How to Do Table Visualization in Power BI (Step-By-Step)

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

Power BI has a table visualization you can use to view detailed data and the exact values.

It’s exactly how a table in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel looks like.

How to create a table visualization in Power BI? What can you do with it? Can you format it in any way?

In this article, you’ll learn about the steps in creating a table visualization in Power BI. You will also learn how to format it as you see fit.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Let’s go! 😃

*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.

Power BI’s Table Visualization

A table visualization in Power BI is a grid where the related data are displayed in rows and columns.

Some may think it’s counter-intuitive to use a table as a visualization.

After all, your data are most-likely stored in a spreadsheet so creating a table containing the same information may seem repetitive.

But there are reasons why tables would be a great choice including:

  • Comparing detailed data with the exact values
  • Displaying data in a grid format
  • Displaying numerical data by categories or groups

Tables are great for quantitative comparisons where you compare multiple values from different categories.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

How to Create a Table

It’s possible to create a table in both the desktop and online versions of Power BI.

For this tutorial, we’ll be using the Power BI Service along with Microsoft’s free retail analysis sample.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

If you would like to follow along, connect with the sample from your portal.

Now, let’s assume you would like to create a table with the following fields:

  • District
  • Last year sales
  • This year sales
  • Total sales variance
  • Total sales variance %

To start, click the table icon on the visualizations field.

Then, check all the fields from the Fields list that you would like to include.

The first step in creating a table in Power BI is selecting its icon and the fields to include

Immediately, you’ll see your table laid out nicely on the canvas.

How a table visual looks like in Power BI

Nice! 😊

Formatting the Table

There are a lot of formatting options available for a table visual.

Some of the notable ones include:

  • Grid
  • Column headers
  • Values
  • Total
  • Field formatting
  • Conditional formatting

To format a table, make sure the table is selected (clicked) on the canvas.

Then, go the the ‘Format’ section in the visualization pane.

One of the most interesting options is conditional formatting.

Expand the ‘Conditional formatting’ section and chooseThis Year Sales’.

Turn the ‘Background color’ to ‘On‘ and see how it affects the table visually.

How the background color conditional formatting affects the table

By default, the background color is set up as a gradient according to the lowest-highest value.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

If you would like to change that, click on the ‘Advanced controls’ found on the ‘Conditional formatting’ section on the visualizations pane.

The ‘Advanced controls’ link found on the conditional formatting section

A new window will pop up on the canvas.

Here, you can change what field the formatting will be based on, the minimum/maximum value, their colors, etc.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

For example, let’s try and change the color of the highest value to blue.

Changing the maximum color to blue

After pressingOK’, here’s how the table looks now.

The table applied with new conditional formatting

Looks really cool! 👍

Wrapping things up…

If you’re looking to show your data in an Excel-tabular way, the table visualization is what you use. It may look simple. However, the formatting you can do with it is superb and easy to set up.

There is still more you can do with a table visual in Power BI. We only covered one example of formatting options and one demonstration of what its conditional formatting can do. Feel free to try it all out and see for yourself. 😊

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto