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Three Killer Ways to Use Bookmarks

Let's take the opportunity to learn the most common uses of bookmarks nowadays. Bookmarks are one of the most used hot features in Power BI at the moment. In this post, we are checking out three killer ways to use them.

First, we are going to activate the Bookmark Pane to start using them:




Bookmarks (Marcadores in Spanish) are a feature of Power BI that allows users to capture the currently configured view of a report page, including filtering and the state of visuals. Later, you can go back to that state by selecting the saved bookmark.


1- Toggle Button

For the first option, we are learning to use bookmarks in combination with the Selection Pane. This pane lists all the visualizations on the actual page and lets us pick or select which ones we want to show or hide.

The Selection Pane does not seem to be very useful on its own, but together with the Bookmarks it is possible to get a lot of juice (Argentinian expression for things being useful together). The most common use it has is creating a switch button activating or deactivating something. In our case, we are building a visualization that will change with another one, making the user believe that the toggle will just change the rows in the matrix. For this, we will use two images that will be the buttons. These are easily available on the internet.



Bookmarks programming sounds complex but it is quite simple. The idea is to manually reproduce the expected result and then save it to later call the result with a button.

Then, we will set our screen in order and we will superimpose as many images of the buttons as the resulting matrices.



Next, we open the bookmark and selection panes to start programming them. In the selection one we will hide an image and a matrix to be able to save our first bookmark "SwitchDer".



After that, we make a change to make those visible and hide the others by creating the second “SwitchIZQ” bookmark.



So, now the only thing remaining is for us to tell the loaded images what action they will take. Select one of them and go to the format roll. Under the Action menu we select bookmarks and we will see the ones that we have created. For the Switcher on the left we will use SwitchDer action so that it changes to the other. Do the same in reverse order for the other image. Here is an example of the left image towards the SwitchDer bookmark:



We are ready! Now, you can test your selected bookmark "Ctrl" + click.


2- The Filter Menu

We will continue with another very attractive way to apply bookmarks: Making a hidden pane of filters, something like a navigation pane.

Suppose our end user asks us to build a screen full of visualizations in which we can't add another one.



Having this, the user tells us that they want to visually filter by year, month and country. Normally, the end users are not familiar or are friends of the filter pane on the right (that's why Power BI has renewed it), so we will develop an alternative solution. Also, keep in mind that a publish to web does not have that filter pane, if that's the case. To cover this solution, we have two options. The first one is not relevant and, personally, is not attractive because it loses fluidity: Enlarging the page. The second one that we are going to look at is to build our own visual filter pane.

How do you build it? With bookmarks, obviously. Let's use two buttons again, one to deploy the pane (three horizontal lines) and another to close it (back arrow). You can search for the desired image online.

The first bookmark to save would be the one that shows our deployed pane that will be built with a square shaped background, hiding the browser and a fine box, e.g.:



It doesn't matter if the graph is overlapping with the chart because that would be the expanded one. We create our “MenuOn” bookmark.

For the second one, we are going to hide the visualizations and the big picture, revealing the desired image to open it and a small square of the same colors.




This way, we cannot overlap any graph because it will be normally visible. We will then set the “MenuOff” bookmark.

What would be missing? ... If you remember the first recommendation, you already know how to continue. Anyway, let's mention it again.

It would be necessary to select the desired buttons and under the “Action” menu within its format, choose the corresponding bookmark.

I hope it helps to reduce the space within a report to set filters that do not apply. They can invent their own filter panel shapes. It may not be on the left but elsewhere. I leave you the construction of these bookmarks so that you can have them as an example in this link.

What are you waiting for?! Go and build panes!


3- First Page navigation Menu

The most attractive thing when it comes to bookmarks is to have an initial navigation menu. Users often have the idea of ​​software in their mind rather than a BI report. Therefore, they find it very familiar and friendly that the first page they see when starting a report is a "home" or "Home Screen" which contains buttons to the report pages.

How do we do this? With bookmarks, of course. We are going to build a simple menu page on the same example we were working on.

The first thing we will do is create a blank page with two buttons that we will save as "Bookmark":



This will be necessary to return to the initial menu, if we want to change the page.

Then, we will take the buttons and apply the “Action” format to one of the bookmarks we had before. In the case of the switcher it is indistinct, but in the case of the filter pane page we will choose MenuOff.



Now that we are done with the menu, we will proceed to the pages to set the return action. To do this, we can add a new arrow or house style button:



Or we can nurture the image of the brand, as I will do in my case. This will take care of returning us to the main menu taking “Action” the bookmark that we initially generated.



This way, the only way remaining is to hide the pages leaving only the one we created as the main one.

Now, we have a navigable report as an information system that end users will love.

With markers there are no limits! I hope you can come up with new ways to give spectacular uses to dazzle your end users.

I leave a clear example of this case to open your head. It was presented in a storytelling post in the Power BI community.



Let's use bookmarks!

P / D Remember that all this development (.pbix) is available in my GitHub.