Tables in Power BI reports and dashboards
APPLIES TO: ✔️ Power BI Desktop ✔️ Power BI service
A table is a grid that contains related data in a logical series of rows and columns. It may also contain headers and a row for totals. Tables work well with quantitative comparisons where you're looking at many values for a single category. For example, this table displays five different measures for Category.
Create tables in reports and cross-highlight elements within the table with other visuals on the same report page. You can select rows, columns, and even individual cells and cross-highlight. You can also copy and paste individual cells and multiple cell selections into other applications.
When to use a table
Tables are a great choice:
To see and compare detailed data and exact values (instead of visual representations).
To display data in a tabular format.
To display numerical data by categories.
This tutorial uses the Retail Analysis sample PBIX file.
From the upper left section of the menubar, select File > Open report
Find your copy of the Retail Analysis sample PBIX file
Open the Retail Analysis sample PBIX file in report view .
Select to add a new page.
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.
Create a table
You'll create the table pictured at the beginning of the article to display sales values by item category.
From the Fields pane, select Item > Category.
Power BI automatically creates a table that lists all the categories.
Select Sales > Average Unit Price and Sales > Last Year Sales
Then select Sales > This Year Sales and select all three options: Value, Goal, and Status.
In the Visualizations pane, locate the Values well and select the values until the order of your chart columns matches the first image on this page. Drag the values in the well if needed. Your Values well will look like this:
Format the table
There are many ways to format a table. Only a few are covered here. A great way to learn about the other formatting options is to open the Format pane (paint roller icon ) and explore.
Try formatting the table grid. Here you'll add a blue vertical grid, add space to the rows, and increase the outline and text size.
For the column headers, change the background color, add an outline, increase the font size, change the alignment, and turn word wrap on.
You can even apply formatting to individual columns and column headers. Start by expanding Field formatting and selecting the column to format from the drop-down. Depending on the column values, Field formatting lets you set things like: display units, font color, number of decimal places, background, alignment, and more. Once you've adjusted the settings, decide whether to apply those settings to the header and totals row as well.
After some additional formatting, here is our final table.
Conditional formatting is one type of formatting. Power BI can apply conditional formatting to any of the fields that you added to the Values well of the Visualizations pane.
With conditional formatting for tables, you can specify icons, URLs, cell background colors, and font colors based on cell values, including using gradient colors.
In the Format pane, open the Conditional formatting card.
Select a field to format, and turn the slider for Background color to On. Power BI applies a gradient based on the values in the column. To change the default colors, select Advanced controls.
If you select the Diverging option, you can configure an optional Center value as well.
Let's apply some custom formatting to our Average Unit Price values. Select Diverging, add some colors, and select OK.
Add a new field to the table that has both positive and negative values. Select Sales > Total Sales Variance.
Add data bar conditional formatting by turning the Data bars slider to On.
To customize the data bars, select Advanced controls. In the dialog that appears, set colors for Positive bar and Negative bar, select the Show bar only option, and make any other changes you'd like.
Data bars replace the numerical values in the table, making it easier to scan.
Add visual cues to your table with conditional icons. In the Conditional formatting card, select This year sales from the dropdown. Turn the Icons slider to On. To customize the icons, select Advanced controls.
Copy values from Power BI tables for use in other applications
Your table or matrix may have content that you'd like to use in other applications, like Dynamics CRM, Excel, and even other Power BI reports. In Power BI, when you right-click inside a cell, you can copy the data in a single cell or a selection of cells onto your clipboard, and paste it into the other applications.
To copy the value of a single cell:
Select the cell you want to copy.
Right-click inside the cell.
Select Copy > Copy value.
With the unformatted cell value on your clipboard, you can paste it into another application.
To copy more than a single cell:
Select a range of cells or use Ctrl to select one or more cells.
Right-click inside one of the cells you selected.
Select Copy > Copy selection.
Adjust the column width of a table
Sometimes Power BI will truncate a column heading in a report and on a dashboard. To show the entire column name, hover over the space to the right of the heading to reveal the double arrows, select, and drag.
Considerations and troubleshooting
When applying column formatting, you can only choose one alignment option per column: Auto, Left, Center, Right. Usually, a column contains all text or all numbers, and not a mix. In cases where a column contains both numbers and text, Auto will align left for text and right for numbers. This behavior supports languages where you read left-to-right.
If the text data in your table's cells or headers contain new line characters, those characters will be ignored unless you toggle on the 'Word Wrap' option in the element's associated formatting pane card.
Power BI calculates maximum cell size based on the first twenty columns and the first fifty rows. Cells beyond those points may not be appropriately sized.