Experience is a great teacher. And in my experience, the beginning has always been tough.

As a BI consultant & trainer, I have worked with various people: from the frontline employees to CEOs. Our interactions gave me great insights into the multiple challenges they face.

I have put together a few pages from my experience and learning; covering Power BI, Excel, Power Query, Power Pivot, Tableau, data analytics & data visualization.

The purpose of the blog is to get you started.

I hope you’ll find them helpful.


I love magic. One of my favorite acts is making an object disappear and replace it with something or someone else. I can’t do magic on a stage, but I can tell you how to do it in a Power BI report.

The previous article covers how to add a bookmark in a Power BI report and assign it to a Power BI element like a button or a shape. This article covers how we can use bookmarks along with the Selection pane to enhance the user’s experience in simple steps.

Setting up the stage: Adding all the visuals

We have created two sets of visuals, each containing a button and a card.

We place them on the top of each other

Tip: Rename the visuals as you add them in the report in the Selection Pane (double click – Rename). It becomes easy to identify.

Rename visuals using the Selection pane

Adding the Trick: Selection Pane

For our magic trick to work, we need to show one card and one button at a time. For this act, if we are showing the card for the absolute value of the Margin, then the button for Margin % should be visible, and vice versa.

View one: Margin (absolute)

Adding the bookmark

Once we configure the view, add a bookmark for this visual:

We name it as Margin Absolute as it is showing the absolute value of the Margin

Click Option > Uncheck the Data option.

It ensures that this bookmark saves only the visual’s display state and not the filter settings of the page.

View Two: Margin%

Repeat the steps for the other two visuals and add a bookmark.

Final Touch: Assign Bookmarks to the button

The objective is that if we click on button Margin Absolute, it should show the card visual for margin absolute and button for Margin %, and vice versa. It enables the toggle between the two sets of the visuals.

For more details on assigning a bookmark to a button or image, refer to the following article:

Creating Bookmark

Repeat the steps for the Margin% button.

Note: In Power BI Desktop, use the CTRL key along with the mouse click for a button to work.

Traditionally, bookmarks used to save the last read location in a book. We can start from where we had left the book.

In the modern world, the bookmark works as a reference point. While navigating through the pages on the internet, we can bookmark pages or contents of our own choice. By selecting the bookmark, we can navigate back to the page.

In Power BI Desktop, a bookmark can capture the current view of a page, which includes filters, slicers, selections, and the state of the visual (hidden or visible).

When called in action, it takes us to the view stored in the form of a bookmark. Essentially, it is like taking a screenshot of the page and storing it as a bookmark

Using bookmarks, we can create a new level of interactive experience in Power BI desktop.

We can reset all the filters on a page:

We can switch (show or hide) visuals

We can tell a story

Additional Panes in Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop was launched with two panes: Visualization & Fields. With regular updates, Power BI Desktop now has few additional panes. This article covers usage of two such panes:

Bookmarks & Selection

Bookmarks pane shows all the available bookmarks in the report. Selection panes shows all the visuals (with visible status) on the current page:

Adding a Bookmark

Adding a bookmark is a two-step process:

  • Configure all the visuals, filters, and slicers on the page.

  • Click Add under the Bookmark pane

It adds a bookmark under the pane. It saves the following elements:

  • The current page

  • Filters

  • Slicers, including slicer type (for example, dropdown or list) and slicer state

  • Visual selection state (such as cross-highlight filters)

  • Sort order

  • Drill location

  • Visibility of an object (by using the Selection pane)

  • The focus or Spotlight modes of any visible object

Bookmark Settings

Renaming Bookmark

When we add a new bookmark, Power BI assigns a generic name. We can rename it either double-clicking on the bookmark or click on the options (three ellipses next to the name) and Rename.

Update Bookmark Settings

We can change the existing bookmark setting by clicking Update, post reconfiguring the visuals on the page.

Additionally, we can also define the scope of the bookmark on the page. For example, when we uncheck Data, bookmarks do not store the filters and the slicer settings. We have used this as a use-case later in the article.

Assigning Bookmark to an element

Once created, we can assign a bookmark to buttons, images, or shapes. The Process is simple.

1. Insert & select the element

2. Visualizations > Action > On

3. Type > Bookmarks

4. Bookmark > Select appropriate bookmark

Grouping a Bookmark

We can club a similar set of bookmarks as a group. It especially helps when we use it for running a presentation using bookmarks.

Multi-select the bookmarks using CTRL key > Options > Group

Bookmarks Use Case

Bookmark Use Case 1: Reset Existing Filters

This one is the most straightforward.

  • Add the bookmark when no filters or slicers applied on the page.

  • Add an element (button, shape, or image)

  • Assign the bookmark to that element

Bookmark Use Case 2: Switch (show or hide) visuals

This one involves Selection pane. Follow the article for more details: Switching visuals with Bookmarks

Bookmark Use Case 3: Presenting a Power BI report using bookmarks

A typical presentation involves a set of visuals along with the observations and recommendations presented across multiple slides. We can achieve a similar impact through bookmarks.

Follow the article for more details: Presenting with Power BI

Bookmark Use Case 4: Page navigation using bookmarks

Apart from this, we had also used bookmarks for page navigations. But with May 2020 update of Power BI Desktop, Page Navigation has been included as an Action:

The highlighted list above is the name of the pages in the report. You may follow the article on dynamic page navigation.

Dynamic Page Navigation in Power BI

PowerPoint presentations have been a norm for presenting any analysis. We create slides that contain visuals and observations supporting the visuals. We can do something similar in Power BI by using bookmarks.

It involves a combination of configuring a bookmark and using selection pane to show and hide visuals. Please refer to the following articles for more details:

Configuring a bookmark

Switching visual

Setting up the page

For this exercise, we have set up the page using Q&A visuals:

Using Q&A visual, we can get multiple visuals within one visual:

And we have used another Power BI elements: Text Box, to insert comments

And we have also used a feature called Spotlight:

As the name suggests, the Spotlight puts focus on the visual while the rest other visuals are in the background:

Configuring & Grouping Bookmarks

We have configured four bookmarks for our presentation:

Group these four bookmarks as one, as it helps during the presentation:

Multi-select the bookmarks using CTRL key

Options > Group

Rename the group

Presenting with Bookmarks

Select the first bookmark > View

The Power BI Report view changes to the presentation mode:

Using the navigation arrow keys, we navigate from one bookmark to another:

On Power BI Service, we can access these bookmarks under Report Bookmarks:

Presenting with bookmarks in Power BI may not be as sophisticated as a typical PowerPoint presentation. Still, it is a useful feature, especially when we present a quick analysis or findings.

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