Paginated reports in Power BI: FAQ

APPLIES TO: Power BI Report Builder Power BI service Power BI Desktop

This article answers frequently asked questions about paginated reports. These reports are highly formatted, pixel-perfect output optimized for printing or PDF generation. They're called "paginated" because they're formatted to fit well on multiple pages. Paginated reports are based on the RDL report technology in SQL Server Reporting Services.

This article answers many common questions people have about paginated reports in Power BI, and about Power BI Report Builder, the standalone tool for authoring paginated reports. You don't need a Premium Per User (PPU) license or a Power BI Pro license to publish paginated reports to My Workspace. You do need a PPU or Power BI Pro license and write access to publish to other workspaces. Users with free, Pro, and PPU licenses can view the content. To learn more about licensing, see Licensing the Power BI service for users in your organization


What size Premium capacity do I need for paginated reports?

Size of recommended Premium capacity would depend upon expected usage. Use the capacity planning documentation for estimating the size of Premium capacity needed. Note that paginated reports are also available as part of a Power BI Pro license without needing to purchase a Premium capacity.

What is the maximum memory threshold I can put for paginated reports in my capacity?

You may use up to 100% of the memory for this workload.

How does user access work for paginated reports?

User access for paginated reports is the same as user access for all other content in the Power BI service.

How can I monitor usage of paginated reports in my tenant?

The audit logs detail usage of this report type under the following events:

  • View Power BI Report
  • Delete Power BI report
  • Create Power BI report
  • Downloaded Power BI report

The field ReportType has the value "PaginatedReport" to identify paginated as opposed to Power BI reports.

Also, the audit logs provide the following events for paginated reports:

  • Bound Power BI dataset to gateway
  • Discover Power BI Datasource
  • TakeOverDatasource

Do I need a Pro license to create and publish paginated reports?

You don't need a Power BI Pro license or a PPU license to create paginated reports, or to publish them to My Workspace in the Power BI service. We encourage you to download and use Power BI Report Builder. You do need a Power BI Pro license or a PPU license to publish paginated reports to other workspaces.

What if I have a paginated report in a workspace and the paginated report workload is turned off?

You receive an error message, and you can't view your report until the workload is turned back on. You can still delete the report from the workspace.

What is the default memory for each of the Premium SKUs that support paginated reports in Premium Capacity?

Default memory in each Premium SKU for paginated reports:

  • P1/A4: 20% default; 10% minimum
  • P2/A5: 20% default; 5% minimum
  • P3/A6: 20% default; 2.5% minimum

Power BI admins can modify the default maximum memory percentage in the Admin portal. See the Paginated Reports workload section under Power BI Premium on the Capacity settings tab.

Paginated reports Capacity settings tab


When should I use a paginated report vs. a Power BI report?

Power BI reports are optimized for exploration and interactivity. A sales report where different salespeople want to slice the data in the same report for their specific region/industry/customer and see how the numbers change would be best served by a Power BI report.

For more information, see When to use paginated reports in Power BI.

Why is my report rendering differently than I expected?

If your report renders differently than you expected, check if you're using preview features.

  • On the File menu, look for a button labeled Disable preview features. If that button is there, select it, and allow the page to refresh.

If the report now renders as expected, leave preview features disabled for now. Otherwise, you can reenable preview features by selecting the Enable preview features button on the File menu. After 30 days, preview features are automatically reenabled, but you can disable them again through the same steps.

The documentation says Power BI Report Builder is the preferred authoring tool. Can I create paginated reports in SQL Server Data Tools for Power BI?

Yes, but the Power BI service only allows you to upload a single item at a time, so many of the scenarios authors use with SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) aren't yet supported. See the full list of unsupported features available later in this FAQ.

What version(s) of Report Builder do you support?

We released Power BI Report Builder as the primary authoring tool for paginated reports in the Power BI Service. Install Power BI Report Builder from the Microsoft Download Center.

How do I move existing reports I have saved in SQL Server Reporting Services to Power BI?

If you're using SQL Server 2022 Reporting Services, this article, Publish .rdl files to Power BI from Reporting Services, explains how to migrate.

If you're using previous versions of SQL Server Reporting Services, a project on GitHub supports migrating content from SQL Server Reporting Services to Power BI. View details and download the: RDL Migration Tool.

Can I open reports and publish directly to the service?

Yes. We've added support for opening reports and publishing them directly to the service from Power BI Report Builder.

What paginated report features in SSRS aren't yet supported in Power BI?

Currently, paginated reports don't support the following items:

  • Shared data sources
  • Shared datasets
  • Drillthrough and click-through to other reports
  • Linked reports
  • Custom fonts

You get an error message if you try to upload a file that has an unsupported feature in the Power BI service, other than toggle/sort.

What data sources do you support currently for paginated reports?

See the article Supported data sources for Power BI paginated reports for a list of data sources.

What authentication methods do you support?

We support SSO for Azure Analysis Services, Azure SQL Database, and Power BI data sources. We also support OAuth for Azure SQL Database and Azure Analysis Services. For other data sources, you currently need to store a user name and password with the data source in the portal or gateway.

Can I use a Power BI dataset as a data source for my paginated report?

Yes, we support Power BI datasets as data sources for your paginated reports.

Can I use stored procedures through the Gateway?

Yes, stored procedures through the Gateway are supported for SQL Server data sources, including those that use parameters.

What export formats are available for my report in the Power BI service?

You can export to Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, PDF, .CSV, XML, and MHTML.

Can I print paginated reports?

Yes, printing is available for paginated reports, including a new and improved print preview experience.

Are e-mail subscriptions available for paginated reports?

Yes, e-mail subscriptions are fully supported for paginated reports and include support for six different file formats and parameter values.

Can I run custom code in my report?

Yes, we support the ability to run code in your reports using code blocks or Azure Functions. Referencing custom code DLL files within a report is not supported.

Can I use Power BI embedded to embed my paginated reports into an app I'm hosting?

Yes, to learn how to embed a paginated report, refer to Embed Power BI paginated reports.

Can I drill through from a Power BI report to a paginated report?

Yes, this can be accomplished using URL parameters with your paginated reports.

Can I share my paginated report content through a Power BI app?

Yes, you can deploy paginated reports in apps.

Will other report-specific features in Power BI, like pinning report tiles to dashboards, work with paginated reports?

We plan to have the reports support the same major scenarios in the service as much as possible. Ideally, though the tool to author them is different, from a consumer perspective it's just another report in their list in the portal. They don't care how it was created, they can accomplish what they need to. A good example of this feature parity is the planned comment support. Though the feature itself may work slightly differently for each report type, you'll be able to use comments for both.

Is there a report viewer control for paginated reports in the Power BI service?

No, a report viewer control isn't available currently.

Can you search for paginated reports from the new Home experience in the Power BI service?

Yes, you can now search for your paginated reports from Home. You also see them in other parts of the new Home experience.

Considerations and troubleshooting

Do I need to set a query time-out for an embedded dataset in a paginated report?

Query time-out values are specified during report authoring when you define an embedded dataset. The time-out value is stored with the report, in the Timeout element of the report definition. By default, this value is set to 600 seconds. For longer running queries, set a max timeout value of 2147483646 in the Dataset Properties dialog in Power BI Report Builder.

When working with DateTime fields in paginated reports, keep in mind that currently there are some globalization limitations related to DateTime parameters. All DateTime parameters in the Power BI service are fetched in US format (MM/DD/YYYY) regardless of how you design the DataTime in Power BI Report Builder.

I get a "Your session has expired" message. Why?

When you're viewing paginated reports in the Power BI service, sessions may time out, presenting you with a "Your session has expired" notification:

Paginated reports session expired notification

The session will time out after 60 minutes of inactivity, or earlier when the device is locked or inactive, when the report is displayed in the active tab of the browser. The session will time out after 10 minutes of inactivity, or earlier when the device is locked or inactive, when the report isn't displayed in the active tab of the browser.

I get an "error communicating with Analysis Services." Why?

Paginated reports time out after 600 seconds when using Power BI DirectQuery dataset as a source. After 600 seconds, you receive this error:

"There was an error communicating with Analysis Services. Please verify that the data source is available and your credentials are correct. The connection either timed out or was lost."

For paginated reports running longer than 10 minutes, we recommend using the XMLA endpoint to connect to the Power BI dataset.