Quick Tips: Enabling Modern Visual Styles on Old Reports in Power BI Desktop

Quick Tips: Enabling Modern Visual Styles on Old Reports in Power BI Desktop

Do you have an old report created in 2016? If you do, then you know that the visuals’ style was pretty different back then. If you don’t like to see all visuals in their old style where the headings overlap the other visuals and you don’t know how to switch the visuals to their modern style, then continue reading. The following screenshot is from a very old report I built for a Power BI demo in Feb 2016! Time flies mate!

Old Style Visuals in Power BI Desktop
Old Style Visuals in Power BI Desktop

If you are an old Power BI developer, you can clearly remember those days when we had many side-by-side slicers on the report canvas and sometimes it was hard to click a slicer because hovering over the visuals activates the visual frames and it is easy to mistakenly click a different visual.

The other issue with the old visual style is that the Visual Header options of the Visualisations pane from the Format tab are not available for traditional visuals.

Visual header options are not available for old style visual
Visual header options are not available for old-style visual

I see some developers don’t like the old visual style. It is interesting that when we work on an old report, even if we open the report in the latest version of Power BI Desktop, the visuals’ style remains the same and it doesn’t change if we add new visuals to a new page. Some developers go through a lot of pain to get the visuals to work in the modern style. I even know some developers copied all queries from the old file’s Power Query and pasted them to a new Power BI file. Then they used Tabular Editor to copy the tabular objects from the old report to the new one. And some even started to build everything from scratch. If you are one of those developers, be aware that there is a simple setting that can help to quickly switch all the old visuals to their new modern style.

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Integrating and Visualising Multiple Microsoft To Do Accounts with Power BI

Integrating and Visualising Multiple Microsoft To Do Accounts with Power BI

It’s been a while that I use Microsoft To Do to organise my daily tasks. From work-related tasks to buy groceries. While Microsoft To Do is super easy to use but there are some challenges in using it more efficiently, especially when you have multiple O365 accounts within different organisations. Here are some of the challenges I faced; you may face other challenges too:

  • The Microsoft To Do app for Windows devices is very user friendly with amazingly good features like the ability to add multiple To Do accounts. However, we currently have to select which account we would like to use and the app shows all our tasks within that specific account. This means we can not see all our tasks from all our accounts in a single place.
  • The Microsoft To Do app for iOS devices is also very handy to use, but it lacks adding multiple accounts. Hence we cannot see all our tasks from multiple O365 accounts on the app. 🙁
  • We can use the Tasks within the Microsoft Outlook desktop application (I used the Windows version) which is by far the most comprehensive one with tons of features. While we can see tasks from multiple accounts in a single place, it is a real challenge if I want to know which task is assigned to which account. Besides, it is really hard to answer some questions like, how many high-priority tasks I have for today or the week ahead. I know, we can group tasks, but, it is still not so intuitive.

For the above reasons, I searched for a product that can do all the above at once. After spending some hours, I thought, well, I have to do it myself.

With that, let’s go ahead and see how we can get the job done in Power BI.

Note:

This method is not working for Microsoft To Do using personal accounts such as Outlook, Hotmail or MSN. If anyone knows how to add those, please let us know in the comments section below this post.

This is a long post that took me a reasonable amount of time to write. So I added the following table of contents so you can quickly jump to a subject of your interest.

Table of Contents

How It Works

Microsoft Power BI is NOT a reporting tool only. We can connect to many data sources, mix and match the data, create data models and visualise the data. So it should be possible to connect to multiple To Do accounts, append the data, create a simple data model on top of that, and visualise the data to answer our questions or our customers’ questions. The Microsoft To Do data is accessible via the Microsoft Exchange Online connector available in Power BI. The rest depends on our requirements and what questions we would like to answer.

In my case, in which I am the end-user of the report, I would like to be able to know:

  • Today’s tasks: All tasks that their StartDate or DueDate is today or the Tasks without any StartDate and DueDate
    • Number of tasks
    • Number of important tasks
    • Tasks by mailbox
    • Tasks details
      • Task list
      • Task description
      • Status
      • Start date
      • Due date
      • A link to the task itself that I can update if I want to
  • All Tasks
    • All above plus
      • Number of open tasks
      • Number of completed tasks

You or your customer(s) might have different requirements, but once you understand how to get the To Do data from Microsoft Exchange Online and do some data explorations to find out what you are after, you’ll be good.

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Quick Tips: How to Copy Visual Formatting to Multiple Other Visuals in One Go Using Format Painter Tool in Power BI

Format Painter in Power BI Desktop

When you create a report it’s highly likely that you’d like to copy other visuals’ formats from an already formatted visual using “Format Painter” tool in Power BI. Perhaps you already used this awesome tool available in Power BI Desktop.

As you see in the tooltip shown while hovering over the “Format Painter” tool you can simply copy formats from an already formatted visual to another visual. But what if you have a lot of similar visuals to be formatted (painted) like shown in the below screenshot that I have several card visuals on top of my page. One of them is formatted as desired but the rest must still be formatted.

Formatted/Unformatted Card Visuals in Power BI
Formatted/Unformatted Card Visuals

It would be good if I could paint all of them in one go right? So continue reading to see how we can do that.

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