Hey there! Let’s talk bar charts. Specifically, how to amp up your Power BI reports with some pretty rad customizations. In this post, Mudassir Ali shows us the ropes. There’s a whole video tutorial too, if you prefer watching over reading.

The Problem: Cramped Bar Charts

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you’re trying to cram a bar chart into a tight spot in your report. And if your chart’s got lengthy descriptions (because who doesn’t love a good description, right?), things can get crowded.

The Solution: Customizing Bar Charts

Mudassir shows us three ways to work around this:

  1. Using Power BI’s native visuals.
  2. Using custom visuals from the marketplace.
  3. Using Charticulator, an open-source project that lets you design custom visuals.

Native Bar Charts in Power BI

First up, the native visuals. They can be a bit limiting, especially when you’re dealing with long descriptions in a small space. You can max out the chart size in the Y-axis settings, but the bars still end up pretty puny. Not exactly what we’re after.

Custom Bar Charts in Power BI

Custom visuals to the rescue! Mudassir used the Horizontal Bar Chart from the marketplace. It gives you a bunch of custom shapes to choose from (hammer shape, anyone?) and looks way slicker than the native bar chart.

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To get it, you just click on the three dots at the bottom of the Visualizations pane and hit “Get more visuals”. Add in your category and measure, and you’re good to go. It’s like choosing your own adventure, but with bar charts.

Using Charticulator to Create Bar Charts in Power BI

Charticulator is another tool in our arsenal. It’s also available in the marketplace and lets you create similar visuals to the Horizontal Bar Chart. You can pin it to the Visualization pane, then click on the visual, hit Edit, and place some values. Voila! You’re all set to create a custom bar chart.

Some Tips and Tricks

Mudassir also walks us through some common issues and how to address them:

  • Having trouble sorting? Clear everything from the Y-axis section.
  • Want to reduce the height of your bar charts? Change the size in the Shape then Height settings.
  • Want to create a hammerhead shape? Draw a line, increase the line width, and you’re there.
  • Need to format your data labels? Make sure they’re properly formatted, and don’t forget to bring in the $ sign.

Final Thoughts

So, if you’re struggling with fitting a bar chart into a tight space in your report, give Charticulator a shot. And if you found this tutorial helpful, don’t forget to check out the Enterprise DNA TV channel. They’ve got tons of great content for improving your use of Power BI.

Happy charting!