Create buttons in Power BI reports

APPLIES TO: ✔️ Power BI Desktop ✔️ Power BI service

With buttons in Power BI, you can create reports that behave similarly to apps, and create an environment where users can hover, click, and further interact with Power BI content. This article explains how to add buttons to reports in Power BI Desktop and in the Power BI service. When you share your reports in the Power BI service, buttons provide an app-like experience. The article Identify and use buttons in the Power BI service describes how report readers experience buttons in your reports.

Screenshot showing a Q&A button in Power BI.

Create buttons in reports

In Power BI Desktop, on the Insert ribbon, select Buttons to reveal a drop-down menu, where you can select the button you want from a collection of options.

Screenshot showing Add a button control in Power BI Desktop.

Customize a button

Whether you create a button in Power BI Desktop or the Power BI service, the rest of the process is the same. When you select a button on the report canvas, the Format pane shows you the many ways you can customize the button to fit your requirements. For example, you can customize the shape of a button.

Screenshot showing how to customize the shape of an arrow button to a parallelogram.

For more information, see Customize buttons in Power BI reports.

Button states

Buttons in Power BI have four possible states:

  • Default: How buttons appear when not hovered over or selected.
  • On hover: How buttons appear when hovered over.
  • On press: How buttons appear when selected.
  • Disabled: How buttons appear when they can't be selected.

You can modify many of the cards in the Format pane individually, based on these four states, which provides plenty of flexibility for customizing your buttons.

The following cards in the Format pane let you adjust formatting of a button for each of its four states:

  • Shape
  • Style
  • Rotation (applies to all states automatically)

To select how a button should appear for each state:

  1. In the Format pane, select the Button tab, and then expand the Shape or Style card.

  2. Select State under Apply settings to at the top of the card, and then select the settings you want to use for that state.

    In the following image, you see the Style card and Icon expanded. The State is On hover, and the Icon type is Right arrow.

    Screenshot showing the On hover state of a button in a Power BI report.

Select the action for a button

You can select which action is taken when a user selects a button in Power BI.

Here are the options for button actions:

  • Back returns the user to the previous page of the report. This action is useful for drillthrough pages.
  • Bookmark presents the report page that's associated with a bookmark that is defined for the current report. Learn more about bookmarks in Power BI.
  • Drillthrough navigates the user to a drillthrough page filtered to their selection, without using bookmarks. Learn more about drillthrough buttons in reports.
  • Page navigation navigates the user to a different page within the report, also without using bookmarks. See Create page navigation for details.
  • Q&A opens a Q&A Explorer window. When your report readers select a Q&A button, the Q&A Explorer opens, and they can ask natural-language questions about your data.
  • Web URL opens a web page in a browser.

Certain buttons have a default action that's selected automatically. For example, the Q&A button type automatically selects Q&A as the default action.

Note

An action can't have a numeric measure as the value of any of its fields.

To select a button action:

  1. On the Button tab of the Format pane, turn the Action to On, and then expand the card.

  2. Expand Action, and then select the Type of button action.

    Screenshot showing Action selections for a button in Power BI.

  3. Test the buttons you create for your report by selecting Ctrl and the button.

Create page navigation

With the Type of an Action set to Page navigation, you can create a button that links to another page in your report, without creating a bookmark.

Tip

If you want to build an entire navigation experience for the report, without having to save or manage any bookmarks, create page and bookmark navigators instead of individual buttons.

To set up a single-page navigation button:

  1. Create a button with Page navigation as the Type of its Action, and then select a page for the Destination.

    Screenshot showing Page navigation action.

  2. Optionally, you can conditionally format the Tooltip under Action as you can do with other button types.

  3. If you want a custom navigation pane, create page and bookmark navigators instead of individual buttons.

Set the page navigation destination conditionally

You can use conditional formatting to set the navigation destination, based on the output of a measure you create in Power BI Desktop. For example, you may want to save space on your report canvas by having a single button to navigate to different pages based on the user’s selection:

Screenshot showing Navigate with a Go button.

To create this example, start by creating a single-column table in Power BI Desktop with the names of the navigation destinations:

  1. On the Home tab, select Enter data.

    The Create Table dialog box opens.

  2. In the Create Table dialog box, enter the names of your pages in the column. Power BI uses an exact string match to set the drillthrough destination, so ensure that the values you entered exactly match your drillthrough page names.

    Screenshot showing Create a table.

  3. After you've created the table, add it to the page as a single-select slicer:

    Screenshot showing Navigate slicer.

Create a page navigation button and select the conditional formatting option for the destination:

  1. Under Style, set Action to On, and then expand Action. Select Page navigation for Type, and then select the Conditional formatting (fx) icon next to the Destination.

    Screenshot showing Page navigation button.

  2. On the Destination - Action page, select the name of the column you created. In this case, it's Select a destination.

    Screenshot showing Select a destination.

    Now the button can navigate to different pages, depending on the user’s selection.

    Screenshot showing Navigate with a Go button.

Shapes and images for navigation

Page navigation action is also supported for shapes and images, not just buttons. Here’s an example using one of the built-in shapes:

Screenshot showing Use an arrow for navigation.

Buttons support fill images

Power BI buttons support fill images. With fill images, you can customize the look and feel of your button, combined with the built-in button states: default, on hover, on press, and disabled (for drillthrough).

Screenshot showing Drill-through button fill images.

Under Style, set Fill to On, and then Browse for an image for each style state.

Screenshot showing Fill image settings.

Next steps

For more information about features that are similar or interact with buttons, take a look at the following articles: