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Power BI Blog: Dark Themes

30 April 2020

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the Power BI blog series. This week, Jonathan Liau takes a look at how to enable a ‘dark theme’ in Power BI.

A while ago, Microsoft updated Power BI’s default theme to a lighter version claiming that it is more consistent with the rest of their Office products. Some of us do miss the older Power BI default theme and have therefore put in the time and effort to create custom dark themes that we can all apply on to Power BI.

Built-In Themes

To change the theme in Power BI, navigate to the View tab on the Ribbon and select the Themes dropdown menu:

The native ‘Dark theme’ in Power BI is called Innovate. If we select this option, it will apply the theme to the report area:

If this isn’t your cup of tea, there are other options. Looking at the drop-down menu there is an option to look at a ‘Theme gallery’.

Custom Themes

If we click on this, we will be taken to an external web page where Microsoft has collated themes for Power BI:

Let’s take a look at one of the featured dark themes. The ‘Acterys Planning’ theme looks quite good, but how do we get it on our own Power BI versions? Clicking on the thumbnail takes us to another page:

We can scroll down and find that the creator has posted some files to download to apply their theme to your computer:

We want to download the ‘.json’ file. Once we have downloaded it, we can go back to Power BI and click on the ‘Browse for themes…’ option in the themes drop down menu.

This will open a Windows Explorer window where we can find the .json file:

Select the ‘Acterys Standard.json’ file and click on Open. Power BI will then import that custom theme into your report. Power BI will display a pop-up window when the import is complete and successful:

We will still be able to customise the colours and formats of our visualisations in the report, but the overall feel of the report to a darker theme.

Unfortunately, themes do not affect the Ribbon, Visualizations or Fields side panels in Power BI.

That’s it for this week. Come back next week for more on Power BI.

In the meantime, please remember we offer training in Power BI which you can find out more about here. If you wish to catch up on past articles, you can find all of our past Power BI blogs here.