Work with DAX query view


DAX query view is currently in preview.

With DAX query view in Power BI, you can view and work with Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) queries in semantic models.

DAX queries

In Power BI, DAX formulas are used to define different types of calculations for your data, but can also be used to define role security. DAX queries, on the other hand, can be used to return data from the model.

DAX queries are similar to SQL queries in that they can show you data you already have. DAX queries don't create items in the model or visuals in the report.

DAX queries have two main parts:

  • An EVALUATE statement, which is required. It specifies what and how data is returned in the query.
  • A DEFINE statement, which is optional. It allows you to define DAX formulas, such as a measure, to use in the query. Measures can be added to the model using CodeLens when used in DEFINE.

To learn more about how queries are used, see DAX queries in the DAX reference.

Open DAX query view

In Power BI Desktop, select the DAX Query View icon on the left side.

Screenshot of the DAX query view icon in Power BI Desktop.

DAX query view layout

Let's take a closer look at DAX query view in Power BI Desktop.

Diagram that shows the DAX query view layout.

DAX query view has these elements:


The DAX query view ribbon has common actions used when writing DAX queries.

Screenshot of the DAX query view ribbon.

Let's take a closer look at elements in the ribbon:

Format query

Click the Format query ribbon button or use SHIFT+ALT+F to format the current query. The query is indented with tabs. DAX functions are changed to UPPERCASE, and additional lines are added. Formatting your DAX query is considered a best practice and improves the DAX query readability. The formatting also indents in such a way that you can collapse and expand sections of the query.

Screenshot of the Format query button.

Comment and Uncomment

Click the Comment ribbon button to add a double backslash (//) to the beginning of the line where the cursor is or all the selected lines. This comments out the lines and when the DAX query is run, those lines are ignored.

Click the Uncomment ribbon button to remove // at the beginning of any line where the cursor is, or all the selected lines. It doesn't work on lines where multiple line comment notation is added.

You can also use CTRL+/ to toggle between comment and uncomment.

Screenshot of the Comment and Uncomment buttons in the DAX query view ribbon.

Find and Replace

Click on the Find ribbon button or use CTRL+F to search for text in the DAX query editor. Find includes options to match case, match whole word, use a regular expression, and cycle through all matches for the current query. You can also click the chevron to the left of the Find box to enter Replace.

Screenshot of the find button in the DAX query view ribbon.

Click on the Replace button in the ribbon or use CTRL+H to search for and replace text in the DAX query editor. Replace includes options to preserve the case and replace one at a time or all at once.

Screenshot of the Replace capability in the DAX query view ribbon.

Command palette

Click the Command palette ribbon button or use CTRL+ALT+P to open the command palette box. You can search for additional DAX query editor actions and see their associated keyboard shortcuts.

Screenshot of the DAX query view command palette.

Command bar

The DAX query view command bar includes the most important actions when using DAX query view. The Run button executes the DAX query or the selected lines of a query. The status of a query after it runs appears in the lower status bar.

Screenshot of the DAX query view command bar.

When a query is running, the button becomes a Cancel button, which can be used to stop a running query.

Screenshot of the DAX query view cancel.

DAX query editor

DAX query view includes a query editor where you can write and edit queries. It's more than just a bigger DAX formula bar. It's more powerful and has many similarities to the DAX editor available in VS Code.

DAX query editor has the following elements:

Suggestions and Intellisense

Type in your query and get help with suggestions and Intellisense while editing.

Screenshot of the DAX query editor intellisense.

Use ENTER or TAB to add the highlighted intellisense, or SHIFT+ENTER or ALT+ENTER to move to another line without adding the intellisense option. Clicking ESC closes any of the overlays.

Hover to see measure formulas

When a measure is included in the DAX query, you can hover on it to see the formula, name, and description.

Screenshot of the hover to see measure formula feature.

Click to see measure lightbulb quick actions

Clicking on a measure in an EVALUATE statement in a query without a DEFINE statement shows the quick actions lightbulb. Click on Define or Define with references to create a DEFINE statement with this measure’s formula with or without the reference measure DAX formulas.

Update model measures using CodeLens

Using DEFINE MEASURE is helpful when creating measures. You can edit multiple measures in one window and then run the query to see the results of all or just some of them with specific group by columns. You don't need to create a table visual in Report view and switch back and forth between measure formulas. CodeLens takes this one step further by providing prompts when the measure already exists in the model, or if it doesn't, it can add it.

Measure update workflow

The lightbulb quick actions and CodeLens can be used together in a complete workflow:

  1. In the context menu of a measure, choose Quick queries, then Evaluate to have the query created for you in a new Query tab.
  2. Click on the measure in the query to Define or Define with references, adding the DEFINE statement.
  3. Make expression updates to the measure, then run the DAX query to show the change.
  4. When the change appears as expected, then use the CodeLens Update model: Overwrite measure to save it back to the model.

Here's a more visual way to understand the workflow:

Diagram of the workflow.

Results grid

When a query is run, the results are shown in the Results grid.

Screenshot of the results grid.

If there's more than one EVALUATE statement in the query editor, then multiple results can be returned. You can use the Result dropdown to switch between them. The Copy button copies the entire grid as a tab delimited table with headers. The grid can be resized using the upper right hand corner arrows or manually with the cursor on the border between the result grid and the query editor.

If the query results in an error, the results grid shows it.

Screenshot of the error message in the results grid.

A copy button transfers the error to your clipboard. The beginning of the error indicates where in the query the error is. In the image above the error is:

"Query (4, 23) The value for 'Sales 2' cannot be determined. Either the column doesn't exist, or there is no current row for this column."

And "Query (4, 23)" indicates the error is on line 4 and at character 23.

Query tabs

DAX query view can have multiple query tabs, which can be renamed or removed. They also show the current state of the query.

Screenshot of the Query tabs.

Each tab includes a status indicator:

  • No indicator shows before a query has been run.
  • A green checkmark indicates a successful query run.
  • A red cross indicates an error occurred.
  • A filled square in a circle indicates the query was canceled.
  • A clock indicates the query is running.

Queries can run in the background allowing you to continue working on other query tabs.

Saving of DAX queries

DAX query view query tabs are saved in the file when you save from Power BI Desktop, so you can continue where you left off when you open the file again. If you use the developer mode to save a Power BI project, each query tab is included as a .dax file in the DAXQueries folder of the semantic model folder. Learn more at the Power BI deverloper mode documenation.

Currently, you cannot view or edit the DAX queries in the Power BI service. Viewers of the report or semantic model do not see the DAX queries saved with the semantic model.

Data pane

The Data pane shows the items in the model to help you write queries. The editing paths for most of these items is blocked in the query view.

Quick queries

The Data pane context menu includes Quick queries. Use quick queries to create queries in a new query tab for tables, columns, and measures. Quick queries are designed to be a productivity boost for common tasks and built so they can easily be further modified. All quick queries are created in a new query tab and are run automatically.


Define all measures in the model creates a query with all the measure formulas shown in a query. Easily search all your measure formulas.

  • Show top 100 rows creates a query by using SELECTCOLUMNS() to show the top 100 rows of the table. The columns are listed on each line to allow for easy modification by commenting out lines. An ORDER BY is also included to specify your sort order.

    Screenshot of the show top 100 rows.

  • Show column statistics creates a query showing statistical information for every column in your table. See many of the formulas for how to aggregate columns as MIN, MAX, AVERAGE, COUNT, and more.

  • Define all measures in this table creates a query with this table’s measure formulas shown in a query.

  • Show data preview creates a query using DISTINCT() to see the values of a column.

    Screenshot of the show data preview.

  • Show column statistics creates a query showing statistical information for this specific column. See many formulas for how to aggregate the column as MIN, MAX, AVERAGE, COUNT, and more. The query returned varies depending on the data type of the column, showing different statistics for numeric, text, and date columns.

    Screenshot of the show column preview.

  • Evaluate creates a query to show the result of the measure. SUMMARIZECOLUMNS() is used so you can add in any group by columns to show the measure by specific groups such as Country, Product, etc.

    Screenshot of evaluate measure.

  • Define and evaluate creates a query to show the result of the measure and show the measure’s formula in a DEFINE statement that can then be modified.

    Screenshot of the define and evaluate measure.

  • Define with references and evaluate creates a query to show the result of the measure and show not only the measure’s formula in a DEFINE statement that can be modified, but also any other measures referenced in the measure formula. Edit any part in the full context of the measure.

    Screenshot of define with references and evaluate.

Getting visual DAX queries from Performance Analyzer

Visuals in Report view get data from the model by creating a DAX query. The visual query can be viewed in DAX query view by using Performance Analyzer. Performance Analyzer can give you insight into why a visual may be showing an unexpected value or simply as a way to quickly start a query you can further modify.

In Report view, go to the Optimize ribbon, then click Performance Analyzer. Click Start recording, then Refresh visuals. In the table below, expand a visual to see options to copy query or run in DAX query view. Clicking on Run in DAX query view takes the visual query, adds it as a new Query tab in DAX query view, and then runs it.

Screenshot of the visual DAX queries in Performance Analyzer feature.

Considerations and limitations

DAX query view is currently in preview. Keep the following in mind:

  • Update model: Overwrite measure CodeLens removes comments in the DAX formula.
  • Update model: Overwrite measures CodeLens doesn't show with only formatting changes.
  • Update model: Overwrite measures CodeLens can bring in additional lines when there is a syntax error.
  • 500+ lines in DAX query editor has noticeable lag when typing.
  • Lightbulb quick actions for measures only displays when no DEFINE statement is in the query tab.
  • Format query breaks RANKX function.
  • Command palette shows commands that do not yet work.
  • Query tabs don't yet allow moving.
  • Result grid doesn't yet show columns and measures with specified format, such as Currency, Whole number with thousands, etc.
  • Download this file from Power BI service will not include the DAX queries saved in published semantic model.
  • Setting up the initial Git integration from the workspace will not include DAX queries saved in published semantic model. Learn more at Fabric Git integration.

And there are some limitations to keep in mind:

  • Maximum of 15MB of data per query. Once 15MB is exceeded, the current row completes but no additional rows are written.
  • Maximum of 1,000,000 values per query. If you query for 20 columns, you can get back max 50,000 rows (1 million divided by 20).
  • Define all measures in this table or model is unavailable when there are more than 500 measures.