Power BI Bookmarks: What are they? And how to use them!

Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.

Power BI bookmarks first started with the Power BI desktop. 

But because of its popularity, the Power BI team has been consistently receiving requests about them.

And by January 24, 2019, Power BI bookmarks became available for Power BI Service as well.

So what are Power BI bookmarks? Why is it that a lot of people have been requesting them? How do you use one?

In this article, you’ll learn about Power BI bookmarks and why they’re so useful. We’ll also teach you how to use them both in Power BI Service and Desktop.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Let’s get started! 🔖

*This tutorial is for Power BI Online (also called "Power BI Service"). If you have Power BI Desktop, then click here and go to the online version.

Introduction to Power BI Bookmarks

Power BI bookmark is a feature you can use to capture the view of a report page and use it to share insights and build stories.

As mentioned earlier, it was a feature that was only available on Power BI Desktop. Eventually, Microsoft made it available on Power BI Service as well.

When you make a bookmark, you save different elements of that report including:

  • The current page
  • Filters
  • Slicers (including the type and state)
  • Visual selection state
  • Sort order
  • Drill location
  • Visibility of an object
  • The focus or spotlight modes of any visual

It’s also possible to build presentations through bookmarks in a PowerPoint-style. If you found something in your report, you can also create a bookmark to preserve it.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Creating a Bookmark in Power BI Service

Before creating a bookmark, let’s condition our report page first.

We’ll be using the “Retail Analysis Sample” — District Monthly Sales report for this example.

Let’s say you want to create a bookmark highlighting date relevant to “Allan Guinot”, a district manager, on the month of “January”:

To create a bookmark, simply clickBookmarks’ on the upper-right corner and selectAdd a personal bookmark’:

You can also name your bookmark or leave its default name.

If you would like to see this report view every time you open this report page, just check the ‘Make default view’.

If all is good, ‘Save’ your bookmark:

Saving your first personal bookmark in Power BI Service

Congratulations! You just created your first Power BI Service bookmark! 🎉

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Creating a Bookmark in Power BI Desktop

The first step in creating a bookmark in Power BI Desktop is a bit different.

To maintain consistency, we’ll be using the same dataset, settings, and filter as the previous section using the “Retail Analysis Sample”:

As you’ve noticed, there’s no ‘Bookmarks’ icon you can easily click unlike in Power BI Service.

What you have to do now is show the bookmarks pane.

ClickView’ on the tab list and checkBookmarks Pane’:

Immediately, the bookmarks pane will appear between the filters pane and visualizations pane.

To add a bookmark, simply clickAdd’ on the bookmarks pane:

The ‘Add’ button on the bookmarks pane

There’s your bookmark! 👍 The steps may be a bit different but it’s quite easy to create a bookmark on both Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Creating a Bookmark Slide Show

Bookmarks aren’t only used as a way to preserve your current report page state. You can also use them to present your report in a slide show.

Let’s say that you added 2 more bookmarks in Power BI Service.

To see the bookmarks pane in Power BI Service which looks similar to the desktop version, clickBookmarks’ on the upper-right corner and then ‘Show more bookmarks’:

Enable the bookmarks pane in Power BI Service

To start the slide show, make sure you’re on ‘Personal bookmarks’ and pressView’:

The view button on the bookmarks pane

You’re now on bookmarks viewing mode. To go through the slides, click on the directional buttons at the bottom.

If you would like to exit the presentation, press the ‘X’ button or the ‘Exit’ button which now replaced the ‘View’ button on the bookmarks pane:

The bookmarks slide show presentation mode

While in view mode, it’s possible to interact with all the visuals. It’s like you took an interactive snapshot on the report which you can review and save.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Conclusion

Power BI bookmarks are a great way to preserve your progress or interesting insights and use them for presentation purposes. The best part is, it only takes less than 2 seconds to make one.

Now that you know how to make Power BI bookmarks, feel free to experiment with it. You can try renaming them, deleting them, or even update them when you need to.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto