Using Text Slicers in Power BI Desktop

Aug 18, 2022 | Power BI Hints and Tips

Power BI Desktop has many different ways to filter the data that is displayed.  One of these is using slicers.  The slicer provides a much better user experience than the filter pane making the dashboards created much more intuitive for people to use.  They also blend more seamlessly with the design produced. 

An example of what a text slicer could look like is shown below. 

Example of text slicer in Power BI

Adding a Text Slicer 

  1. From the Visualisations Pane select the Slicer icon 
Slicer icon in Power BI

2. Add the field to be sliced by to the Field box by dragging it from the Fields Pane 

Field Box in Power BI Desktop

2. A list of the unique options for that field will be produced 
3. Tick the required data to view only that information 

NOTE: More than one field can be added to a slicer.  This will produces subsets of the list that can be selected. 

Removing a Text Slicer 

There are 2 ways to remove a text slicer. 

  1. Untick the tick box already ticked 
  2. Click on the Eraser that appears when you hover over the top right of the slicer visualisation 

Changing the Text slicer from a List to a Drop down menu 

By default a text slicer shows the options available in a list but if this list is long it may be better shown as a drop down box which expands when it is clicked on.  This takes up less space on the report but requires an extra click to access it. 

  1. Hover over the top right of the Slicer Visualisation 
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow and change the option from List to Drop Down (this appears after the eraser icon already mentioned) 

Formatting the Text Slicer 

Like all visualisations in Power BI there are options that can be altered to change how the visualisation looks and behaves. 

  1. Click on the slicer visualisation already produced 
  2. Click on the Format your Visual tab in the Visualisation Pane 
  3. There are 3 slicer specific options.

a) Slicer Settings

i. Orientation. The orientation can be changed from vertical to horizonal.  If this is done the tick boxes are replaced with buttons.   This can work well as long as there are not too many options to choose from  
ii. Selection. By default options from the slicer are clicked on to select them and selecting a second option deselects the first unless the CTRL key is held down.  The selection options allow for only single items to be selected, allow multi selecting without the need to hold the CTRL key and to show a Select all option at the top of the list of items to make it easier to select and deselect everything 

Slicer Settings in Power BI Desktop

b) Slicer Header. The label at the top of the slicer can be turned on or off or renamed and the formatting of it can be altered too. 

Slicer Header in Power BI Desktop

c) Values. The formatting of the items in the list can be altered.

Values in Power BI Desktop Text Slicer

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading how to use the Text Slicer in Power BI Desktop, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

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