Power BI has so many ways to adjust the formatting and presentation of visualizations it can be difficult to complete simple tasks like updating and modifying the default title of various charts and graphs. We’ll explain how to adjust the title on a chart, matrix, graph to either update it to a more meaningful explanation or to remove it entirely.
While updating a title is a relatively simple task in Power BI, there is some nuance that you should be aware of, such as how to reset a visual after applying the wrong formatting options or when to group a text box on top of a visual instead of using the default settings.
Let’s jump in!
Table of Contents
What are Power BI Visual Titles?
Every time you add a new visual to a Power BI report page, Power BI automatically generates a title for the visual based on the different fields or measures that you’ve added. The feature is less useful than it sounds because most measures and columns in a data model are typically named in a way that is meant to be descriptive for someone who is querying the data rather than for use as a title.
The following example is a very simple pie chart visual that shows a summary of expenses but the auto generated title “Sum of Amount by Account Description” while somewhat useful, it’s not exactly presentation worthy.
The auto generated visual titles get even worse when you start working with more than a couple of fields at a time. The title becomes too long and even harder to relay a quick explanation of what the report viewer is looking at.
Here’s how to adjust them.
How to Adjust Visual Titles in Power BI
To adjust the title of a visual in Power BI, select a visual, then navigate to the “Format Your Visual” from the Power BI Report View. It’s represented by an icon of a paint brush in front of a chart. Go to the General tab and expand the Title section. Titles can be enabled, disabled, re-named along with a number of other common formatting options.
We’ll explain in more detail.
Step 1. Navigate to the Format Your Visual panel
The visual formatting options in Power BI are mostly located under the format your visual options panel. Formatting options vary based on each individual visual and are fairly comprehensive. Power BI provides dozens of options to change anything from font color, size, opacity, text wrapping and much more.
Options are split into two sections. Visual and General.
Step 2. Navigate to General Options
Select the General Options to see options specific to titles. General options typically include items that are universal across all visualizations. While the visual panel are options that are more specific to the specific type of chart or graph you have selected.
Options are sorted in most commonly adjusted to least common. The Title section is the second group under General. Click on the arrow on the left side to expand to see further options,
Step 3. Change Title Options
From the title options panel, a number of common options can be adjusted. Here are some of the top ones to make changes to.
- Text – Overrides the default title that’s automatically generated
- Heading – Uses a different pre-defined heading style on the Power BI theme
- Font – Change the font, font size, color, or style to bold, italic, underlined etc.
- Alignment – Modify the title to align left, align center or align middle.
- Text Wrap – Adjusts behavior when visual is scaled to be smaller than Power BI is able to present the full title.
There are just some of the options you can change. By clicking the “Fx button” next to each of the section, more options become available for conditional formatting.
Now let’s look at some best practices and faster ways to adjust titles across multiple visualizations.
Using the Format Options Search Box
The fastest way to find any format option is to use the search box. We really can’t stress how incredibly useful it is when you can’t remember where an option is. The search box doesn’t care if an option is the in the Visual Settings or the General Settings.
By not needing to remember which area, section or subsection a title you can quickly and efficiently update settings without having to remember where they are.
Another benefit is that the search item stays input when you switch between visuals.
Updating Multiple Visual Formats at One Time Using Power BI
Power BI does not support updating multiple visuals at one time. There are a couple of workarounds. First, you can update Theme formatting, but it will apply to all visuals. We prefer to select a visual, search for a format option, then select another visual. The searched for stays visible on the format visual panel, allowing you to quickly update it.
The screenshot below shows the word “Font” being searched for under Format Visual options. When selecting a different visual on the page, the Font option will be searched for making it visible on the panel.
This method still requires manually adjusting visual settings but is relatively fast compared to navigating to each individual setting one at a time.
How to Remove Power BI Visual Titles
To disable titles on a visual in Power BI, select the visual, navigate to Format Your Visual on the right side of the screen on the visualizations panel. The icon is notated by a paint brush in front of a chart. Then go to General settings and toggle the title on/off button.
It’s best to remove titles completely when the visual is self-explanatory, or explained with a text box elsewhere in the visual to maintain a clean canvas and avoid a cluttered presentation.
How to Rename Components of a Visual Title
By default, Power BI uses the field names assigned to a visual to generate a title. It also adds the aggregation method to the beginning of a field name. Fileds like “Amount” become “Sum_Amount” which are automatically added to a visualization’s title. An alternative to adjusting the visual title manually is to double click on the field names after they’re assigned to a chart. Then type over the default “Sum_Amount” with the desired name.
This example highlights how a default title setting still works after renaming a field value.
This method is faster and easier than adjusting a title manually. It also maintains the dynamic nature of visual titles in Power BI.
How to Reset Power BI Format Options and Visual Titles
If you want to reset a visual to the default settings, including the visual title. Go to Format Your Visual options on the Visualizations panel from the Power BI report view. The click the three dots … below the search box to the right of the word “General”. From here you can select “Reset all Settings to Default.”
The one drawback is that this method will override any other custom settings assigned to the visual, not only the title.
Create Custom Titles with a Grouped Text Box
Another design option that provides more flexibility than what is available in the standard Title options is to create a separate text box, and group it with a chart or graph. In the example below, we turned off the Title option on the pie chart. Then went to Insert, Text Box and aligned a formatted text box to the top of a visual. To combine the two reporting elements go to Format, Group while selecting both of them.
Once grouped, Power BI will treat the visual like a single reporting object making it easier for you to move around the page. Text formatting allows for even more granular control than what is available under the format visual options.
Adjusting, removing, and resetting visual titles in Power BI can significantly enhance the readability and readability of your reports. The options are almost entirely available under the format your visual, general tab. To find specific settings even faster, try the search function under format your visual.
The search option is our preferred method for updating the formatting of multiple visuals at once. For added flexibility when working with titles we also recommend using a text box and grouping it. This method gives you exact control over what titles look like and give Power BI developers more control over their visual settings.