An easy way to create backgrounds for Power BI



Trying to make your Power BI reports look nice can sometimes be a struggle. 

  • Do you put a box around a visual? 
  • What about shading in the background? 
  • Maybe you want a header or some lines to break up the page. 

Well you can certainly create boxes, lines and shading all within Power BI, but they become objects that people might click on and they are hard to line up and keep from moving, so there must be a better way.

One feature in Power BI is the support for background images. When I first saw this option, I thought it was more for putting a watermark behind the report. However once I did some research and played with it, I discovered that I could really use it to create a great page layout. Now first thing to keep in mind, I am an accountant and not a graphic designer, so I need an easy way to create.the.backgrounds.

That is where another Power product comes in. No not PowerApps, but PowerPoint. Wait, PowerPoint is for creating slide shows, not graphics. What you may or may not know is any graphics on a slide can be saved as a picture. Lets take a look at how i create my backgrounds.

  1. Create a blank slide in PowerPoint.
  2. Create on box covering the entire slide. This becomes the base of the background.
  3. Set the line size and color on this box and add any shading if you want your entire Power BI report to have a colored background. 
  4. Add other boxes or shapes as place holders for your different visuals. For example, you may add a rectangle across the top for slicer, and for equal squares for the four charts you will have on the report. The number of shapes and sizes will vary depending on how your plan to layout your report. 
  5. Use PowerPoint'
    s functions for aligning and sizing the shapes. This way you can make sure everything is visually appealing.
  6. Once all of the boxes and shapes are created and laid out they way you want them, select all of the objects including the initial base box. Right click and choose to group all of the objects. 
  7. Select the grouped object and right click, choose save as picture. This will save the background you can use in Power BI desktop.  
  8. Go to your report in Power BI desktop. Under page background in the page format area, turn on page background and choose to being in the picture you saved in step 7. Make sure to choose Fit.


At this point you have your page background in place. Simply add your visualizations.

I hope you enjoy this tip. I have uploaded a few samples to OneDrive. They include both the sample backgrounds and the PowerPoint file so you can change colors and make other adjustments.

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