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Updates and enhancements for reference labels

Headshot of article author Miguel Myers


Uncover a host of updates and enhancements to our new card visual reference labels. This February 2024 update brings many great features including improved alignment of elements, new placement options for reference labels, a new tabular style, a transparency slider for the divider, new per-card customization, and enhanced layout control.


Feature overview

We’re back! Our latest Power BI update is here, and this time it’s all about updates and enhancements for the new reference labels we introduced in our November 2023 update. With this months release, our new card visual continues to get better! We’ve had time to improve the accent bar and background color, add new flexibility in the placement of reference labels, and build a new tabular style option for showcasing data. We’ve broadened our transparency feature to the reference labels divider, added customizable settings on a per-card basis, and so much more! Let’s immerse ourselves fully into this months update, but first, remember to install the latest Power BI Desktop update before we begin! Are you ready? Let’s go!

Reference labels updates

Accent bar

When we unveiled the brand-new card visual reference label back in November 2023, our keen-eyed observers noticed a tiny hiccup: the Accent bar was hiding itself, lurking behind the reference label and its background, when it shouldn’t have.  With this update, the issue has since been corrected. The accent bar now gracefully shines in the spotlight, perfectly aligned with the reference label, creating the harmonious visual appearance you hoped for.

Background color

In our previous release, you likely noticed the reference label background color wasn’t quite cooperating with the corners. It was like that one friend who insists on messing up a great pic by not standing in the right spot for a group photo. In this update, it’s all sorted now, with the Background color now filling the entire space, hugging those corners like a pro. As shown below, it creates a sleeker visual with the background color snuggling right up to the edge of the reference label.

Reference labels layout

Reference labels position

This is sure to be some exciting news for report creators: our latest update brings a fantastic new feature to reference labels. Initially, your reference labels were confined to the space below the callout, but not anymore! Now, you have the freedom to place it either below the callout or to the right of the callout. All it takes is a quick pick from the dropdown menu in the Options section, and easily you’ve tailored your report’s look to your own perfection. This extra bit of added flexibility ensures your reports will shine even brighter than before.

Tabular layout style

We love great introductions, and this one is no exception. With our latest update, we’re happy to introduce some new styling. In the Layout section, the Arrangement dropdown now lets you select Rows or Columns with ease. But now, when you opt for Rows, a new world of styling unfolds with the Style dropdown now presenting you not only with the classic Sentence format, but also the brand-new Tabular option! How’s that for a great new introduction? It’s a great way to showcase your data that’s sure to bring some smiles.

With the Tabular option selected, report creators can decide how much space to dedicate to the Visual area, and also choose what Vertical alignment is desired, as shown below. Embracing this new Tabular style allows you to masterfully sculpt the dimensions and content alignment with precision, ensuring each report is not only informative but visually impeccable.

Divider transparency

Another update we’re excited to announce this month, further enhances the customization of your reports and falls inline with some of our fundamental goals on our roadmap. With this month’s release, the addition of a Transparency slider for the reference label Divider ensures you have more control to create a more perfect level of visibility of your data. This new transparency feature is only available in the Divider control section when All series are selected, providing a subtle yet significant improvement to your report’s readability.

Individual card customization

In our previous version, while working on your reports, you had the ability to adjust certain elements such as colors, transparency of dividers, and backgrounds. However, these changes had to be implemented universally across All series. We’ve taken your feedback into account, collaborated with our engineers, and introduced modifications. With this latest update, we’re granting you greater flexibility. You now have the capability to customize the settings for dividers and backgrounds on a per-card basis!

Card enhancements

Overflow support

We were so excited with new card visual, but all you great report creators were limited to displaying cards all at the same time, merely indicating the number of rows and columns to display at once. This used up valuable visual space to convey the data. With this months update, we borrowed the overflow support feature from the button slicer, and found space for it in our new card visual. Now, with the Layout control, you get to decide how many cards to display, and with the Overflow control, choose either Paginated or Continuous scroll to see the remaining cards, and even choose the Overflow direction. It’s not just a good idea, it’s great idea, like having a stash of extra space in your visual to showcase your data.

Card shape and rounded corners

With this update we’re bringing two changes that will not only further enhance your experience, but also make your life easier. First, we’ve relocated the Shape control to a more convenient location – right under the Cards section of the Format pane, so when you are tweaking those shapes, you won’t have to play hide-and-seek anymore. And second, we’ve revamped how Rounded corners work. Instead of playing the percentage game, we’re all about absolute pixels now. You’ll be delighted to discover that when you resize those cards, the corner goodness stays consistent – with no more unwanted surprises.


New card visual roadmap

Our new card visual roadmap continues forward with four more eye-opening stages.

  • Stage 1 Multi-card (delivered)
  • Stage 2 Reference labels (delivered)
  • Stage 3 Actions (next in line)
  • Stage 4 Small multiples
  • Stage 5 Trends

We’re committed to designing even more new features to empower you with other dynamic and adaptable options enhancing your Power BI experience! Please share your experience and let us know how you’re using the new card visual by using our team’s hashtag #PBIcorevisuals so we can continue improving while you watch for more exciting updates!