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Microsoft Power BI User Interface

Last updated on May 25th, 2023

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

This article will give you detail information about Microsoft Power BI User Interface.

If you are new to Power BI refer our article on Microsoft Power BI Introduction – Full Stack Tutorials Hub .

Refer Step by step tutorial to download and install Microsoft power BI desktop How to download and install Microsoft Power Bi Desktop – Full Stack Tutorials Hub .

Power BI Desktop Interface

Power BI is a business intelligence and data visualization tool developed by Microsoft. It provides a user-friendly interface that allows users to create interactive reports and dashboards from various data sources. The Power BI Desktop interface is specifically designed for report development and provides a range of tools and features to design interactive visualizations. Let’s go through the main elements of the Power BI Desktop interface:

1. Title bar:

The Title bar is located at the top of the Power BI Desktop window and displays the name of the currently opened report file. It also includes the standard minimize, maximize, and close buttons.

2. Welcome Screen / Home Screen:

The first time Power BI Desktop starts, it displays the Welcome screen. From the Welcome screen, you can Get data, see Recent sources, open recent reports, Open other reports, or select other links.

Select the close icon to close the Welcome screen. Then you can start working and building reports.

Power BI User Interface welcome screen

3. Power BI User Interface Ribbon:

The ribbon in Power BI is a key element of the user interface that provides a centralized set of tools and commands organized into tabs and groups. It offers quick access to various features and options, allowing you to perform different tasks and actions while designing and working with your reports and visualizations. Let’s dive deeper into the Power BI ribbon:


3.1. Home:

The Home tab in the ribbon contains a set of commonly used commands for managing your report, data, and visualizations. It includes options to save, open, and close reports, as well as undo and redo actions. Additionally, you can access options to manage data sources, refresh data, and apply data transformations using the Query Editor.

3.2. Insert:

The Insert tab provides commands to add new elements and objects to your report canvas. You can use this tab to insert various visualizations, such as charts, tables, matrices, cards, images, and shapes. It also includes options to add text boxes, buttons, and other interactive elements to enhance the functionality of your report.

3.3. Modeling:

The Modeling tab is focused on data modeling and shaping capabilities. It includes features to manage relationships between tables, define calculated columns and measures, and create hierarchies. You can also find options for sorting and filtering data, creating calculated tables, and managing perspectives.

3.4. View:

The View tab allows you to customize the display and layout of your report canvas. It offers options to zoom in or out, fit the report to the current window, and show or hide various elements, such as the gridlines, visual headers, and backgrounds. You can also switch between different views, including the Report View and Data View.

3.5. Optimize:

The Optimize tab is used to customize the appearance and formatting of your visualizations and report elements such as Pause Visuals, Refresh Visuals, Optimization presents, Performance Analyzer, apply all slicers etc.

3.6. Help:

The Help tab provides access to various resources and assistance related to Power BI. It offers links to documentation, community forums, support, and other learning materials that can help you explore and make the most of Power BI’s features.

4. Expand and Collapse Pane:

You can expand and collapse the FiltersVisualizations, and Fields panes by selecting the arrows at the tops of the panes. Collapsing the panes provides more space on the canvas to build cool visualizations.

expand and collapse pane

4.1. Data Pane:

The Data pane is located on the right side of the report view, below the visualization pane. It displays the fields (columns) from your dataset. You can drag and drop fields onto visualizations, create relationships between tables, and define measures and calculated columns or use them to create filters and slicers. In older version data pane is also know as fields pane.

4.2. Visualization Pane:

The visualization pane is located on the right side of the report view. It provides a list of available visual types, such as bar charts, line charts, and maps. You can drag and drop fields from your dataset onto the visualizations to populate them with data.

4.3. Filters Pane:

Power BI allows you to apply filters to your visualizations, limiting the data displayed based on specific criteria. Filters can be applied to individual visualizations or used globally across the entire report. Slicers are visual elements that allow users to interactively filter data by selecting values from a list.


5. Page Navigation Pane:

The pages tab area at the bottom, which lets you select or add report pages. If your report contains multiple pages, the page navigation pane is located on the left side of the Power BI Desktop interface. It displays a list of all the report pages, allowing you to switch between them and design individual pages.

page navigation

6. View Pane:

The View pane is located on the left side of the screen. There are three types of view. Report View, Data View, Model View.

6.1. Report View:

Report view is the default view. Here, you can design and customize the visualizations based on your data. The report view consists of a canvas where you can drag and drop visual elements, such as charts, tables, and maps. You can also add filters, slicers, and other interactive components to enhance the user experience.

6.2. Data View:

In Power BI, you can connect to various data sources, such as databases, Excel files, or cloud services. The data view allows you to manage and transform the data before creating visualizations. It provides options to perform data modeling tasks like creating relationships between tables, defining measures, and adding calculated columns.

6.3. Model View:

In Model View you can build relationships in data. i.e. relationships between different data sources. There are different types of relationships which are explain in upcoming articles.


7. Dashboard Canvas / Workspace:

The canvas is the central area of the Power BI Desktop interface where you design and arrange visual elements, such as charts, tables, and images, to create your report. You can drag and drop visualizations onto the canvas, resize and rearrange them to create your desired layout.


These are the main components of the Power BI interface. Keep in mind that Microsoft regularly updates Power BI, so the interface may evolve over time with new features and enhancements. We have explain all components in next article of How to build simple Dashboard in 5 min.

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