Power BI Quick Thought: Prefix Image and Shape Titles when Links Exist

With Bookmarks and Back functionality taking Power BI to new heights of interactivity, I employ a time-saving prefix when trying to keep various report objects straight. I add a short symbol at the beginning of the shape or image Title Text when that object contains a link.

Here are the prefixes that I currently use for titles:

  • A chevron/angle bracket for the Back option in a Link. This could work either by itself or modified with a hyphen ( <Title or <-Title ).
  • An underscore for the Bookmark option in a Link. Many people have been conditioned to view underlined text as a hyperlink, so I started using an underscore ( _Title ).

TitlePrefixes

This convention is meant to aid efficiency. As authors get more comfortable building reports with the Back and Bookmark functionality, imagine opening someone else’s report. Imagine seeing thirty objects in the Selection pane and then trying to figure out which ones are objects that have links associated with them. Would you rather click through shapes and images individually to figure out which ones are linked, or instead have a quick visual indicator?

Here are a few of the advantages that I could think of:

  • Titles for shapes and images are typically hidden. If true, this means that the prefix would only appear in the Selection pane and not on the report itself.
  • Opening a PBIX file, you could view the Selection pane and immediately discover the quantity of report objects that contain Links as well as the type of Link (Back or Bookmark).
  • This method could save time while reverse engineering reports that you did not develop, such as those on the Data Stories Gallery.
  • A symbol works better across languages. I could easily use a prefix like “Bookmark” or “Bkmk”, but that might not be as intelligible for someone who does not know English.

What do you think? Would this method work on a wider scale? Feel free to leave comments.

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2 thoughts on “Power BI Quick Thought: Prefix Image and Shape Titles when Links Exist

  1. Great idea! It’s definitely useful to know what things are linked, and I think # and ! are good candidates also. Seeing any non alphanumeric would be a tip off that there’s something different about that item.

    In addition, I now add a title to all the things. If you add a title to a table visualization, that becomes the default title for data export.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good suggestions Fred. Having the Selection pane, I am now much more on point about setting Titles. Thanks for the alternative symbols. As you state, having something that stands out as different would draw attention, regardless of what the symbol actually is.

      Like

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