Power BI Slicer – How to use with examples

In this Power BI Tutorial, we will learn about Power BI Slicer. Also, we will discuss these below topics:

  • What is Power BI Slicer?
  • How to use of slicer in Power BI
  • Create slicer on Power BI
  • Different types of Slicer on Power BI
  • Formatting a Power BI Slicer
  • Power BI Slicer dropdown
  • Power BI Slicer buttons
  • Power BI Slicer multiple selection
  • Power BI Slicer default value
  • Power BI Slicer search
  • Power BI Slicer panel
  • Advantages of using Power BI Slicer
  • Limitation of Power BI Slicer

What is Power BI Slicer?

  • Power BI Slicers are very important and useful visual elements in Power BI report.
  • In Power BI, the slicer acts as a canvas visual filter. The slicer enables a user to sort and filter a packed report and display only the information they want.
  • By default, Power BI reports are interactive. Each visual on a report canvas would respond to a single click that we make on a report and highlight the data relevant to what we clicked.
  • Unlike filters, the slicer is a great way to visually filter the data on a report easily.

Here is an example, that shows how the below data are filtered after using slicer on the Power BI report:

Power BI Slicer
Power BI Slicer

In the above image of the report, the visual indicated in the red box is a slicer. It contains the name of the product and it filtered the information based on++ products quantity by city, total amount, and customers.

Read Power BI Q&A

Use of slicer

We can use a Power BI Slicer in the below scenarios:

  • Show important filters on the report for easiler access.
  • Hide unneccessary and unimportant data in the table.
  • Make filtereing easier without a dropdown list.
  • Displaying a focused report by placing the slicer right next to essential graphs and charts.
  • Create visually stimulating reports without a repeatation of data.

Read Power BI Filter vs Slicer

Create slicer on Power BI

Now we will see how to add a Slicer on Power BI with a step by step guides:

Step-1:

On Power BI Desktop, we create a Power BI Report using sample data that displaying the whole story about Product’s discounts, profit and gross sale by Country, Manufacturing price and sale price, etc.

The report looks like below:

Power BI Slicer tutorial
Power BI Report

Step-2:

Now select and drag the slicer icon present in the visualization pane, to turn the visualizations into a slicer.

Create slicer on Power BI
Power BI Slicer

Step-3:

Here we added product in a data field of the slicer. When we select any options from the slicer(Product), the report is filtered according to selective options.

For example, here we select an option(i.e. Velo) from the slicer, then the report will look like below:

How to Create slicer on Power BI
Power BI Slicer

Read Power BI Matrix

Formatting a Power BI Slicer

Power BI Desktop provides a range of formatting options for the slicer. To explore these formatting options select the format icon(Paint roller icon), by which we can format the selections controls, slicer headers, items, background, border, title, shadow, etc.

Power BI Slicer format
Power BI Slicer format

The above image shows that we can format our slicer using these simple ways:

  • General: In general, we can set the orientation of the slicer. i.e, Vertial or Horizontal. Also, we can set the X and Y position, width, height of the slicer. By default, the slicer displays the data as Vertically. After formatting, the Horizontal Visual look like below:
Power BI Horizontal Slicer
Power BI Horizontal Slicer
  • Selection Controls: Here we can select the type of item selections. There are three types in which we can select the slicer items; single select, Multi select with ctrl, and select all options.
    • Single select– We can select only one item at a time on Power BI Slicer.
    • Multi select with ctrl– We can select more than one item(using ctrl+items) at a time.
    • Select all– We can select all item at a time on Power BI Slicer
Power BI Slicer format
Power BI Slicer format
  • Slicer header: Here we can show or hide the header of the slicer. Also, we can set the font and background color of the header, select the outline type, text, size and font type of the text.
  • Items: From here, we can set the font color, background color, outline, text size, font family of the individual slicer of the item. For example, lets change the background color, font color, and its size of the slicer’s item. Then the visual will look like below:
Power BI Slicer formatting
Power BI Slicer format
  • Background: We can set the background and its transparency of the Slicer visual. Also we can set the border and give shadow to the visual.

Read How to use Power bi maps

Different types of Slicer on Power BI

There are some various types of slicers available in Power BI are listed below:

  • Numeric range slicer
  • Relative Date Slicer
  • Sync Slicer

1- Numeric range Slicer

The numeric range slicer in Power BI in Power BI is primarily used to apply all kinds of filter sorts to any numeric column in the data model.

When we use a numeric field to create a slicer, a numeric range slicer is created.

There are 3 options for filtering the numeric data: between, less than or equal to, greater than or equal to.

This simple technique is a powerful way to filter the data on Power BI. To create a numeric range slicer on Power BI follow these steps:

Step-1:

Select the slicer icon from visualizations to create a new slicer on the report.

Step-2:

Select or drag numeric data from the data model to populate the numeric range slicer.

For example, here we take the sales value to create the numeric range slicer. Then the visual will look like below:

Numeric range slicers in power bi
Numeric range slicers

We can see the slicer spreads the range between the two, lower and higher extreme. We can see all the other visuals on the report will change according to the range that we have set on the numeric slice bar.

Numeric range slicers on Power BI
Numeric range slicers on Power BI

All of The above visuals on the report, visualize the data in the range of 1,655,08 to 258,085,55.

This is how we can create a numeric range slicer on Power BI Report.

2-Relative Date Slicer

The date is the most important element at the time of business analysis because it helps us to identify the future forecast that how we are going to generate the revenue in the upcoming year.

A date slicer is made when we add a date field as the slicer value. The date slicer will have a sliding bar with two buttons at each end. We can slide these buttons forward or backward to adjust our range. By default, the date range will be set from the oldest to the newest date.

There are 4 types of Power BI data slicers and these are:

Power BI Date Slicer
Power BI Date Slicer
  • Between– In the date slicer ‘Between’ provides the range of dates between the start and end date.
  • Before– When we select ‘Before’, it provides the range of date before the end date.
  • After– When we click on ‘After’ in the slicer , it provides the range of date after the start date.
  • List– List in the Date slicer provides a list of all the date ranges so that we can select dates accordingly for the results.

To create a Date range slicer on Power BI follow these steps:

Step-1:

Select the slicer icon from visualizations to create a new slicer on the report.

Step-2:

Select or drag the Date field from the data model to populate the relative date slicer.

For example, here we take the date field to create the relative date slicer. Then the visual will look like below:

Power BI Date Slicer
Power BI Date Slicer

By clicking on a date, we can get a calendar view of the date.

Power BI Date Slicer
Power BI Date Slicer

For example, let’s take a date range between 12/7/2013 to 4/4/2014, then the report will visualize the data between selected dates. As the data are interconnected in Slicer so the data will apply to each visual. The report will look like this:

Power bi relative date slicer
Power bi relative date slicer

This is how a date slicer works.

3-Sync Slicer

Slicers are a useful way to filter the information and focused on a specific portion of the data set. They allow us to select exactly which values to display in our visual.

With the sync slicer features, a slicer selection on any page will affect visualizations on all selected pages.

If we create a slicer on one page of a report, We can sync that newly created slicer with the visual of all the pages of that report.

To enable this sync option, Select the slicer > to go to the View tab > Click on Sync slicers.

sync slicer on Power BI
sync slicer on Power BI

Now we can see new Sync slicers pane will open on the right. It will contain the name of the pages in the report.

There are 2 options to check the boxes in front of them. By selecting on the boxes of the refresh icon column, only syncs the effects of selections made in a slicer on that page. Similarly, by selecting the boxes of the eye icon column, we can make the slicer visible on those selected pages.

For example, there are 2 pages on the report. The sync slicer will look like this:

sync slicer on Power BI
sync slicer on Power BI

This is how a sync slicer works on Power BI Report.

Read How to use Microsoft Power BI Scatter Chart

Power BI Slicer Dropdown

In Slicer, we can show the data as a dropdown list in Power BI.

Here we will see how to show a dropdown on the Power BI Slicer by following these easy steps:

Create a Slicer having numeric data or date field. And then click on Select the type of slicer. Select Dropdown.

power bi slicer dropdown
power bi slicer dropdown

We can see the data are visualized in the dropdown list.

Read Microsoft Power BI Combo Chart

Power BI Slicer buttons

A button slicer, when there are only a few options in a list can be effective to change from a list to a button.

In this way we can convert a simple slicer in to button slicer:

Select Format > General > Orientation > Vertical to Horizontal.

Power BI Slicer buttons
Power BI Button

To change the background color of each item on the slicer:

Go to item > Background. It will change the background color of each item.

Power BI Slicer button
Power BI Button

Power BI Slicer multiple selection

In slicer, by default we can select one item at a time. But it allows to select multiple items at a time by these following steps:

Navigate to Format pane > Selection controls > turn on multi select with CTRL

power bi slicer multiple selection
power bi slicer multiple selection

By turning on that option, we can select multiple items(selective item + ctrl) at a time.

This is how to do power bi slicer multiple selection.

Read Power Bi key influencers

Power BI Slicer default value

Now we will see how to set a default value on Power BI Slicer. These steps are:

Step-1:

Create a slicer on Power BI report page. Click on select the type pf slicer(downward arrow). Then select Dropdown.

Power BI Slicer default value
Power BI Slicer default value

Step-2:

Then go to Format pane > selection controls > turn on Single select.

power bi slicer default value
power bi slicer default value

Step-3:

Now select an item from the slicer. It will appear as a default value on that visual like below:

power bi slicer default value
power bi slicer default value

In this easy way, we can set a default value on Power BI Slicer.

Read Power BI Donut Chart – How to use

Power BI Slicer search

We can add or remove the search box from the slicer in Power BI Desktop by following these steps:

Step-1:

Select the Slicer icon from the visualizations.

Step-2:

Click the tree dots(…) from the upper-right corner of the slicer.

power bi slicer search
power bi slicer search

Step-3:

There, we should find the option to Enable search. Now we can see a search box is added on the slicer like below:

power bi slicer search example
power bi slicer search

We can see a yellow indicator on, left side of the search. That yellow indicator indicates that the search option is being selected.

Similarly we can remove the search box from the slicer, by clicking again on the search option.

Read Power bi gauge chart – How to use with examples

Power BI Slicer panel

Here we will see how to add a slicer panel that take it to the next level. By using a Slicer panel we can show or hide those slicers to free up space and make it little cleaner. To create a slicer panel on Power BI Report, follow these step by step guides:

Step-1:

Add a slicer on the report page, under visualizations pane. For example, here we will take as slicer data. Make sure to turn off the background of the slicer on the Format pane.

power bi slicer Panel
power bi slicer Panel

Step-2:

Go to insert tab > Shapes > select a rectangle. It will appear on Report page. Similarly turn off the fill option from the Format shape.

power bi slicer Panel
power bi slicer Panel

Step-3:

Drag the slicer to rectangle.

Go to view tab > selection. A selection pane will appear on the page. Here we can adjust the Z-order. So where is it form a layer perspective?

On Selection pane, drag the slicer up and then rectangle. Here we rename the slicer and rectangle.

power bi slicer panel example
power bi slicer panel

Step-4:

Similarly, create another slicer having data as Product on that same report page. Drag it to the rectangle.

Add a button to the page. For this:

Go to Insert tab > Buttons > Back. Resize and drag it to the rectangle.

Microsoft power bi slicer panel
power bi slicer panel

Step-5:

Select these 4 items, such as Button, slicer, Country slicer, Recatangle > Right click > Make it as group. Rename the group(i.e Slicer Group)

power bi slicer panel
power bi slicer panel

Step-6:

Then Add a bookmark to this page. For this:

Go to View tab > Bookmarks. A bookmarks panel will open on the page.

First Click on Show, then click on add+ symbol to add a bookmark. Rename it as ‘Show slicer panel’.

power bi slicer panel example
power bi slicer panel

Step-7:

Now hide the Slicer Group on Selections. Then add another bookmark as Hide slicer panel.

Make sure to unchecked data from both of the slicer panel. For this, go to three dots(…) > uncheck data.

power bi slicer panel
power bi slicer panel

Step-8:

Now select the Back button on the page. Go to Format button > turn on Action.

Power BI slicer Panel
panel on Power BI slicer

When we go to Power BI report page, select ctrl, and click on button, it will hide the slicer pannel from the page.

Step-9:

To show the panel, add a menu icon to the page.

For this, we downloaded a menu icon from the browser. Go to Insert tab > Images > select the icon image. It will add on the Power BI Report.

power bi slicer panel
power bi slicer panel

Step-10:

Now select the icon on the page. Go to Format image > turn on Action.

power bi slicer panel
power bi slicer panel

Now the slicer panel is ready to show and hide. Click on the report page. Then select ctrl + click on back button to hide/ menu icon to show the slicer panel. like this:

power bi slicer panel
power bi slicer panel

This is how to do power bi slicer panel on Power BI Report to take it next level.

Advantages and Disadvantages of using Power BI Slicer

AdvantagesDisadvantages
A slicer is an on-canvas, dynamic feature.Power BI Slicer doesn’t support drill-down on the report.
A slicer is user-friendly.We can not pin a slicer to a dashboard, as it supports only in Power BI Report.
They are visualized on the canvas.It does not support any input fields.
A report user can select and choose what they want to display in the visual.Power BI Slicer does not support and work with measure.
We can add slicers to several pages and synchronize their actions across those same pages.No support for visual level filter.
Pros and cons of Power BI Slicer

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Conclusion

From this above Power BI tutorial, we learned all about Power BI Slicer. Also, we discussed:

  • What is Power BI Slicer and it’s use?
  • How to create slicer on Power BI Desktop?
  • Different types of Slicer on Power BI
  • How to format Power BI Slicer?
  • How to do Power BI Slicer dropdown, buttons, and multiple selections?
  • How to set a Power BI Slicer default value?
  • How to add and remove the Power BI search box on Power BI Slicer?
  • How to create a Power BI Slicer panel?
  • What are the advantages and limitation of using Power BI Slicer?
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