Add visuals to a Power BI report (part 2)

APPLIES TO: ✔️ Power BI Desktop ✔️ Power BI service

In Part 1, you created a basic visualization by selecting checkboxes next to field names. In Part 2, you'll learn how to use drag-and-drop and make full use of the Fields and Visualizations panes to create and modify visualizations.

Create a new visualization

In this tutorial, we'll dig into our Retail Analysis dataset and create a few key visualizations.


This tutorial uses the Retail analysis sample PBIX file.

  1. From the upper left section of the Power BI Desktop menu bar, select File > Open

  2. Find your copy of the Retail Analysis sample PBIX file

  3. Open the Retail Analysis sample PBIX file in report view Screenshot of the report view icon..

  4. Select Screenshot of the yellow tab. to add a new page.

Add visualizations to the report

Create a visualization by selecting a field from the Fields pane. The type of visualization created will depend on the type of field selected. Power BI uses the data type to determine which visualization to use to display the results. You can change the visualization used by selecting a different icon from the Visualizations pane. Keep in mind that not all visualizations can display your data. For example, geographic data will not display well using a funnel chart or line chart.

Add an area chart that looks at this year's sales compared to last year

  1. From the Sales table, select This Year Sales > Value and Last Year Sales. Power BI creates a column chart. This chart is interesting, and you want to dig deeper. What do the sales look like by month?

    Screenshot showing column chart

  2. From the Time table, drag FiscalMonth into the Axis area.
    Screenshot showing column chart with FiscalMonth as axis

  3. Change the visualization to an area chart. There are many visualization types to choose from - see descriptions of each, tips for best practices, and tutorials for help with deciding which type to use. From the Visualizations pane, select the area chart icon Area chart icon from Visualizations pane.

  4. Sort the visualization by selecting More actions (...) and choosing Sort by > FiscalMonth.

  5. Resize the visualization by selecting the visualization, grabbing one of the outline circles and dragging. Make it wide enough to eliminate the scrollbar and small enough to give us enough room to add another visualization.

    screenshot of area chart visual

  6. Save the report.

Add a map visualization that looks at sales by location

  1. From the Store table, select Territory. Drag Total Stores into the Size area. Power BI recognizes that Territory is a location, and creates a map visualization.
    Area chart

  2. Add a legend. To see the data by store name, drag Store > Chain into the Legend area.
    report canvas with arrow from Chain in fields list to Chain in Legend bucket


Sharing your report with a Power BI colleague requires that you both have individual Power BI Pro licenses or that the report is saved in Premium capacity. See sharing reports.

Next steps