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Power BI Blog: Draw a Line

15 July 2021

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the Power BI blog series. This week, we will look at how to create a line in a matrix visualisation.

This has been one of our more popular queries regarding Power BI – unbelievably!

I have a simple table of accounting data, and I want to create a Matrix visualisation:

I can choose to create a Matrix in the Visualisations pane:

I drag the Months field into the Columns area.

I then drag the Sales and Costs into the Values area.

I toggle on the ‘Show on rows’ option in the Formatting tab in the Visualizations (values) section.

I am going to create a simple measure to calculate profit:

Profit = CALCULATE(SUM(Accounts[Sales]) – SUM(Accounts[Costs])

This is a simple calculation to get Profit, which I can add to the Values area.

I’d like to make it clear that Profit has been calculated from Sales and Costs. Therefore, I’d like to put a line before Profit. To do this, I can create a new measure:

*  = “ “

The name of the measure (which I will refer to as the asterisk measure) is an asterisk, and the value is a space.  The reasons for this will become clearer when I plot this measure on the Matrix.

The name of the asterisk measure doesn’t appear as it’s a special character. Next, I need to format the measure so that it appears as a line. On the Formatting tab, there is a section for ‘Field formatting’, and I can choose my asterisk measure.

Changing the background colour to black has made my asterisk measure appear as a black line. The thickness of this line is linked to the padding on the Grid section of the Formatting tab. I have this set to 1:

It’s now clear that Profit has been calculated from Sales and Costs.

Next time, I’ll look at how to leave a blank line in a Matrix when I have multiple calculations.

Check back next week for more Power BI tips and tricks!