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Updated Ribbon Experience for Power BI Desktop

Headshot of article author Tessa Hurr

The ribbon in Power BI Desktop has an updated and modern experience. When you turn on the “Updated ribbon” preview feature, you will see a ribbon that looks more like the ribbon in Office products. In the updated ribbon, you have access to all the existing features that you know and love, and over time, more features will be added to the ribbon.

If you have feedback about the updated ribbon, we’d love to hear from you!

The Journey

When we started the journey of redesigning the ribbon, some of the goals we kept in mind were to:

  • Make the report design experience easier
  • Align with Office and feel familiar
  • Provide a visual refresh and modernize the aesthetic of Power BI’s UI

We looked at your feedback and investigated how report designers are creating reports. With this information, we added in another ribbon tab and reorganized the buttons in each tab into conceptual groupings.

Building an updated ribbon was a joint effort between Power BI and our Office partners. The previous Power BI Desktop ribbon was replaced with the ribbon component from Office.  Thanks to their help, we can provide a modern ribbon experience!

What’s New

To see detailed changes on updates made in the ribbon, see the Where did the actions go? section below.

Insert Tab

Adding buttons, shapes, and textboxes to your report have been moved to a new Insert tab.

Theme Gallery

The updated ribbon displays themes in a gallery so you can more easily see what colors will be applied to your report.

You can still see the name of a theme by hovering over a thumbnail.

Contextual Tabs – Table Tools, Measure Tools, Column Tools

More tabs, also known as contextual tabs, will show up in the ribbon according to what you have selected. For example, in the previous ribbon, if you selected a visual, the contextual tabs “Format” and “Data / Drill” appear. In the new ribbon, you may have noticed that the “Modeling” tab has fewer buttons. Now, if you want to modify the structure, properties, or apply formatting to tables, columns, and measures, these options will appear as contextual tabs when you select a field in the fields list. The tools available to modify your data are now grouped according to the type of field you have selected. This should help reduce clutter and unnecessary options as you are modifying your data.

More Visuals

Previously, you could browse custom visuals in the button “From Marketplace”. Because custom visuals are hosted in AppSource, you can now find them by pressing the “More visuals” dropdown and selecting “From AppSource”.

Simplified Ribbon

If you press the chevron in the bottom right hand corner of the ribbon, the ribbon will collapse to help you save space while working.

Friendlier names and detailed tooltips for buttons

We heard your feedback that some terms that appear in the ribbon are ambiguous. We’ve gone through and updated some of the names for buttons to be more friendly. We’ve also updated all tooltips to give a more detailed explanation as to what the feature does.

To see a detailed list of the changes made, see the Where did the actions go? section below.

Here are some prominent changes to look out for:

  • “Edit Queries” now appears as “Transform data”

  • Adding a custom visual “From Marketplace” is now “From AppSource”

    “From AppSource” can be found under the “More visuals” dropdown

  • Because “See Data” shows the data in a selected visual in a tabular format, it has been renamed as “Visual table”

  • “See Records” has been renamed “Data point table”, which shows the underlying data that has been used to calculate a data point in a tabular format.

File Menu

The file menu has a modern look.  If you work with several reports, in the Open section of the modern file menu, you’ll be able to see and pin more reports than you were able to previously.

What’s Coming

This is the first of many updates that are coming to the ribbon. The new ribbon control allows us to, in future updates:

  • Use more flexible and intuitive controls for features
  • Add the black and dark grey Office themes to Power BI Desktop
  • Improve accessibility to be on par with Office’s ribbon

Please note that the Quick Access Toolbar will be unavailable in the updated ribbon.  We are working a future update to add “Save” to the title bar. Feel free to leave us feedback on this experience.

In the first quarter of 2020, the updated ribbon will transition from being a preview feature to be the default ribbon you see in Power BI Desktop. If the updated ribbon experience is severely impacting your workflow, you will still be able to turn off the updated ribbon in your preview features in the report options dialog. However, when the updated ribbon is the new default, the previous ribbon will be deprecated. If you turn off the updated ribbon, you will not get access to all the newest features in Power BI. Shortly after, you will no longer be able to turn off the updated ribbon. Be sure to leave us feedback at our community forum.

Where did the actions go?

Renamed Features

We received feedback from you guys that some of the names we had for buttons weren’t intuitive or didn’t make sense. Here are the new names for features you may be trying to find:

Formerly known as New Name
Edit Queries Transform data
From Marketplace From AppSource
Switch Theme Turned into a theme gallery
New Group New data group
Edit Groups Edit data groups

Ribbon Buttons in the Updated Ribbon

Note: Group refers to the name of a section in a ribbon tab. For instance, the Paste button is in the Home tab and in the Clipboard group.

Action Updated Ribbon OFF Updated Ribbon ON
New page Home > Insert group Insert > Pages group
New visual Home > Insert group Insert > Visuals group

Text box



Home > Insert group Insert > Elements group
From AppSource

From File

Home > Custom visuals group Home > Insert group > More visuals
Switch Theme Home > Themes group View > Themes group
Manage Relationships Home > Relationships group Modeling > Relationships group
Data Formatting group

Data Properties group

Modeling Once you select a table, column, or measure in the Fields List, contextual tabs (Table tools, Column tools, Measure tools) will appear in the ribbon
New data group

Edit data groups

Modeling > Groups group Select a column in the fields list

Column tools > Groups group > Data groups