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New Power BI On-Object User Interface: A Detailed Overview

New Power BI on-object User Interface: A detailed Overview

Microsoft’s Power BI recently received a significant update, bringing its visual editing experience closer to that of Excel. In this blog post, we’ll explore this new on-object user interface and share some tips and tricks to help you navigate it effectively.

How to Turn On-Object Interaction On

This new feature is currently in preview. To enable it, you’ll need to navigate to File > Options > Preview Features in your Power BI. Scroll down until you see “On-Object Interaction,” select the checkbox, and click on OK. After restarting Power BI, you’ll notice a refreshed interface.


On-Object Interaction

What’s Changed in Power BI

Upon opening a file with some pre-imported data, the first notable change is the enlarged canvas space. The visualization pane has relocated to the top, offering multiple ways to add visuals. You can either click on the visualization pane for instant insertion of a visual, use the right-click context menu, or employ the traditional method of selecting the desired fields.


visual pane


For example, if you drag and drop “Value” onto your canvas, it automatically creates a visual in the form of a numeric card. But the new interface also introduces two new options for building and formatting visuals, akin to the chart experience in Excel.


Contextual Options to Build Visuals

The new Power BI interface offers contextual options that vary depending on your chosen visualization. For instance, if you want to view “SalesValue” by “Department,” you can click on “Add Data,” select “Department,” and it will be automatically added to your visual. The chart type also updates automatically to a bar chart, thanks to the “Suggest a Type” feature.

Select Type

If you don’t prefer the suggested chart type, you can change it directly from the formatting options.

New Formatting Options

The updated Power BI provides a range of formatting options.

Add to your visual

You can turn on/off different features like the y-axis, markers, data labels, series labels, and the legend. For more options, click on “More Options” to open up the Format pane on the side.

How to Add a Subtitle and Divider to Your Visual

An exciting addition is the ability to add a subtitle and a divider to your visual. This allows you to better organize your title and graphic for optimal readability and visual appeal.


Subtitlte and divider On-Object User Interface

Pane Switcher and How to Bring Back Closed Panes

The sidebar now allows you to switch between Format and Data icons. If you accidentally close one, you can quickly bring it back via the “View” tab. Additional panes like Bookmarks can be added for easy access.

Pane Switcher On-Object User Interface


Turning On the Format Mode for Visuals

Right-clicking on your visual and selecting Format, or simply double-clicking on your visual, activates Format mode. This mode allows you to individually format any series or element within your visual.

 On-Object User Interface

For instance, you can adjust line color, format values, or remove parts of your visual. This mode also deactivates Power BI’s default behavior, such as cross-filtering, which usually occurs when you hover over or click on elements.

Please note that this on-object formatting currently supports Bar, Column, Line, Area, Combo, and Scatter charts.

Canvas Settings

Right-clicking on the canvas and selecting “Format Canvas” reveals your canvas settings. Additionally, your drill-through settings are located under “Page Information.”

Canvas Settings


Wrap Up

This new Power BI On-Object User Interface experience certainly brings a fresh perspective to data visualization. As we’re still in the early stages of this release, we can expect more visuals to be supported in the future, and the overall experience to continually improve based on user feedback.

We encourage you to explore this new interface and discover the benefits it may bring to your data analysis and reporting processes.

You can visit the rest of our blog posts for more insightful information on everything related to Power BI.

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