Previously, to create page navigation in Power BI, you needed to create bookmarks, and buttons to action to that bookmark. However, recently, in the last version of Power BI Desktop, the ability to easily navigate to other pages using Buttons in announced. In this short article, I’ll explain how you can use this approach to create navigation for your Power BI solution.
Buttons in Power BI
Buttons are nothing but shapes in Power BI, they sometimes come with some default actions. You can add a button to the Power BI report from the Insert Tab in the new Ribbon layout of Power BI Desktop; (In the old layout you can find it in the Home tab)
Buttons that see above, they are all the same, with the only difference in their shape of course. However, some of them come with a default action. for example, a Q&A button comes with an action set as Q&A.
But nothing stops you from changing the Action on any buttons to anything you want. Below is the screenshot of a blank button with a custom button text, that the Action property is turned on, and can be changed to anything.
As of right now. the actions above are available actions on buttons. In this article, we are talking about the Page navigation action.
The page navigation button action means that when someone clicked on that button, which page they will be navigated to? You can choose the page that you want to navigate to in the Destination drop-down list.
The screenshot above shows a button that is located on Page 7 and “when clicked” will navigate to Page 6.
Remeber that while in Power BI Desktop, to test this functionality, use Ctrl+Click. The reason is that in the Desktop application, click means selection of the item and applying some formatting or other configuration on it in the editor. In the Power BI website or mobile app, user would need only a simple single left click.
It is that simple to navigate from page to another using button then. below is a demonstration of how that works between two pages of a report;
Now let’s see how you can make this even better.
Image or Shape with Action
The Action property is not just for the button (in fact button is just a shape with a few extra properties), you can use it on any image or shape. The below screenshot is a custom image of a home icon;
At the time of writing this blog post, the Action list items on the Image or Shape is more limited than the button, however. It would change eventually in the future, and we will have the page navigation action on the Image too in the near future I believe. However, you can use Bookmarks here instead;
Using Bookmarks for Navigation; When the Page Navigation is Not Available
For the scenarios that you cannot find the Page navigation as an action (which means for Image and Shape at the time of writing this blog post), or for Power BI Desktop Report Server which features usually comes later on it, you can use Bookmarks for page navigation. Here are steps to do it.
1- Create a Bookmark for the Page you want to navigate into it
let’s say I want to create an image with the action to navigate to my Ribbon Chart page. I can add a bookmark to this page using the bookmarks pane (you can find it in the View tab);
As you see in the above, I created a bookmark and named it as Ribbon Page.
2- Remove the Data from the Bookmark
By default, a bookmark includes the data. What does that mean you may ask? Assume in a page, you select a value in a slicer, and you want to use the bookmark to save that status so that whenever you go to that bookmark, it brings that selection of the slicer with it. That is the bookmark with the Data. That type of bookmark is very useful for storytelling scenarios. Here I used a sample of that bookmark to create a Clear All Slicers button on a Power BI report page. Bookmarks, in fact, can be super powerful when combined with selection page and buttons, and here I explained about it, and how it can make your visualization dynamic with some samples.
For page navigation, however, the Data usually is not needed to be part of the story. you can remove the data part of a bookmark with clicking on the more options and uncheck it.
3- Set the Action Property to This Bookmark
the last step is to set the Action property of the Image or Shape to Bookmark, and then choose the bookmark you have created in the previous steps as below;
The Page Navigation action in Buttons is a great way to build a navigation menu options for your Power BI solution. The page navigation is reducing the efforts needed to create a bookmark for each page, and navigate there. However, for scenarios that the page navigation is not available, you can still use the method of creating a bookmark for the page and using the bookmark action on the image or shape. All of these actions help to build a navigation menu for your Power BI solution, which is always well received by the end-users.
A sample of page navigation (which I have created previously using the bookmarks method) is in the RD Power BI report here: