How to Round Corners of Power BI Visuals

Rounding corners and adding shadows to visuals is a quick way to give your dashboards a more polished and refined look. Microsoft makes it easy to round the corners of most visuals by modifying the visual formatting settings of the various elements of your dashboard.

Rounding corners of Power BI visuals and adding drop shadows are both quick and easy techniques to give your dashboards a more finished look

In our experience the most important thing when building Power BI dashboards is the boring stuff. Getting the data model setup to connect to data, automatically refresh, and present accurate information is key but a close second is adding visual interest and polish to a report.

The added visual appeal lends to the credibility of the report and non-technical users in an organization will be more prone to use the report and trust it. While some developers will spend days, weeks or months creating beautiful dashboards there are a few items that can be adjusted in minutes when that’s not an option.

We’ll explain how to quickly give your visuals some formatting to go from a boring dashboard to one with some visual interest.

Rounding the Corners of a Power BI Visual

To adjust how square the edges of a visual are in Power BI, select a visual, then navigate to Format Your Visual on the Visualizations Panel > Effects > Visual Border. Enable the Visual Border settings and adjust the rounded corners to the number of pixels desired. Higher values will result in more rounded corners.

Example of adding a Visual Border with Rounded Corners to a Power BI Visual

An alternative to navigating through the format options menu is to use the Search Box at the top of the format options panel. It will automatically filter for key words, such as rounded.

The results of our adjustment are creating a black visual border to outline the selected visual with rounded corners.

Example of a visual with rounded corners.

Visual corners are dependent on having contrasting colors around the visual. In the example above, we have a black outline, but often you will want to use a color that matches the background of your dashboard accompanied by drop shadows.

To quickly add some more polish and visual interest than solid lines around a visual, we will often accompany this adjustment with applying a drop shadow to the visual.

Adding Drop Shadows to Power BI Visuals

To add drop shadows to a Power BI Visual, select a visual then navigate to Format Your Visual on the Visualizations Panel > Effects > Visual Border. Enable the Visual Border settings and adjust the rounded corners to the number of pixels desired. Higher values will result in more rounded corners.

Applying drop shadows to a Power BI visual from the Format Your Visual Panel's Effects settings

The screenshot below shows a slicer that has had a visual border applied in the same color to match the white background and shadows enabled under the Effects section of the format your visual panel.

As you can see this quick adjustment adds a bit of visual intrigue to a dashboard without putting a significant amount of time into applying and adjusting the hundreds of formatting options available in Power BI.

Format Multiple Visuals with Power BI Format Painter

To apply the same formatting to multiple visuals quickly in Power BI, select a formatted visual. Then click on the Format Painter in the Home Tab of the Power BI Ribbon. Once clicked, you can select a different visual and Power BI will apply all of the related formatting options to it.

How to access the Format Painter in Power BI

In this example, we have the middle visual select, click of Format Painter in the top left and then apply it to the visual at the bottom of the page. One nice thing about this feature is that you can copy formatting from different types of visuals, such as selecting a slicer or matrix and apply it to a bar chart.

Example of a visual with formatting copied and pasted

Be careful when applying this technique as it will copy and paste all formatting options, even ones that you may not want.

For those familiar with Using the Format Painter in Excel you will find it to be a massive time saver. If you spend more time in Excel than Power BI we highly recommend learning to utilize this powerful feature.

Conclusion

You can give dashboards a bit of polish and extra professionalism by applying rounded corners and drop shadows. The settings can be copied and pasted across a number of visuals quickly using the Format Painter tool in the Home Tab of the Power BI Ribbon at the top of your dashboard in Power BI Desktop.

A dashboard with multiple visuals that have had rounded corner formatting applied along with drop shadows.

Give it a try for yourself!

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