Sunday, December 10, 2023

Lesson 10 - Slicers in Power BI Desktop

Power BI slicers are most effective and important visual element while creating Power BI Reports. Slicers are nothing but a filter which is more interactive. By using slicers, we can deeply analyze the specific data in reports. We have various formatting options for slicers. In this blog, we can see how to create and format the slicer.

How to Proceed?

Step 1:

Launch power BI desktop app and open the new report page and import the data required

Step 2

In “visualizations” pane click on “Slicers” which is highlighted in the given figure 

Step 3
“Field” is the only section in Slicers. We can add various columns of our dataset in the slicer. Here we used Region field as a slicer

Step 4: Formatting a slicer

After creating a slicer, it can be formatted as per our requirement.

Two types of settings under slicers
  • Visual Settings
  • General Settings
Click anywhere on the slicer, there are 3 types of options available under Visual settings

Visual Settings

Slicer Settings

Under slicer settings, we have options to style the look and feel of filters and options to select the type of selection we want to apply the filter.
  • Single select
  • Multi-select with CTRL
  • Show “select all” options

Single Select:
when we turn on this, we can able to select only one option from the listed values

Multi-select with CTRL: When we turn on this, we can select multiple values from the listed values. This can be allowed only by clicking CTRL command while selecting.

Show “select all” options: When we turn on this, it will give select all option to the listed values 

We have different options for displaying the filter values in different styles. It depends on the fields we choose for Slicers.

For category slicers we have these list of style options. In this Region slicer I have selected Dropdown option

For Numeric slicers we have these list of style options

For date Slicers, we have these list of style options. By default, for dates the style will be “between”

Slicer Header

Slicer Header is the heading of the slicer and not the header of visuals.If we want to give
heading to the overall slicer visual, We can give separately under Title section.We have following options under Slicer Header. Text,Border,Background,Pending Icon.


Click on the Text option. We can customize the slicer title ,its font and the font color.Under font we can customize the font style of the title and can make it bold, italic or underlined


Click on the Border option. We can able to add borders to the slicer heading. We can give borders to the slicer, we can add border color and the thickness of the border line can be customized.

In this slicer we are not using any border.


Click on the Background option, here we can set the background color of the slicer. We can set the background by conditional formatting.

Pending Icon

In Power BI we have an option to “Apply all slicers” and “Clear all slicers” which is added recently in power BI update which will be useful to work on slicers in a single click. It is mainly added to make power BI more efficient by performance.

Pending icon will display only when Slicer visual header is turned on. Pending icon will appear with some customized text if the slicer is not applied to all visuals. We can customize that text with these settings like color, transparency, position of the text.

We can customize the text in “Label Text” space in pending icon section


Click on the Values option. Like we discussed about slicer features above, we have different options under values where Font can be used for changing slicer value sizes. Border for the slicer values. We can also change the Font color and its background.

General formatting

We have multiple options under general formatting like properties, title, effects, header icons, alt text. Let’s discuss more about each of these options separately

Properties: Under this we can adjust size, position of the slicer

Title: Here we can name the slicer, change its font style color etc.

Effects: Under this we have options to set background color of the slicer, we can give border to it and we can give a shadow setting here.

Header icons

Under this we have options to set background color, color of the icon and the transparency

Alt text

Alt text option is available for all visualization element in power BI. This is used for people who cannot see the visuals or images. We can type the text we want to read it aloud by the system. It will be useful for blinds or with people with low vision. we can type up to 250 words.

Button Slicers (New)

 We have new slicer with added feature was added to the power BI visuals 

Step 1
In “visualizations” pane click on “Slicer (New)” which is highlighted in the given figure 

Like the old slicer, for this new slicer we require single field to display the content

Here I have chosen Continent field for this button slicer

In this new slicer, the data's are represented as buttons, and the shape of the buttons can be customized which gives us more control on appearance of this visual.

We can align the values of the slicer and also can adjust the grid space and space between two buttons.

We can adjust the appearance of the button overflow style using these options and also direction of overflow style i.e., vertical or horizontal


Continuous Scroll

We have option to insert image into this new slicer which makes the slicer more appealing. We have many upgraded options on this new slicer compared to previous slicer which makes more interactive and appealing.

Clear selections

We can easily clear our slicer selections using the “Eraser Icon” from the header icons which makes it simple to clear the selections which is not available in the Normal slicer.

When to use Slicers?

Slicers are mainly used to filter the reports across every page to maintain same context across all the pages with different charts, tables etc. and also to explore different aspects of data

  • Slicers are more interactive which is more engaging and better user experience.
  • We can explore different aspects of data without using complex filters
  • We can create dynamic reports with slicers on the fly
  • In Reports with multiple visual, screen space will be occupied by using slicers instead of filters.
  • In reports with large dataset usage of slicers leads to influence on performance


Slicers are very interactive and user-friendly visual in Power BI, enabling efficient data analysis and exploration. Customization options, including the ability to format slicers and adding customizable text enhances their adaptability to various reporting needs.

The upgraded slicer in Power BI with enhanced customization, dynamic interactivity, extended filtering capabilities, and seamless integration with icon headers, the new slicer is a powerful tool for unlocking the full potential of our data visualizations.

Tags Power BI
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