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Power BI Service Update

Headshot of article author The Power BI Team

Welcome to 2016! Over the holidays, we on the Power BI team kept on releasing new and exciting features. Today, we want to share all the great things that we released while we took a little holiday break from blogging. Many of these features were top requests we received through UserVoice. We hope you enjoy them! If you have feature requests, please let us know on our UserVoice site. Also, if you have any questions or issues with these features, please let us know on our community site.

Here’s a summary of all the new features we released over the past few weeks:








Export Tile Data

Many of you have told us you need to export chart data, either to see the data in a simple table form or to explore further. Now you can do just that for any tile on a dashboard. To export tile data, select Export data from the tile menu.

The aggregated data from that tile is exported to a .CSV file, which you can open in Excel or another application. If the visual is filtered, then the exported data is filtered, too.

This is just the first step in our journey for exporting data out of Power BI. Expect more improvements in the future!

Add an Image or Text box Widget to Dashboards

We heard from you that often before sharing a dashboard with others, you want to include extra information on the dashboard. Two of the most common requests we get are to add extra descriptive text or images to a dashboard. You used to have to add the text or image to a report and then pin it to a dashboard. Now you can add an image or text box ‘widget’ directly to a dashboard. This widget is a tile on a dashboard that exists on its own. It doesn’t point to any report or dataset. This is a great way to quickly add a little extra information to help those viewing your dashboard.

To add a widget, select Add Widget in the top right of a dashboard.

From there, select either Image or Text box.

For an image, add an image URL to the tile in Tile details.

You can also add a title, subtitle or custom link that opens when the tile is clicked, just like any other tile.

For a text box, besides the typical tile controls, you add any text you want in the Content section, and also do some basic formatting or add a URL link to the text.

The widget then appears as a tile on the dashboard, which you can resize and move just like any other tile.

These are just the first two widgets to come. Expect to see more soon!

Print Dashboards

Proper printing has been one of your most requested features on our suggestion forum, and one of the biggest ways users share their dashboards with others. Over the holidays, we added the ability to print dashboards. With this feature, you can now print your creation to take to meetings, use as handouts for clients or stakeholders outside your organization, or print to pdf to attach to emails.

To print a dashboard, select the ‘…’ on the top right of the target dashboard and select Print dashboard.

This opens your browser’s print dialog box. Using the printer settings, you can choose to include the header and footer to the printout, which includes the title of the dashboard and the date it was printed.

A user can also switch the layout between landscape and portrait so the dashboard printout displays optimally.

Printing to PDF is a supported print option in Edge and Chrome. For other browsers, you need to configure the PDF driver. Read more about printing from Power BI.

Refresh Time on Tiles

One common request we get is to easily display the last refresh time on a dashboard. So now, you can add the refresh time for any tile. Because a dashboard can include data from many different datasets, there isn’t a single refresh time. Each dataset can refresh independently, so each tile could have its own refresh time. Having the refresh time on a tile is important because it lets dashboard viewers know exactly how fresh the data is, and reassures them that the dashboard is still running.

To add the refresh time to any tile, edit the tile details.

From there, check Display Last Refresh Time to add the refresh time to the tile subtitle.

You can add the refresh time to as many tiles as needed, so if a dashboard has multiple datasets, you can add the refresh time for a tile from each dataset.

Additionally, if dashboard viewers want to see the refresh time for a specific tile that doesn’t have the time in the subtitle, they can view the refresh time in Focus mode. This is useful if they’re worried a specific tile might be broken.

To view the refresh time this way, select Focus mode for a specific tile.

In this view, the time is included on the top right app bar.

Tooltips on Dashboard Tiles

Tooltips on report visuals quickly provide valuable information, such as the exact value of an interesting data point. Before, tooltips were only available on reports, but now you can see them on dashboards too.


Shared dashboard notification

We previously added the ability to share a dashboard directly to another Power BI user’s workspace. This is great but you might not notice when a new dashboard shows up in your workspace, especially if you already have a lot of dashboards. To help with this, we added a notification that appears letting you know what dashboard was just shared with you.

Contact Owner of a Shared or Organizational Dashboard

One common request we get is to know the owner of a shared dashboard. This lets you know who to contact in case you have a question or issue with the shared dashboard. This also applies to organizational content packs. To see the details about the owner of a shared dashboard or an organizational content pack, select the ellipsis (…) next to the shared dashboard in your navigation pane. You can get the name and the email address of the owner. Selecting the email address of the owner will open up a blank email in your default email client.


Print Current Report Page

Printing dashboards is great, but we know you also spend a lot of time creating and formatting reports. You can now print individual report pages to share at meetings or with team members.

Print is under File in the report app menu.

This opens the browser print experience with the currently selected page, including the date it was printed, the URL, and the report title.

Similar to printing a dashboard, printing to PDF is available in Edge and Chrome. For other browsers, you need to configure the PDF driver.

Export Report Visual Data

Besides exporting data from tiles on dashboards, you can now export data from report visuals. Select the ellipsis (…) and then Export data. This will download a CSV file, which you can open in Excel.


Connect to Files on SharePoint Team Sites

We want to make it easy to access files wherever they are stored. You can already connect to files stored on OneDrive, but we know many customers have invested in SharePoint team sites and don’t want to move their files.

Now you can connect directly to you files on SharePoint team sites, just as you can access files on OneDrive. To do this, Get Data and select Files. SharePoint team sites are in this list.

Excel Reports

Open Excel Reports in Excel Desktop Excel is the most used data tool in the world, and we are dedicated to having a very integrated experience between Power BI and Excel. As part of that effort, we have added the ability to open the Excel files in Power BI directly in Excel Desktop.

Once you bring in your workbook to Power BI, you can now choose to open the file in Excel Desktop, or in Excel Online, from the Edit menu. This is helpful for unsupported features in Excel Online such as Shapes.

Pin Excel Charts

Just over a month ago, we released the ability to pin Excel ranges to a dashboard. We heard great feedback on that feature, and one of the biggest requests we heard was to make it even easier to pin Excel charts you’ve worked so hard to create. So we’re happy to announce that you can now pin excel charts, selected as an object, to your dashboards. You’re not limited to a range selection anymore!

Format Improvements for Excel Tiles

If you use Excel, we know you value the way you format elements in Excel. You can now choose to keep the content of the tile exactly as it is in the Excel file, no stretching done. Go to the tile details pane to set the formatting:

The default experience is for the chart to fill the space available to it while keeping the same proportions.

When you select Keep Original Content Size, the size will match what you see in Excel.

Additionally, we have made improvements so that when you resize a tile, you get the best quality image possible for the tile content. Even if you make a tile as big as the dashboard, you still get a clear, crisp image of the contents of that tile, whether it’s text or chart.


Power BI in Brazil

We want to unlock the power of data for everyone, no matter where they are located. Previously, Power BI was available in 140 markets, but potential customers in Brazil couldn’t sign up. Now, anyone in Brazil, either individually or through an organization, can go to and sign up for Power BI. Welcome to all our Brazilian friends!

Hebrew and Arabic Support

Just as we want to unlock Power BI for everyone, no matter where they live, we also want everyone, no matter what language they speak, to be able to use Power BI. Power BI has been available in 44 different languages for a while. Now, if your language preferences on your computer are set to Hebrew and Arabic, we will display these languages in the proper format, making it easier than ever to use Power BI in your native language. This is a preview, so let us know if you see any issues!

That’s all for this week. We hope that you enjoy this new update and continue sending us valuable feedback about our product. Please don’t forget to vote for other features that you would like to see in Power BI service in the future.