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Jun 12, 2024

What are Bookmarks in Power BI?

Beyond Basics: 5 Creative Approaches to Utilizing Bookmarks in Power BI. By Sanyukta Suman

Welcome to the sixth chapter of The Complete 2023 Beginner’s Guide to Power BI. If you’re just starting with Power BI, we recommend reading the first chapter “The Complete 2023 Beginner’s Guide to Power BI”, which provides a basic overview of Power BI, including how to connect to data sources, create simple reports, and visualize data. For those looking to master the basics of the DAX language used in Power BI, we recommend checking out our second chapter, “The Next Power BI Guide with DAX formulas and date tables”.‍ 

What you will learn

In the ever-evolving world of Power BI, where data reigns supreme, one feature stands out as a game-changer—the Bookmark feature. Think of it as the go-to solution when you encounter a roadblock in your Power BI journey. If Power BI were a computer, bookmarks would be the equivalent of the trusty "turn it off and turn it on again" fix, offering a versatile solution to myriad challenges.

Introduction to Power BI Bookmark 🔖

A bookmark in Power BI allows you to save the current configuration of your report page. Later, you can reference this saved configuration as a distinct "special" page using the Action property on buttons, images, shapes, and more.

Upon bookmark creation, it automatically captures the current settings of the following report components:

  1. Filters and Slicers, encompassing slicer state
  2. Selection state of visuals, such as cross-highlighting effects
  3. Drill location
  4. Sorting order within visuals

Personally, I've embraced this feature wholeheartedly, boasting over 40 bookmarks in my Power BI dashboard. Now, let's unravel the potential of bookmarks by delving into five distinct ways to leverage this powerful tool.

Creating and Modifying Bookmarks in Power BI

Creating a Bookmark

Follow these steps to seamlessly create and manage bookmarks within your Power BI dashboard:

  1. Navigate to your Power BI dashboard.
  2. In the menu, go to the "View" tab.
  3. Select "Bookmark" from the menu, and a sidebar dedicated to bookmarks will open.
  4. Click on the "Add" button to capture the current state of your page in the bookmark.

Take a moment to rename the bookmark for clarity, especially if you anticipate using it extensively. A well-named bookmark is your key to efficient navigation.

Modifying Bookmarks

Once you've laid the foundation with bookmarks, understanding how to modify them is crucial for maintaining a dynamic and organized Power BI experience. Here's a breakdown of the modification options:

Update: Overwrites the saved state of the bookmark with the current state of the selected page. Useful when visuals are altered or additions are made within the bookmark.

Rename: Allows you to rename the bookmark for organizational purposes. Vital when dealing with a plethora of bookmarks, as clear naming conventions prevent future headaches.

Delete: Deletes the bookmark, although this is seldom necessary due to the ability to update bookmarks.

Group: Compiles bookmarks for enhanced organization. Utilizes grouping features similar to other Power BI functionalities. Facilitates easy grouping based on linked pages.

Behavioral Options (Middle Section)

These options influence the actual behavior of bookmarks and are applied by default during creation:

Data: Applies data properties such as filters and slicers to the bookmark. Ensures consistent application of selected data every time the bookmark is activated.

Display: Determines whether the bookmark retains visual properties. Activates visuals exactly as they were spotlighted when the bookmark was created.

Current Page: Selects the current page by default, directing the user to the bookmarked page upon activation. Without this, the bookmark makes changes to its assigned page but does not navigate to it.

Visual Considerations (Last Section)

The final section provides a choice between "All Visuals" or "Selected Visuals," influencing bookmark behavior:

All Visuals/Selected Visuals: Dictates whether the bookmark considers all visuals or only the selected visuals during creation.

Now, let's unravel the potential of bookmarks by delving into five distinct ways to leverage this powerful tool.

5 different Applications of Bookmarks

1. Clear Filters and Resets:

Bookmarks offer a powerful way to clear filters and reset your Power BI page to a pristine, filter-free state with just one click. This functionality is particularly valuable in scenarios where you want to remove any applied filters and start fresh. For instance:

Drill Through Cleanup:

If you have the drill-through feature enabled and you navigate to a page through a drill-through action, you can use a bookmark to reset the page. This is especially useful when you no longer want to stay within the drill-through context.

Example: Suppose you arrived at the current page through drill-through, and now you want to return to the main view without any drill-through filters. You can create a bookmark that excludes any drill-through filters, effectively acting as a clear drill-through filter.

2. Switch charts

If you want to seamlessly switch between different charts without cluttering your Power BI dashboard with multiple pages, bookmarks offer a valuable solution. The trick is to use the selection tab and bookmark tab simultaneously. This method involves creating two or more charts and overlaying them on the same page. After positioning the charts on top of each other, by using the selection tab, you can hide/unhide the visuals as needed. Then, you can create bookmarks for each specific chart view, capturing the state of visuals and associated filters.

For those interested in a step-by-step guide, a YouTube tutorial can be followed to implement this feature successfully. As someone who frequently uses this approach, I've found it to be a powerful way to make my dashboards more dynamic and intuitive, providing users with a seamless and interactive experience.

3. Show if the button is highlighted/clicked 

In Power BI, currently, there isn't a built-in feature that allows a button to remain highlighted once clicked. While the absence of this feature may lead to some inconvenience for users, there is a workaround that I've discovered, this is similar to the switch chart method.

The workaround involves a two-step process. 

  • First, add a button to your Power BI report. 
  • Next, overlay a shape on top of the button. 
  • Then, for each button option, create a corresponding bookmark. When a button is clicked, utilize the bookmark to hide the shapes associated with all unclicked buttons while keeping the shape visible for the clicked button. This workaround effectively achieves the desired outcome of maintaining a highlighted state for the selected button. 

Although this solution requires a bit of manual setup, it proves to be a practical workaround to enhance user interaction and save time in the absence of a native feature for button highlighting in Power BI.

4. Personal Bookmarks in Power BI Service

In the realm of Power BI Service, personal bookmarks emerge as a unique feature. Tailor your Power BI experience by creating bookmarks for your eyes only. Whether it's spotlighting your favorite visualization or bookmarking a specific report state, personal bookmarks cater to your unique preferences, providing a personalized touch to your data exploration.

5. Creating a Digital Slideshow

There are instances when you need to present your reports and visuals to clients or team members, but you may not want to display everything. Whether you need filtered visuals or want to showcase specific time frames, such as this month's or last month's data, bookmarks can be a valuable tool. You can use bookmarks to save your preferred visual configurations and later present them as slides or in a PDF format.


In the Power BI Universe, the Bookmark feature emerges as a transformative asset, offering a versatile solution to various reporting challenges. From its inception, allowing users to capture and reference the state of their report pages, to the practical applications explored, such as seamless chart switching and button highlighting workarounds, bookmarks prove to be indispensable. With the ability to create dynamic slideshows, personalize experiences with personal bookmarks, and streamline presentations, this feature transcends its technical functionality, becoming a strategic ally in the quest for insightful and efficient data visualization. 

If you're eager to enhance your Power BI skills further, be sure to explore our blog posts for valuable insights. Dive into "6 Design Tips to Create Stunning Power BI Dashboards" for efficient ways to elevate your dashboard aesthetics. Additionally, discover strategies for optimizing performance with our guide on "Maintaining Your Dashboard Under the 1 GB Limit." These resources provide practical tips to refine your dashboard design and ensure optimal efficiency, empowering you to harness the full potential of Power BI for impactful data visualization.

Further Links

This post is part of the Complete Guide to Power BI  Data Analytics series from datadice and explains to you every month the newest features of Power BI.

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