The Filter Pane Pain in Power BI

By Stuart Box

Microsoft Power BI in Practice

The July 2019 update to Power BI is now out, you can get all the details from Microsoft here. As usual there are a list of new features and tools released in the product. One of the main updates is the release of the new Filter Pane. Existing reports can upgrade to the new pane through the Options dialog, but any new reports should automatically have the new pane on by default. The Filter Pane is a new way of showing Filters on a Report, it's very useful but this new pane can also be a pain in some circumstances.

When you open a new Power BI desktop you'll see the new pane on the right hand side, eating into the canvas space we have to build reports. Of course it can be minimised by clicking the chevron > But you can also see the other change. The canvas defaults to the top of the screen! On some screen resolutions this gives an odd "gap" at the bottom of the canvas.

You can't put anything into this "gap", visualisations only go up to the edge of the canvas. It feels odd, especially as the canvas is stuck at the top of the screen. This is different from previous versions of Power BI when the canvas was positioned centrally. This caused me a bit of head-scratching, would I have to put up with it like this? Thankfully, after some searching, I found how this can be changed to my satisfaction.

It's an Option.

There are many options now in Power BI, and that's where we go to fix this gap. Go to FileOptions and SettingsOptions. In the list of options that is presented, in the Global list select Report Settings. Now you're presented with the option to "Align the page in the centre of the Wallpaper".

You'll need to close Power BI and open it again to see the change, when you do, you should see a subtle but welcome difference.

Great! The Canvas is now centred, this feels much more sensible, sure the gap is still there but evenly distributed between top and bottom. Of course, if you don't like it, simply turn the option off again.

If you do like the canvas at the top, feel free to let me know in the comments. Alternatively if you like this centred environment let me know too, it'll be interesting to see which is more popular!

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