Achieve that perfect alignment 🎯
Did you know that a nicely formatted report page in Power BI has the potential to significantly increase not only user experience, but also the understandability of the data?
It is true!
If report consumers can interact with a report in a much easier way, they would be able to find those business-critical insights quicker.
In today’s blog post and video, I cover the built-in options to achieve that perfect balance on our report pages.
This is probably a method that most of you already use. Those red dotted lines are what we call the visual guide.
If we only have a single element on the page they can help us to find the middle of the report page both horizontally and vertically. However, as soon as we add more elements to the page they will show alignment between the elements.
It is a neat and easy way to align visuals on our report page.
We can turn on Gridlines, those light grey dotted lines.
They will help us to align visual elements on our report page relative to the page itself.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of gridlines, as they could be pretty tricky to find, especially when you have either a colored background or even a background image.
Format / Align Visuals
There are 6 different alignment buttons available under the Format section of the ribbon.
Again, they behave differently depending on the number of visuals selected. When a single element is selected these buttons will align that element compared to the report page. However, when multiple elements are selected, these align buttons will help us to align visuals relative to each other.
I found them to be one of the best and quickest ways to create a neat look on my reports.
It takes some to practice and to learn how to use them, but once you mastered these buttons it will be a million times easier to place visuals on the page.
Format / Distribute Visuals
To make sure that these buttons (horizontal and vertical distribution) are available we have to select at least 3 visuals.
These two buttons are going to help us to make sure that the gap between the visual elements, either horizontally or vertically, will be the same.
This is my second most used method as with this feature we can easily create a balanced look on our report page.
There are three different ways to “align” visuals on the Z-axis – in other words moving them backward or forward.
Under the View pane on the ribbon, we can click on Selection. The selection pane is there to show the layer order. By simply using the drag-and-drop method we can change the 3D position of the visuals on the report page.
Additionally, we can use those triangles to move elements up or down.
And the last option we have is going to be under the Format option on the ribbon. From here you can use the Send Forward or Send Backward buttons to adjust the Z-axis order.
Quite a number of ways to change it, isn’t it?
General X/Y position
And lastly, when you are really looking for that pixel-perfect alignment, you have the option to head over to the Visualization panel on the right-hand side, and under the General options adjust the X and Y position.
I only use this method if I have a few elements on my report, otherwise, it would be quite difficult to set up the location of each element this way.
But do not underestimate this feature. It can provide the easiest and most precise alignment options as you no longer rely on any visual adjustment but purely based on pixel location.
As you can see there are quite a few ways to align visuals in Power BI.
And these are just the built-in options!
Next time, I’m going to show you how to use images – background images – to achieve that perfect alignment.
Additionally, show you how to create a couple of background templates to help other report creators as well in the report creation process.
So don’t forget to check out the next blog post as well!
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