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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.
593 REPLIES 593
Advocate I
Advocate I

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.

Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

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.

Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

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.

New Member

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

Kdhosk, I respect your opinion, but although I liked several new features, they could be implemented in the current mode, excessive clicks and "bugs" do not allow us to use this new feature in production mode. So far you are the only one who has approved it, the vast majority are not very happy, and I include myself in the majority.
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

Good point, and that about sums it up.

Advocate I
Advocate I

Hey All - maybe not the correct answer, but in response to everyone asking why they keep pushing time and resources into this feature despite the community showing zero interest is answered by viewing a demo for the future AI report builder for PowerBI/Fabric. 


My gut tells me that Microsoft are aggressively pushing towards a future where the development of reports is basically just providing a dataset and using natural language queries to get an AI to build your visualisations for you. From this perspective, On Object Interaction makes a lot of sense, as building a report will basically just be formatting and re-arranging, not actually building measures, adding data fields to visuals, or building out anything at all. 


I hope that this won't result in the old development interface being scrapped, because I am dubious that this approach will be able to effectivly replace ALL report building, but based on the demo I've seen I can definitely see that in the next few years we'll be able to use AI natural language query to build 80% of reports, and then only the more complex 20% will require actual development.

I'm not against the idea of On-Object Interactions if they are well designed and implemented. It's the way it's happening that's the issue. There seems to be massive pressure for it to happen. Maybe actually with the goal of replacing the majority of us developers with AI. You see the trend everywhere: you want to, but it doesn't yet work the way you want (fortunately for us) with AI.

Surely a mandatory requirement should be that a new feature is better than the existing implementation, that no functionality disappears, that operation becomes more intuitive and requires fewer clicks. These things are not given here: Functionality disappears, you need more clicks, it is less intuitive.


If you're going to force a feature like that into the product for whatever reason, then please make it an optional extra. Then we could turn it on and use it occasionally without being disturbed too much in our daily and usual work.

maybe I don't hang out in the right places, but it seems that it is just crickets from MSFT in response to the ovewhelming disappointment and negative feedback about on-object interaction.

If they are unable to articulate a compelling resaon for implementing it, what is their purpose?

100% Agree. Definitely not trying to indicate that I'm in support of the changes whatsoever - I think the on-object interaction is a terrible piece of functionality for the purpose of PowerBI as a tool that objectively makes the product worse to use. Microsoft is going about it's development and the communication of it's motivaitons in a truly appalling way that is causing anxiety amongst the user base as to the future of the product. 

However, in lieu of Microsoft actually sharing WHY they are pushing this "improvement" out (despite the communities recurring questions) I thought I'd try and give a plausible reason that may at least try and help explain and dispell some confusion.  

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