Introduction

Everyone loves big numbers on their reports. After all, it’s an impactful way of getting attention.

So it’s reasonable to use Power BI’s Card visual. It’s simple to implement; click the card, then select your field/measure.

This simplicity does come with its limitations such as only being able to show one value, and lack of formatting options.

But what if I told you there was another tool in Power BI where you could do what the card visual did, but with more values, and more formatting options?

That tool is the Text box.

 

Text box’s “Value”

When you first place your text box you’ve probably noticed that there were buttons along with the other usual text formatting options (such as Bold, Italics, font size etc.)

These were the “Insert link”, “Value” and “Review”.

“Insert link” adds a hyperlink to the highlighted text. We will be ignoring this function.

The next function, and the focus of this blog post, is the “Value” function.

It is here that we can insert dynamic values in the Text box.

 

Adding “Value”

Adding the dynamic value is simple.

  1. Click the Value button
  2. Start typing in the name of the field you will base your value on. The search is based on the Q&A visual, so you can ask for the aggregation of the field.
    For example, you can type in Sum of sales, and the field will be aggregated as a sum of the sales.
  3. Make any formatting changes to the value. For example, here you can change the amount of decimal places or percentage.
  4. Give the value in the text box a name. This is saved and listed in the Review button.
  5. If you want more values, start again from Step 2.

 

Reviewing Inserted Values

The Review button returns a list of the values that we’ve inserted into the Text box. From here, we can edit each inserted value individually.

Review button shows us a list of inserted values

 

Pros of using Text box

You may have realised that there are benefits in using the text box to show dynamic values. Some benefits include:

  • Intuitively easier to format the font
  • Able to adjust alignment
  • Multiple values can be added into one text box without needing to resort to writing DAX

 

Cons of using Text box

There are some minor setbacks which could prevent you from using this text box function or could make it more preferable to use the Card visual. These include:

  • Cannot remove or edit the blue underline under the dynamic value – this could create distraction or not meet design guidelines
  • Difficulty in moving the Text box vs Card – Moving the Text box requires us to click and drag the edge (not corner) of the container. Sometimes doing so doesn’t register.
    For the card visual, it is simply click and drag from anywhere on the visual
  • If you want simple Big Numbers and don’t need to worry about alignment or adding more then one value, the Card visual is simpler to implement

 

Conclusion

In this blog post, I have presented how we can use the Text box as an alternative to the Card visual.

By inserting values into the Text box, we can dynamically show data as it updates. We can add multiple values, and formatting the font and alignment is a more easier experience.

However, we need to also consider that using this function means we cannot edit the blue underline that appears under the inserted value. This could distract users or it might go against design guidelines. There is also the issue that moving the text box is not as smooth as moving the Card visual. Furthermore, if what we want to show is a simple Big Number, then the Card visual may be preferable due to the simplicity of its implementation.

It does not hurt to have more knowledge of the tools available to you. Whichever tool you end up using, may it help solve your problems.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out more here.

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The Data School
Author: The Data School