Microsoft released an updated Card Visual in June of 2023 that fixes a lot of the shortcomings of the original. The new Power BI visual allows people to align text, customize the shape, and even present multiple KPI’s at the same time.
To say that the regular Card Visual had its limitations was an understatement. Because there is a new card visual that great expands on the functionality of text cards, we are going to focus on how to use it’s features.
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If you do not have the Card (new) visual available in Power BI, make sure that you are using at least the June 2023 version of Power BI Desktop and that you have turned on preview features which you can learn more about below.
How to Align Card Visuals in Power BI
Aligning text within a Power BI card visual used to require some creative workarounds.
Luckily, Microsoft has recently introduced a New Card Visual in the June 2023 Release. Depending on the version of Power BI Desktop you are using, you may have to turn on Preview Features as described below.
The New Card Visual in Power BI allows users to adjust the Horizontal Alignment of the text inside of the card.
Historically, users were forced to use a workaround like using a Q&A Visual to align right or a multi-row card visual with the accent bar turned off for a left alignment.
Now it’s baked into the Visual Settings under Callout
Along with adding the ability to align text within a text card in Power BI, the new card visual also allows dashboard designers to adjust the transparency of the text within the card visual.
It also enables users to adjust the look and shape of the card.
Adjusting the Shape of a Card Visual in Power BI
Using the New Card Visual in Power BI, users can adjust the shape.
New options include rounded rectangle and snipped tab. Both visuals are fully customizable to allow for rounding or snipping of each corner, or selectively.
You can mix and match the new shapes with drop shadows, outlines and other pre-existing formatting options from the original card visual.
The extra shapes are a welcome change and eliminate a step of grouping a card with a custom shape. Though, you can still use that method if you prefer even more customization or want to create and import shapes from a different design package like Figma.
Adding Multiple Fields to a Card Visual in Power BI
Another limitation has been lifted! You can now add multiple fields to a card visual in Power BI.
, but it’s a fast way to include multiple fields without having to copy and paste a text card and update the values manually. The update makes making changes much faster than it was to have to update individual card visuals.
Layouts can be adjusted from Horizontal as shown below
Or layouts can be adjusted to Vertical Orientation under Layout options of the Visuals settings of Format Your Visual.
The visuals all have to have be the same shape.
But you can adjust the color and several other key formatting settings under the Visual Formatting > Cards Section
All of the regular formatting options are available, and you can choose which field you want to Apply Settings to. This gives you granular control over each card for specific KPI cards or metrics that you are interested in.
These are just some of the options available for formatting each one of the cards.
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How to Enable Preview Features in Power BI
Enabling preview features is one of the first things a Power BI developer should do.
You can turn on Power BI Preview features in Power BI Desktop by navigating to:
File > Options > Preview Features
Once you navigate to Preview Features, you have the ability to turn on the New Card visual and many others.
Note: There are no guarantees that preview features will make it to a general release. While the features typically make it into production, it’s not uncommon for them to be removed.
From the list, you can check any of the new features that you would like to try out.
You may need to close Power BI Desktop and Re-open it for the changes to go into effect.
Power BI is updated on a monthly basis.
Details are shared from the Microsoft development team on the Microsoft Power BI Blog.
We recommend subscribing to e-mail alerts on the Power BI Blog to get the latest news from the Power BI blog. It will help you stay informed on newly released features that you can begin taking advantage of to deploy better dashboards faster.
We also recommend periodically reviewing the Power BI Release Wave Notes
Microsoft issues semi-annual guidance of planned features for the year. They aren’t set in stone but give users a general idea of where they are headed with the software. The easiest way to find them is to Google Microsoft Power BI Release wave and the year.
Here is a screenshot as an example of what to expect, and note that everything is subject to change.
You can learn more about them here: New and planned features for Power BI, 2023 release wave 1
There are a lot of exciting changes to the Power BI text card visual that will make developing dashboards and reports easier than ever.
With the ability to align text, modify custom shapes, transparency, coloring, adjust text formatting to a very specific level all are welcome changes that people have been asking about for years.
It’s not guaranteed that all of these new features make it into a release to general availability but we imagine that the vast majority will. There was obviously a lot of time and care that went into these new features and we think that it signals a new direction for Microsoft to improve or add features to many of the existing visuals.
Even with Microsoft Copilot and the integration of ChatGPT into Power BI we still see many cases where users will want to adjust visuals manually and have more control over how dashboards look to the end user.
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