Collaborate and share in Power BI


The pains of version control are common. For example, working on a project with coworkers and ending up with 10 versions of the same report. Frequently, as you and your colleagues edit and update a report, you lose track of which, if any, is the most updated version.

Diagram that shows the problem of working with different versions of a report.

Power BI simplifies collaboration and improves outcomes by allowing you and your colleagues to work simultaneously on the same dashboards and reports. And, while you and your colleagues explore the data and make changes to the reports and dashboards, the underlying data isn't affected.

Diagram that shows everyone working with the same version of a Power BI report.

With Power BI, you can collaborate with your colleagues in many ways. This unit focuses on three of these ways: sharing, commenting, and printing.


If you're unable to share with a colleague, it might be because of the type of Power BI license that you or your colleague have. Check with your Power BI administrator for help.


This section explores how designers share content with consumers, and how consumers share content with others. Imagine that you're a regional sales manager working with other managers to prepare a presentation for senior leadership. You and your colleagues can work in Power BI from start to finish to collect, organize, analyze, and present your data-driven findings. Your team members can all use the same shared content and communicate with each other within the Power BI framework.

Step 1: Power BI designers share content with Power BI consumers

Before you begin working on the presentation, you need content from your designer coworkers. You can find this content through apps, dashboards, and reports. Designers can share this content with you and the other managers in several different ways:

  • Share links to individual dashboards or individual reports.
  • Send links to content.
  • Install content in your Power BI.
  • Post a Power BI app.

A designer can send you and the other managers a link by email. When you select the link and install, that dashboard or report shows up as Shared with me content. As explained in previous units in this module, shared content can be viewed from the nav pane > Shared with me and from the Home page.

Screenshot of the Shared with me option from the Browse menu.

Designer shares an app

Sometimes, it's easier for a designer to package dashboards and reports into an app, which they share with you. With an app, all the related content is simple to find because it's all part of that single app. Designers can share apps by sending an installation link, by automatically installing the app in your Power BI workspace, or by posting the app on a web site where you can get it.

No matter how the app is shared, it shows up in Power BI under the Apps heading in the nav pane and on the Home page.

Screenshot of the Power BI Apps icon in the nav bar.

Now that the designer shared content with you and the other managers, it's time to start the project. Because the designer gave all managers access to the content, everyone can start working together to prepare for the big meeting.

However, another challenge you face is that you want help from other colleagues, but the designer didn't give them permissions to the content.

Step 2: Consumers share content with internal and external colleagues

As a Power BI consumer, you can also share content if the designer gave you reshare permissions.

If you decide to reshare any of this content, go to the My workspace tab in the navigation pane. If the Shared column contains the "share" icon, you can select the icon to share.

Screenshot of the Share icon next to the report.

External colleagues are never able to reshare, even if the Allow recipients to share your report check box is selected.

Add comments to a dashboard

When a dashboard is shared, everyone with access to that dashboard can send messages to each other, right there on the dashboard, by using comments. The following scenario explains the process of adding comments.

In this scenario, Cassandra has created and shared a dashboard with her team. Instead of sending a chart and message in email, she shares a dashboard and adds a comment.

Screenshot of an example shared dashboard with a comment.

In preparation for the meeting on Monday, her entire team views the dashboard, reviews the updated version of the report, and continues the conversation on the dashboard canvas.

There are two types of comments: those about the dashboard in general and those about a specific visual. The chart icon lets you know that this comment is tied to a specific visual. Selecting the icon highlights the related visual on the dashboard.

Screenshot of the example comment using the at symbol for a colleague.

Get your colleagues' attention

Whether you're commenting on the dashboard or on a particular visual, grab your colleagues' attention by using the at sign (@). When you type @, Power BI opens a drop-down list where you can search for and select individuals from your organization. Any verified name prefaced with @ appears in blue font.

A third way to collaborate and share is by printing. Occasionally, you might need to hand out printed copies of your Power BI dashboards and reports, such as when you're giving a talk at a conference, submitting regulatory documentation, or presenting somewhere without a network connection. To prepare, you want to print copies of the dashboards and reports, in addition to a few specific tiles and report visualizations.

To print a dashboard, select File from the upper left corner of the menu and select Print this page.

Screenshot of the Power BI File menu expanded and Print this page highlighted.

Reports can be printed one page at a time, or you can print all pages at once if you first export to PDF.

Screenshot of the Power BI Export menu expanded and the PDF option highlighted.

Tiles and visuals are found on dashboards and reports. To print a single tile or a single visual, you first need to open it by itself. You can use the focus mode and full screen mode to open a dashboard tile or a report visual by itself so that you can print it with File, Print this page.

Screenshot of a tile with the Focus mode icon highlighted where you can open a it for printing.


The print dialog that you see depends on which browser you use.

Export a Power BI report to PowerPoint

Another way to share a report with your team is to export it as a PowerPoint file. Each report page is a slide that includes links to the live report in Power BI.

In Power BI, select a report to display on the canvas. You can also select a report from your Home page, Apps, or any other section on the nav pane. Select Export > PowerPoint from the menu bar in Power BI. You can choose Embed an image, which includes the current values in your report, or Embed live data, which exports the original report without the changes that you made.

Screenshot of the process of exporting a report to PowerPoint.

When the export has finished, you can download the file, open it with PowerPoint, and then modify or enhance it just like you would any other PowerPoint deck.