Visual Headers
Visual Headers

Updated: Using the Visual Headers

I updated the post, because I left out some important aspects.

Anyone who is a regular user of Power BI knows about the Visual Headers. It gives us a lot of really useful functionalities and sometime a bit of headache, especially when visuals a really close to each other or even overlapping each other.

Visual Header Icons
Visual Header Icons

Formatting

First what is a rarely used feature of the Visual Header is that it can be formatted.

Visual Header formating
Visual Header formating
Visual Header Icons Formatted
Visual Header Icons Formatted

Visibility

But the main reason for this blog post is to talk about one important aspect of the header icons. That not all options are meaningful for every visual. They should be just as part of an authors design, than managing the interactions between visuals or planning the navigation between different parts of the report.

First of all not all visual should have a Visual header. In the Desktop and also in the Service every element of a report has some Visual Header.

Visual Header on Shape
Visual Header on Shape
Visual Header on Slicer
Visual Header on Slicer

Do we really want our Shapes to have a Visual Header? Or we can ask the same question about some of the slicers we have on a page, or text boxes, images. So for the we can completely turn it off.

Options

For visual when some of the options are useful we can selectively turn on and off one or the other option.

Visual Header options
Visual Header options

For example because the way my visual hierarchy is set up, it is only meaningful to use the Show next level instead of the Expand to next level.

Or I don`t want the consumers to be able to export the data from one of the visuals, so I can turn of the More options icon.

Visual Header options set
Visual Header options set

Visual header tooltips

These are a great way to add context/background to any visual.

Visual Header Tooltip
Visual Header Tooltip

One important aspect, that unlike regular tooltip visuals it is not affected by the filters that are affecting the visual. So you can only show information that is relevant in and filter context.

Also you can check this blog post by Prathy Kamasani, where she talks in great detail about the Visual Header Tooltips.

These settings will only be visible to us in the service after publishing because it does not affect the desktop as it is an authoring tool.

How it looks like published?

Visual Header Published
Visual Header Published

Visual headers only showing the selected option.

Published Design Element
Published Design Element

No header is visible for the shape behind the slicer. Unfortunately you can still select it.

Report level settings

Visual Options for Headers
Visual Options for Headers

You have to ability in the desktop or in the service to completely turn off the visual headers in reading view. Be careful if you have hierarchies, visual header tooltips or want to pin visuals. These options will only be visible if you are in edit mode.

Conclusion

It all comes down to one goal. How can we make sure that we provide the best possible experience of our consumers, regardless of their previous knowledge about the tool or our report. Visual headers is a small but important part in achieving this goal.

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About the author

Mihaly Kavasi

Data-driven Decision Making Enthusiast.
Power BI Expert and Trainer. Helping organizations and communities to use data effectively.
Big fan of RE and Electric cars.
Working @ AltiusData

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