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Power BI Team
Power BI Team

Share your thoughts on the new On-Object Interaction feature (preview)

Hit Reply to tell us what you think about the new On-Object Interaction feature so we can continue to improve.

For example:

  • What changes would you like to see?
  • If you turned off the preview switch, why?
  • Any suggestions for addititional settings or capabilities?


-Power BI team


To read more about the feature, see the announcement in the Power BI Product Blog or our documentation on how to Use on-object interaction


  • Q: How can I open multiple panes at once?
    • A: You can CTRL + click or right click on the unselected pane you wish to open and choose "Open in new pane"
  • Q: Where did aggregations move to?
    • A: It's still on right click of a field, or you can use the new flyout aggregations dropdown while choosing or swapping a field.
  • Q: Where did drillthrough and tooltip page setup move to?
    • A: Drillthrough is now in the page settings of the format pane under Page Information > Page type > Drillthrough or Tooltip.
730 REPLIES 730
New Member



I've been trying to get used to the on-object interaction feature since it was first released.  I think new users who have never worked with Power BI may be okay with it.  They would learn how to work with visualizations, setting and data this way from the start.  I've been working with Power BI since 2015 and am struggling to get used to this new way.  It's just too different from the original way of working with Power BI.  I'm much less efficient because I keep having to rethink where everything is and how it's laid out. For me. I feel it will continue to be difficult to work with since I've learned Power BI from the ground up with original way of working with objects.


Thanks for allowing the feedback!

Advocate II
Advocate II

Just recently, when I click on a visual, what pops up is "Formatting options are unavailable for this visual". Never saw this before?

MS Support confirms they could only reproduce the issue when they activated "on-object" interaction. This has me conclude that it is a bug and needs to be fixed. I for one will be reverting to the old way of doing things if it keeps happening.

I have already returned to the current default and disabled the new one.

New Member

Turned this off after a few days of usage, I hope this does not become a permanent feature.


Found this very clunky and unintuituve, also took much longer to make quick changes to tables since you have to click twice on each object to get the rows / columns / values to show up, and if I then want to do a column sort I have to click back in to see the rows / columns / values to then add / change fields each time. Has increased the time it takes to build complex reports significantly.

Community Champion
Community Champion



At first it was like, "oh, cool". Then as I use it for a week or so, 

It was like, "nah, it is better with the default before".


It's good actually, because it gives us a better space for the building the report.

But it takes time to always click the visual then build then scroll down, then find the data.


Sooo, hope it will not be permanent.

totally agree.

Advocate II
Advocate II

Definitely just a confusing change that doesn't add any value, as far as I can tell. What is the reasoning/benefit? It also was not communicated very well to users from my perspective, so folks are just confused when they don't see what they expect to see. Any type of MAJOR interface change, which this definitely is, should be clearly explained and well documented -- as it is, users spend hours looking for "what's wrong with my power BI", or "where is my visualization pane"... please do not make this mandatory for the long haul.

Now, if I missed something and there is actually a benefit for this, please do let me know. The pane swticher functionality does not seem to work well, options seem to disappear for no apparent reason. The changes seem clunky, and not helpful.

Consider, Staff to this Forum Post were asked about sharing the Private Preview feedback from the cohort that participated, and it darn near fell on deaf ears.  The bottom line is there is no transparency around how all this came about, and what is intended.

@foodd wrote "The bottom line is there is no transparency around how all this came about, and what is intended."


The response that was given to another user when asked would Microsoft really listen to user feedback, is that they look at many sources for feedback, but the thing that stood out to me is that they said "we have found in our research that using familiar patterns from other Microsoft products helps to onboard inexperienced users quicker."


My reply was "I can tell you that your research is flawed when it comes to using Power BI."


Here is a link to that response. Scroll up and down to see the full content of the discussion.

@foodd I had a very similar response, see that I was asked to wait for June and July, but August and September have also passed, and they are light years away from an interface that has advantages over the current one, I'm still optimistic, I hope they implement several new features in the current standard and that’s it.

Yeah none of this is surprising really... companies do what they want. As someone who used to be a customer, then an employee at Tableau, I can tell you that regardless of how they market their customer-centric focus, feature changes are about either A) making developers happy/lives easier or B) money. I am glad that there is a way to turn this off, for now - let's hope it does not become permanent. I have had so many problems with options disappearing in the pane switcher, and I find absolutely no benefit to the on-object interaction despite seeing others promote it as helpful in one way or another. 

I don't oppose change, but it needs to make sense and be well communicated to users. Why not have some sort of message when something like that comes out to all users, or a prompt when you open the software to let you know about the change and how to revert back to what you are familiar with? I just see so many ways to avoid this confusion... but alas, I'm not a software developer, just a meager data visualization consultant/analyst, so I suppose what I say doesn't really matter much 🙂

I agree with you.

Would you go back to Tableau?

Regular Visitor

Definitely not a fan. I've tried it a few times now & it just makes everything harder & less intuitive. Proper detachable, floating panes would be a much better option than making the panes fight for space with your report.

Advocate I
Advocate I

I don't think this change is necessary because it won't add much value, and it will make me work harder to do the same thing. I also think the existing feature is mature enough, so changing it doesn't make sense to me. Instead of adding better features, product teams are just making these random changes to product that dont make sense to me.

This is a wretched change. It is as poorly thought out as the name of this preview feature. Please don't even consider turning this on. Another user accidentally turned on this preview feature and I had to troubleshoot with her how to turn it off. It was taking her much more time to develop visuals, because of this major change to the UI. ...and she just learned Power BI 6 months ago.


Why is it terrible? You cannot easily add data fields to your visuals. Here is what is required:


Steps in the normal UI to add data:

1. Click on visual to add to your report

2. Click on the checkbox to add field to visual or drag to the "Build visual" pane


Steps with the "On-object interaction" UI:

1. Click on the dropdown arrow to select a visual

2. Click the visual you want

3. Click on the visual

4. Click on "Add data and build your visual"

5. Click on "Customize pane switcher"

6. Click on "Data" to enable data

7. Click on the "Data" icon

8. Click on the checkbox to add field to visual or drag to the "Build visual" pane


...and if you go to another visual, you have to repeat steps 3, 4 and 8 every time. What a nightmare!


Do you see the problem here, Microsoft?


What I would like is if you combined "Format Visual"/"Visual" "Format Visual"/"General" and "Analytics" in the same pane. That never made sense to me. Instead, it looks like you jumbled visual, general and analytics even more. What a mess. I do think the current Power BI interface is clunky and that options are buried under too many menus - don't make the same mistake twice.


I don't normally provide feedback, but I wanted to get ahead of this horrible change to try to persuade Microsoft developers to avoid the barrage of negative feedback they will receive if they attempt to make this preview option the default UI.


I also hate that you added the "Desktop layout view" and "Mobile layout view" where the page navigation buttons used to start - was that really a big request? Why not put them on the bottom right for the few users who are switching between the two layouts often?

I agree

I've been saying the same thing over the past five months. MS seems intent on changing this for the sake of change, not to improve functionality. Members on this thread have shared many other functional improvements to the interface that have been desired for a long time. However, MS seems to be doubling down on making this unwanted change, regardell of the feedback provided.

I really hope that users and developers are heard, the change would only be welcome if it brought benefits, so far I haven't seen that, although I like some changes, such as being able to edit the header directly in the visual or collapsing the buildvisual, but these changes could be implemented in the current mode, then they would be improvements and not what is being proposed with many more clicks, greater space occupied, etc. I hope common sense at MS prevails.

Regular Visitor

Hi. I like the new On-onject Interaction feature. A couple of suggestions;

-have Power BI save my pane preferences so I don't have to go to the View tab and re-add all the panes I want to use every time I open a PBI file

- allow the developer to increase/decease the width of the on-object pane (at least to a certain degree)

- make the pane icons "Drag and drop-able" to open new panes

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