Creating Custom Navigation Buttons in Power BI

Setting up custom navigation buttons in Power BI can give report builders more control over how end users navigate their pages. It also gives you the ability to create more intuitive reports for people to navigate through or you can customize navigation buttons to fit the theme or style of the rest of your report.

Example of a Navigation Button

Most people will be familiar with navigation buttons in Power BI when they create a drill through report that lets users right-click on a visual then navigate to a detailed page that automatically filters based on the starting visual. As you set it up, Power BI automatically inserts a small back arrow with a circle around it in the top left corner of a report page.

A navigation back button being auto generated by Power BI

By default, you can adjust the size and position of the button, but changing the style to a custom image takes a bit more setup.

How to Create a Custom Button in Power BI

There are two steps to creating a custom button in Power BI. First, you have to add a shape, button, or import a custom image. Then, you assign it a navigation action that determines what happens when the button is pressed.

Step 1.) Create a new button, shape, or Import an image

These options are available under Insert section of the Power BI Ribbon. Power BI has a number of pre-made shapes and buttons for different styles of arrows and common navigation tasks. You can also import

The insert buttons on the Insert Tab for buttons, shapes and images

If you want to import a custom image, Power BI supports several different file formats, the most common being: BMP, JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG.

After a shape, button or image is added the next step is to define the action.

Step 2.) Assign an Action to Create a Button

Without an action, an image or shape is just an image or shape. Select it, and then turn the Action setting to On. From the following options, you can assign an action type. Action options include: Back, Bookmark, Drill Through, Page Navigation, Q&A, Web URL, Apply or Clear all Slicers.

Enabling actions in the Format Shape settings of a selected image with the Back action assigned to it

After the navigation option is assigned it’s available for testing.

Step 3.) Testing Power BI Buttons

To test a custom button in Power BI Desktop, hold down CTRL and Left-Click on the button. This will interpret the image as a button instead of a report element and activate the assigned action.

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