Power BI Bookmarks

Posted By Posted by: EPM Partners on December 8, 2017

For those who are looking for presentation tools beyond PowerPoint, look at Microsoft PowerBI.

Power BI is a new and well-known tool in the Microsoft ecosystem. Though it has only been around for three years, it is already a leader in the BI & Analytics market. Prior to PowerBI, the market had been dominated by tools like Tableau and Qlik.   A February 2017 report from Gartner now places Power BI in a leading spot in terms of capabilities and vision. So, I am definitely not alone when I say it is nice. If you have used it already, you may found it easy to get started. There are a lot of data sources available, a training video series, and pre-built apps/content packs to see what you want quickly. Plus, it is free to get started with the desktop application. If you are just getting started, learn PowerBI at: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/guided-learning/

In this post, I’ll demonstrate how to enable the new bookmarking feature then to create a presentation with the new Project Online content pack.  To me, it makes the tool not just something that can support a presentation with visuals but something that can drive a data-driven discussion.

What is the bookmarking feature? PowerBI is an interactive tool. It is not something you just look at and think. With PowerBI, you also can click, slide, swipe charts, tables, and graphics to drill and search for information.  Quite often though, to get to a specific question and/or answer, quite a few drill down clicks may have been performed. Can you remember what you did?  No worries, the new bookmarking feature allows you to save the state of visuals so you can replay them again later.  This feature was introduced in the October 2017 monthly release as a preview feature.

In my quick demo, I’ll be using the Project Online content pack, see https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/projectsupport/2017/10/26/a-new-project-online-content-pack-for-power-bi/

To start using bookmarks now, you must enable it. To do this, first go to Power BI Options. In Preview features, click Bookmarks then OK.  You will need to restart PowerBI afterwards.


After PowerBI has restarted, you can show the bookmarks by clicking the View tab in ribbon.

Clicking the Bookmarks pane enables the Bookmarks panel.

To create a bookmark, first select the report to show, perform clicks and filters then click Add in bookmarks panel.

In demo, I’ll just select a set of project managers that represents a team not captured in system.

Then I will click Add in the Bookmarks pane. The filtering has been saved.

I will rename to represent something more meaningful.  To do this, I click the eclipses next to Bookmark to rename. If you are currently on a view, you can also update it if you later change drill down filters.

You can repeat adding/renaming of bookmarks to align with a presentation.

In my example, I am presenting the DevTeam Alpha’s project portfolio then focusing on their costs. Next, I am discussing the Business Team Bravo portfolio. I will end discussion with a highlight of a project that was placed on hold for a year. The example presentation only takes four clicks whereas performing the filtering took more clicking.

You can change the order of your bookmarks by dragging and dropping, look for a yellow line before dropping.

You can use the desktop client or a web browser to view bookmarks. As of Dec. 2017, You need to create at least one bookmark for the bookmarks pane to be available to turn on. To enable in the web browser, see below.

Now, when it is time for your presentation and to make the set of bookmarks function more like a slide show presentation, click View in the Bookmark pane (experience is same in desktop and browser).

When viewing bookmarks, the Report tabs on the bottom of report viewer is replaced with the current bookmarks. See image below, bookmarks help presentations stay focused by preventing inadvertent viewing of reports.


Bookmarking is a great new feature that has a very practical use case. When you identify something important in PowerBI, bookmark it!



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