title bar, you will see a new flyout that is specific for Power BI Project. This lets you easily locate the Power BI Project files as well as the display name settings for the report and the semantic model. You can also open the folder in file explorer by clicking on the paths.

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Rename to “Semantic Model” in Power BI Project files

Following the rename to “Semantic Model,” announced last November, Power BI Project files (PBIP) also adhere to that naming change. Now, when saving as PBIP, the following changes will be verified:

  • Semantic Model folder, “*. Dataset”, will be saved as “*.SemanticModel
    • Only applied to new PBIP files, existing will keep the current folder name.
  • “definition.pbidataset” file is renamed to “definition.pbism”

System file updates for Git integration

Currently, when synchronizing Fabric items with Git, every item directory is equipped with two automatically generated system files—item.metadata.json and item.config.json. These files are vital for establishing and maintaining the connection between the two platforms.

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As part of our continuous efforts to simplify the integration with Git, we have consolidated these files into a single system file -. platform. This new system file will encompass all the attributes that were previously distributed between the two files.

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When you make new changes to Git, your system files will be automatically updated to the new version in conjunction with your modifications. Both your own changes and the new file updates will show as part of the commit operation. Additionally, any new projects exported from Power BI desktop via developer mode will adopt the new system file format. Beyond these adjustments, there will be no impact on your Git workflow.

More about this file and the attributes within it can be found here.

Hierarchal Identity filter API

API 5.9.0 introduces a new filter API. This API allows you to create a visual that can filter matrix data hierarchically based on data points. This is useful for custom visuals that leverage group-on keys and allow hierarchical filtering using identities. For more information see the documentation 

New visuals in AppSource

Waterfall-Visual-Extended
Stacked Insights
Waterfall – What’s driving my variation?
Untap Text Box
CloudScope Image

neas-spc
Donut Chart image

orcaviz-enterprise

Dumbbell Bar Chart by Nova Silva

Your valuable feedback continues to shape our Power BI visuals, and we’re thrilled to announce exciting enhancements to the Dumbbell Bar Chart. In the latest release, we’ve introduced the capability to display multiple dumbbell bars in a single row, allowing for the presentation of more than two values in a streamlined manner. This update opens new possibilities, including the creation of the Adverse Event Timeline plot, or AE Timeline.

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The AE Timeline serves as a graphical representation of the timing of adverse events in clinical trials or studies. Its primary objective is to visually convey when adverse events occur concerning the timing of treatment or exposure. Widely used in medical research, especially during safety data analysis in drug development, the AE Timeline is now seamlessly available within Power BI.

Experience the enhanced Dumbbell Bar Chart and the innovative AE Timeline by downloading it from AppSource. All features are readily accessible within Power BI Desktop, empowering you to evaluate this visual on your own data. Dive into enhanced functionality and discover new insights effortlessly.

Questions or remarks? Visit us at: https://visuals.novasilva.com/.

Date Picker by Powerviz

The Ultimate Date Slicer for Power BI.

The “First Day of Week” option was added in the recent version update.

The Date Picker visual offers a modern calendar view, Presets, Pop-up mode, Default Selection, Themes, and more, making it a must-have date slicer for Power BI reports.  Its rich formatting options help with brand consistency and a seamless UI experience.

Key Features:

  • Display Mode: Choose between Pop-up and Canvas modes.
  • Presets: Many commonly used presets like Today, Last Week, YTD, MTD, or create your preset using field.
  • Default Selection: Control the date period selected when the user refreshes or reopens the report.
  • Filter Type: Choose between Range and Start/End types.
  • Month Style: Select single- or double-month date slicer.
  • Multiple Date Ranges: Flexibility to select multiple date ranges.
  • Themes: 15+ pre-built themes with full customization.
  • Holidays and Weekends: Customize holidays/weekends representation.
  • Import/Export JSON: Build templates and share your designs.

Many more features and customizable options.

🔗 Try Date Picker for FREE from AppSource

📊 Check out all features of the visual: Demo file

📃 Step-by-step instructions: Documentation
💡 YouTube Video:  Video Link

📍 Learn more about visuals: https://powerviz.ai/

✅ Follow Powerviz: https://lnkd.in/gN_9Sa6U

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Drill Down Combo PRO

Drill Down Combo PRO lets report creators build impressive charts of categorical data. Choose from multiple chart types and create column, line, area, and their combination charts. Use vast customization options to make your chart unique while enhancing the readability of your data with features like conditional formatting and dynamic thresholds.

MAIN FEATURES:

  • Conditional formatting – compare results against forecasts by automatically adjusting formatting based on a numerical value.
  • Full customization – customize X and Y axes, the legend, outline, and fill settings.
  • Choose normal, 100% proportional, or zero-based stacking.
  • Set up to 4 static and/or dynamic thresholds to demonstrate targets.
  • Customize multiple series simultaneously with series and value label defaults.

POPULAR USE CASES:

  • Sales and marketing – sales strategies, results, marketing metrics
  • Human resources – hiring, overtime, and efficiency ratios by department.
  • Accounting and finance – financial performance by region, office, or business line
  • Manufacturing – production and quality metrics

ZoomCharts Drill Down Visuals are known for interactive drilldowns, cross-filtering, and rich customization options. They support interactions, selections, custom and native tooltips, filtering, bookmarks, and context menu.

Try Drill Down Combo PRO now by downloading the visual from AppSource. 

Learn More about Drill Down Combo PRO by ZoomCharts.  

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PDF Uploader/Viewer

Upload and securely share any PDF file with your colleagues.

Introducing our PDF Uploader/Viewer visual!

Simply upload any PDF file and instantly share it with your colleagues.

This visual boasts several impressive capabilities:

  • Microsoft certification ensures that the visual does not interact with external services, guaranteeing that your PDF files are securely stored and encrypted within the report, in alignment with your report sensitivity settings.
  • It automatically saves your preferences, allowing you to navigate pages, adjust the zoom level, and scroll to emphasize specific sections. Your colleagues will view the exact portion of the PDF you highlighted.
  • You have the flexibility to add text or draw lines to underline key content.
  • Users can conveniently download the PDF file directly from the visual.

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Learn more

Inforiver Premium Matrix

Inforiver Premium Matrix by Lumel delivers superior reporting capabilities for financial, paginated, IBCS, variance, management reporting, and executive scorecards with the flexibility and familiar user experience of Excel.

To bring visual formulas and ton of additional functionalities frequently sought after by the Power BI community, Inforiver leveraged a differentiated architecture compared to the native matrix. With the recently released dynamic drill SDK/API, we now offer the Performance Mode, so you don’t have to compromise between the initial load performance offered by the native matrix and the advanced capabilities offered by Inforiver. You can now load the first two levels as the default dimensions of the hierarchy and then drill down to the lower levels as needed on demand, giving you the best of both worlds.

In addition to manual data input and what-if simulation capabilities, Inforiver’ s planning and forecasting capabilities are significantly enhanced with the upcoming 2.8 release. This includes a dedicated forecast toolbar, support for automatic rolling forecasts, dynamic handling of time series extensions, and an option to distribute deficits to other time periods.

Inforiver notes and annotations are now context-aware and are dynamically updated based on the filter/slicer selection.

Try Inforiver today!

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YouTube video: https://youtu.be/uBLw8xOWujc

Video titled: Inforiver Premium Matrix 2.8 | No Code Advanced Reporting in Power BI

Connect to new data sources from Power BI Report Builder image

You can now connect to new data sources such as Snowflake and Databricks using the “Get Data” button in Power BI Report Builder.

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Follow the simple, click-through experience of Power Query online. Select the data source that you want to connect to.

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If you want to use AAD, you need to create a shareable cloud connection. You can create one as documented here or use one that has been shared with you.

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You might also select the shareable cloud connection from the “Connection” dropdown. Make sure that the report consumer has permissions to the shareable cloud connection.

Once you have a connection, select Next.

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You can transform the data that was selected.

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In the Power Query editor, you can perform all the operations supported. Learn more about the capabilities of the Power Query editor.

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The M-Query will be used to build your RDL dataset.

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You can use this dataset to build your paginated report. You can publish the report to the service and share it. Learn more about connecting to more data sources from Power BI Report builder here.

Localized parameter prompts in Power BI Report Builder

Need a paginated report to support parameter prompts in more than one language? You no longer need to create several reports. You can simply set an expression for the prompt in Power BI Report Builder and specify the translated labels for a given language that the prompt should be displayed in. Learn more from the documentation on Localizing parameter prompts.

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That is all for this month! Please continue sending us your feedback and do not forget to vote for other features that you would like to see in Power BI! We hope that you enjoy the update! If you installed Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store, please leave us a review.

Also, don’t forget to vote on your favorite feature this month on our community website. 

As always, keep voting on Ideas to help us determine what to build next. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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