Use grouping in Power BI Desktop

With grouping in Power BI Desktop, you can group visuals together in your report, such as buttons, textboxes, shapes images, and any visual you create, just like you group items in PowerPoint. Grouping visuals in a report lets you treat the group like a single object, making moving, resizing, and working with layers in your report easier, faster, and more intuitive.

Using grouping

Creating groups

To create a group of visuals in Power BI Desktop, select the first visual from the canvas, then holding the CTRL button, click one or more additional visuals that you want in the group, then right-click the collection of visuals and select Group from the menu that appears.

select two or more items to group

Groups are displayed in the Selection pane. You can have as many groups of visuals as your report needs, and you can also nest groups of visuals. In the following image, the Australia group is nested under the Cards group. You can expand a group by selecting the caret beside the group name, and collapse it by selecting the caret again.

nesting groups

Within the Selection pane, you can also drag and drop individual visuals to include them in a group, remove them from a group, nest a group, or remove a group or individual visual from a nest. Simply drag the visual you want to adjust, and place it where you want. Layering of visuals, if there is overlap, is determined by their order in the Layer order list.

drag and drop groups

To ungroup just select the group, right-click and select ungroup from the menu that appears.

Hide and show visuals or groups

You can easily hide or show groups using the Selection pane. To hide a group, select the eye button beside the group name (or any individual visual) to toggle whether the visual or group is hidden or displayed. In the following image, the Australia group is hidden, and the rest of the groups nested in the Cards group are displayed.

hide and display groups

When you hide a group, all visuals within that group are hidden, indicated by their eye button being grayed out (unavailable to toggle on or off, because the entire group is hidden). To hide only certain visuals within a group, simply toggle the eye button beside that visual, and only that visual in the group is hidden.

Selecting visuals within a group

There are a few ways to navigate and select items within a group of visuals. The following list describes the behavior:

  • Clicking on empty space within a group (such as white space between visuals) does not select anything
  • Clicking a visual within a group selects the entire group, a second click selects the individual visual
  • Selecting a group, and then another object on the report canvas, then selecting Group from the right-click menu creates a nested group
  • Selecting two groups, then right-clicking displays an option to merge the selected groups, rather than nesting them

Apply background color

You can also apply a background color to a group using the Formatting section of the Visualizations pane, as shown in the following image.

background color for groups

Once you apply a background color, clicking on the space between visuals in the group selects the group (compare this to clicking on the white space between visuals in a group, which does not select the group).

Next steps

For more information about grouping, take a look at the following video:

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