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Power BI Sidetools, a Free External Tool

Power BI Sidetools is a free Power BI external tool intended to increase productivity during reports development in Power BI desktop.


Transfer DAX and M formulas to files


Transfer DAX and M formulas to files.png


With just one click, you can transfer M and DAX formulas into a folder named like your report. The very first use case will probably be to save your different versions in backups. Right-click on your report name and select "Send to/Compressed folder".


View your DAX and M formulas in Visual Studio Code

View your DAX and M formulas in Visual Studio Code.png


With just one click, you open Visual Studio code to view your DAX and M formulas.

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but very powerful free source code editor created by Microsoft. Its functionalities are really amazing :

  • Powerful editing capabilities including advanced search and replace across multiple files
  • Flexibility splitting the editor to display multiple files simultaneously
  • Themes
  • Plugins
    • syntax highlighting and/or IntelliSense (DAX, M , R, Python, SQL, Json ... )
    • GIT functionalities
  • And much more ...

Discover VSCode with videos :



  • Extract files from the downloaded ZIP file and launch Setup.exe. As the software is not signed, you will get a warning window. So, click on the link and click on "Execute".
  • Download Visual Studio Code from Microsoft website :
  • Install plugins in Visual Studio Code :
    • Power Query / M language or Power Query M language
    • DAX for Power BI

Some functionalities of Power BI Sidetools depend on XMLA endpoint access. As it is really a preview feature in Power BI desktop, at the moment, I recommend you use it on copies of your reports.


It's just the beginning...

You probably have a question right now: Will it be possible to modify DAX and M formulas within Visual Studio Code? The answer is ...yes ...most probably.
Please stay tuned to discover more functionalities coming soon. You may subscribe to new content clicking here.


View this blog in The BI Power website










This looks really interesting - thanks for sharing. However unsigned code is a blocker in many environments. 

Thank you @mike_honey

Getting a certificate to sign an application is rather expensive. Sidetools is totally free so I will wait for a sponsor to sign it. 

I'm working on a portable version not signed also.