On-object interaction

The simplest way to modify Excel charts and add new elements is by using the menu displayed in their upper right corner. Based on this functionality, Power BI received an option for modifying and formatting visualizations, which is called on-object interaction. It enables easy addition, modification and removal of report dimensions and other display elements, as well as customization of the appearance of the visual…

This option is not yet a standard Power BI functionality. To enable this feature, you need to activate it. Select File/Options&Settings/Options, then enter Preview Features, and select the On-object interaction option.

Restart Power BI Desktop. After this action, a new group of options called Visuals will appear in the Home and Insert ribbons. We add a new visualization by clicking on the New Visual icon or by selecting a visualization from the palette. Let’s start the New Visual option.

The place where the new visualization should be located will appear on the canvas, and in its upper right corner is the Add data and build your visual icon, which, when activated, displays the Build a Visual context menu. Here you can see a list of visualizations (Visual Types) and the Add Data button. Clicking on this button will open the Select Data menu, which allows adding the dimensions we want to visualize. This process can be repeated several times until all required reporting dimensions have been added. The Suggest a type slider, which can have the value On or Off, when turned on, is used for Power BI Desktop to automatically determine the type of visualization (chart, table, card, etc.). If it’s off, we manually select the visualization from the list. Depending on the selection, one or more fields specific to the selected visualization will appear in the menu. For example, if we choose Clustered Column Chart, the fields X-Axis, Y-Axis, Legends, Small Multiples, Tooltips will appear in the menu… By choosing the reporting dimensions, for the current visual, we form its appearance.

Under the menu for adding report dimensions, there is an Add or remove visual elements icon. Clicking on it will open the Add to your visual menu. Similar to when we add Excel chart elements, this menu shows additional options for adding or removing visualization elements. By clicking on Data Labels, for instance, series values will be displayed on the chart. By clicking on the More Options button, we will open, on the right, a formatting menu where we can format the display of visualization elements in detail.

Within the Insert ribbon and group for working with visualizations, there is also the More Visuals menu. It has two options: From AppSource and From my files. By choosing the first option, you will open the Power BI visuals window, which enables the search and activation of official and independent visualizations that can be picked up from AppSource. The second option allows you to add a visualization that you previously retrieved from the Internet…

You can also find the new Pane switcher menu in the View ribbon. It has two options. The first serves to enable the display of the panel for working with visualizations on the right side of the Power BI Desktop window, and the second to see a shortcut to the Build a Visual option within it. This, in essence, is intended for users who do not like the new way of working with visualizations and would like to have a similar interface as it looked until recently.