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Power Query Intellisense not working well

Having an 'auto complete' feature in a coding language is great.

When it work right.

Power Query auto complete does NOT.

 

Try this: Open a query and click the Custom Column on the Add Column menu. The dialog box opens where you input your M language statement.

Now type into the formula box "Text.Combine" and see the suggestions it brings up and more importantly WHERE IN THE LIST it places the highlight. If you're fast on the keyboard and hit the TAB key without looking at the suggestion it gives, you will get "TextTable.Combine". 

What is TextTable.Combine? That's not even a Power Query Function. It an erroneous amalgamation of the FISRT word I typed plus the full command that it chose.

 

Look at the screen shot below and note the SUGGESTED row it highlights (the one it will take if you simply hit <Tab>) as opposed to the one three rows below it THAT IS AN EXACT MATCH OF WHAT YOU ARE TYPING

 

Power Query M Auto Complete.png

 

 

Seems Intellisense cannot match on the entire phrase, but only looks at the last word after the period?

 

After typing "Text." I shouild see a list of all the functions that start with "Text." not ones that start with other words.

 

I see this as a bug

 

 

Status: New
Comments
v-yuta-msft
Community Support

@ToddChitt ,

 

After test actually as you said PQ Intellisense currently doesn't match your function, you need to press down arrow in keyboard to locate the function. Or you can input "Text" then press down arrow in keyboard though some class has much functions like "List". 

 

Not sure if this can be considered as a bug or by design issue, I would suggest you create an idea here to help power bi improve.

 

Regards

Jimmy Tao

ToddChitt
Super User

@v-yuta-msft 

Thanks for the quick reply. A couple of points I would like to make:

A) The title of the post is "...not working well", not "...not working". It works, just not like one would expect, like one would see when writing C# code in a Visual Studio project. I did VBA programming in MS Access 20 years ago and THAT intellisense was smarter than this one.

B) I still call it a BUG. Why? The general definition of a BUG in software is that you take a certain action and you expect a certain result, but get a different result. Consistently and reproducable by others. I have spelled out my actions, expectations, and actual resulsts in the post.  If Microsoft is going to classify this as BY DESIGN, then we'll open up Point C:

C) MICROSOFT made the design specifications for this feature, and MICROOSFT built it. MICROSOFT can CHANGE the specifications, right? It's the same general principle around why the cars we drive today get an average of 30 miles per gallon when the average was half that 20 or 30 years ago. Comparing later years, we now have air bags, and seat belts, and tires filled with air instead of solid rubber. Auto manufacturers CHANGED THE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS of their cars, then they BUILT THEM ACCORDING TO THOSE SPECEFICATIONS, with the result being better cars.

 

I'm going to hold my ground and NOT post this as an idea because, I consider it a BUG, not a request for a new feature or improvement. MS should be looking at BOTH forums and making decisions accordingly. Known BUGS shouldn't need VOTES to get them noticed by the program managers. 

 

ToddChitt
Super User

Addendum on the behavior of the Intellisense in Power Query:

If you type in "Text.Combine" to get the screen shot above, and then CLICK on the item that exactly matches the text you typed, you will get the following: "TextText.Combine"

 

If that's not a bug...

 

TheBoojum
Frequent Visitor

This irritates me intensely too.

 

I can think of no use case where autocomplete selects an entry based on what you've typed then appends it to that input rather than replaces it. Therefore, to my mind, a bug, not a 'design feature'.

Wilson421
New Member

It's been a while and MS hasn't fixed this behavior yet. It annoys me to no end as well, but I stumbled on a workaround today: Just don't type the dot!


Example: Searching for  Table.RowCount:
Type "Table." then use the arrow keys to select Table.RowCount, press Tab, and it returns "TableTable.RowCount".
Type "T." and arrow up to Table.RowCount, and it returns "TTable.RowCount".
Type "Table" without the period and do the same thing, it returns "Table.RowCount" perfectly.

Likewise, type "RowCount" or "Count" or even "T", and the item you selected returns exactly as it should. The dot screws up the IntelliSense algorithm.

 

So to sum up, don't use dots in Power BI or Power Query formulas, even when you know where they should be, and IntelliSense won't make you crazy!

Eduardo_Suela
Helper I

Today I had a problem with autocomplete in power query

 

Some times functions were not suggested, only queries and fields

I restarted everything and suggestions for function names were back, but fields were only shown in the formula editor.

 

I quote someone:

"They do have Intellisense for M / Power Query, but it is as buggy as a trucker's windshield"

Totally agree

Paul-Wyatt
Frequent Visitor

@Wilson421 Thanks so much for that suggestion on dropping the dot.  I'm converting from Tableau to Power BI and at the early learning stage.  I found this thread and your comment at precisely the right time where I am preparing a demonstration and want to look professional in front of my peers. 

 

I've always used Intellisense and was frustrated by the PQ issue and the amount of time spent correcting illogical arguments.