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Power BI Report Server May 2022 Feature Summary

Headshot of article author Oksana Kyrychenko

We’re excited to bring you a new version of Power BI Report Server this Spring! With the May 2022 update, we have a variety of new enhancements, including Dynamic format strings support, multi row card selection, canvas zoom, updated slicer defaults and many more. Please continue to read on!

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Here’s a complete list of the updates:

Reporting

Other

 

Reporting

 

Dynamic format strings now supported for all chart elements

Reports with AS data sources can provide dynamic format strings, or cell-level formatting, to customize the formatting of their data. Reports with calculation groups will also convert regular format strings into dynamic format strings. We’ve gotten feedback over time that these dynamic format strings were applying inconsistently across several different visuals, including the gauge visual and some cases of categorical bar charts. We know that this inconsistency has affected decisions you’ve made around report design, so we’re highlighting here that after the numerous changes we made, categorical visuals should all support dynamic format strings. Here’s an example of how a gauge visual might display a value string with commas to separate thousands before the changes:

And here’s how it is now:

Multi row card selection

You can now select rows in your multi row card to cross highlight and cross filter the other visuals in your report! Unselected rows will dim to help you identify which rows you have selected, and you can ctrl or shift click to select multiple rows at once. This brings interactivity in multi-row cards closer to parity with our other visual offerings.

Bookmark navigator now shows the last selected bookmark per group

We’ve been listening to your feedback on the new bookmark navigator. To better support interaction between multiple navigators, bookmark groups, and interaction with elements on the report, we now ensure that once a bookmark is clicked on the navigator, it will continue to stay selected, regardless of changes in the report state. The “active” bookmark in any navigator will continue to stay active until another bookmark contained within the navigator is selected, either from the navigator or the bookmarks pane. Before selecting any other bookmark, including those not in the bookmark group represented by a navigator, would clear the selections in the bookmark navigator. This small behavior change enables the use of multiple navigators targeting separate bookmark groups to operate and have independent “active” bookmarks.

For example, imagine you have two bookmark navigators, one which reflects the bookmark group you’ve made to filter a report page by country, and one which reflects the bookmark group you’ve made to filter by decade. Before, selecting a decade would clear the country selection, and vice versa, even if the filter being applied from the country selection is still active:

Now, however, both bookmarks (selected country and selected decade) will remain selected:

Note that you can still change the report state without selecting another bookmark to leave the state captured by that bookmark (for example, by manually changing a filter away from Europe trends to US trends). As in the present day, your bookmark navigators will still maintain their selection state.

Try out this updated behavior and let us know if it helps enable new experiences in your report design!

Canvas Zoom

Long anticipated, we have now added the ability to zoom on the canvas! For report readers, this is especially important for improving readability. For report creators, this helps magnify the canvas to make pixel perfect tweaks. Users can drag the slider to set the zoom level or click on the zoom % to launch the zoom level dialog and type in a custom input. Use the new quick “fit to page” button to get back to the default view.

Note: the zoom level is not saved with the report.

Data point rectangle select

We’re excited to announce the data point rectangle select feature. You can now multi-select data points by clicking and dragging over a supported visual. Here’s how it works:

When editing a report, you can create a selection rectangle by holding down CTRL and clicking and dragging within a visual. Letting go of the mouse will select all points overlapping the selection rectangle. Your previous selections will be preserved, and already-selected data points will be unselected — it will be as though you held down the Ctrl key and individually clicked every single point that overlaps the selection rectangle. You can also click and drag while holding down the Shift key instead. This will only add data points to your selection without deselecting any points. As always, you can clear your current selection by clicking an empty space on the plot area (without holding down any key). Additionally, when viewing a report, you can create a selection rectangle by clicking and dragging across a visual, even when you have no other keys held down.

We’ve also introduced keyboard controls to help you access data point rectangle select even without a mouse. Pressing the S key while focused on the plot area or a data point will enter rectangle select mode, displaying a crosshair on the visual. You can move the crosshair using the arrow keys and speed up that movement by holding down the Shift key.

Then, when you’re ready to start drawing the rectangle from your cursor’s position, hold down the Space key and use the same crosshair movement controls to create the selection rectangle. Selection is completed once you let go of the Space key.

You can clear selections by pressing Ctrl+Shift+C.

Keep in mind that data point rectangle select is available for line, area, scatter, treemap, and map visuals, and that there is a 3500 data point limit for the number which you can select at once.

Mandatory label policy

Mandatory label policies enable organizations to ensure that MIP sensitivity labels will be applied to new content when it is created in or uploaded to Power BI. When a user tries to save a PBIX file, they will be prompted to choose a label before the item will be saved. Also, the option to remove a label isn’t available when a mandatory label policy applies.

Updated slicer defaults for accessibility improvements

We are updating the new base theme for slicers to enhance overall accessibility. This will affect all newly created reports for some slicers, including List and Date slicers. List slicers will have slightly larger font and spacing between the items to accommodate touch, and generally make selection easier. Default colors are also updated to have slightly higher contrast, for List and Horizontal slicer types. Date pickers will now have a calendar icon, and input labels by default. The new defaults are designed to meet standard accessibility requirements, so to best create accessible content it is advised to keep the default settings. These items can also be modified in the new formatting pane or controlled via a custom theme if you want your report defaults to be different. To learn more about Power BI and Accessibility, check out our documentation.

Example JSON snippet of custom theme file:

"slicer": {
"*": {
"date": [
{
"hideDatePickerButton": false
}
],
"items": [
{
"fontColor": {
"solid": {
"color": "#252423"
}
},
"padding": 4,
"accessibilityContrastProperties": true
}
]
}
},

 

Other

 

Windows 11 support

Windows 11 introduces four high-contrast themes – Aquatic, Desert, Dusk, and Night sky, each with its new color palette that is distinctive from its counterpart in Windows 10. In this release, Power BI fully supports the new Windows 11 high-contrast themes and is compatible with Windows 10 high-contrast themes and custom themes. Colors of the window background, body text, highlighted text and background, hyperlink, disabled text, button text and background, and icons will adapt to the user’s system colors at runtime. As a result, users with low vision will have a smoother experience navigating through the Power BI app and utilizing all kinds of dialogues, regardless of the Windows operation systems they use. This change does not impact any report themes.

Power BI Desktop infrastructure update (WebView2)

In January 2022 we switched to WebView2 as part of the infrastructure update, and it is required to have WebView2 installed starting from January 2022 version of Power BI Desktop. You will see the prompt below if WebView2 is not installed on your machine.

We want to be sure we solve as many WebView2 related issues as possible. Therefore, we need your help: if we detect there is an issue with WebView2 Power BI Desktop will show you the following message.

If you see this message, please do not disregard it, but instead help us fix any outstanding issues by clicking on the Get in touch button or by responding to the community forum post. Thanks in advance!

And that’s all for our May 2022 release of Power BI Report Server! We hope that you enjoy these updates for this release. Please continue sending us your feedback, and don’t forget to vote for other features that you’d like to see in the Power BI.

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