Interact with Visuals in reports, dashboards, and apps

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At its most basic, a visualization (or visual), is a type of chart built by Power BI designers using the data in reports and datasets.


We recommend first reading the overview topic Power BI basic concepts for consumers before reading this more-detailed content.

What can I do with visuals?

Visuals are created by report and dashboard designers and shared with consumers. As a consumer, you have many options for interacting with visuals to uncover insights and make data-driven business decisions. All of these options are listed in the table below, with links to step-by-step instructions.


But first, a word about Q&A. Q&A is Power BI's natural language search tool. You type a question using natural language and Q&A answers the question in the form of a visual. Q&A is a way consumers can create their own visuals. However, the visuals you create with Q&A cannot be saved. But, if there's something specific you want to learn from the data, and the designer didn't include it in a report or on a dashboard, Q&A is a great option. To learn more about Q&A, see Q&A for consumers.

Task On a dashboard In a report In Q&A
Add comments to a visual for yourself or start a conversation with colleagues about the visual. yes yes no
Open and explore the report where the visual was created. yes na na
Open and explore a visual in Q&A (if Q&A was used to create the visual) yes na na
Ask Power BI to look for interesting facts or trends in the visual's data for you. These are called auto insights. yes yes no
View just one visual at a time using focus mode. yes yes na
Look up the last time the visual was refreshed. yes yes na
View just one visual at a time, without borders or navigation bars, using full screen mode. yes yes no
Print. yes yes no
Dig into the visual by adding and modifying visual filters. no yes yes
Hover over a visual to reveal additional details and tooltips. yes yes yes
Cross-filter and cross-highlight other visuals on the page. no yes na
Show the data used to create the visual. no yes no
Change the way the visual is sorted. no yes can change sort by rewording the question
Add a spotlight to a visual. no yes no
Analyze (depending on visual type). no yes no
Export to Excel. yes yes no

Next steps

Back to Basic concepts for consumers
Select a visual to open a report
Types of visuals available in Power BI