Bookmarks in PowerBI: How to Set For Desktop and PowerBI Service

Bookmarks in PowerB

Bookmarks in PowerBI was a capability that was introduced in the October 2017 PowerBI Feature update, but with the December 2017 update, the bookmark capabilities have been extended to capture cross highlighting. In addition to this, bookmarking is a capability added to the Power BI Service (on the cloud).

Bookmarks in PowerBI Service (On the Cloud):

Bookmarking is used to save the current state of a report built in PowerBI. Using bookmarks in PowerBI, one can capture the configured view of a report that can include filtering and the state of the visual and go back to the state by merely selecting the saved bookmarks. Bookmarking can be applied to the following items:

  • Current Page
  • Filters
  • Slicers
  • Sort Order
  • Visibility
  • Drill Location
  • Focus
  • Spotlight Mode

Sample Example:

In the simple example below, we have built a sample report that highlights marks across various subjects and divisions. In addition to this, we have applied slicer controls to filter the data.


In the PowerBI Desktop, the pre-requisite is to enable the Bookmarks features under Options -> Preview features.

Bookmarks in PowerBI

Fig 1 – Enabling Bookmarks in PowerBI Desktop

Visuals Used:

The PowerBI report Marks and Grades Categorization Across The Various Divisions comprises of the following visuals::

  • Slicers
  • Tables
  • Pie Charts
  • Treemap

In the screen clip below, I have a report that filters data based on the subject chose. The scores across Division A. In addition to this, there is a slicer that filters the marks scored across those subjects which are in Division A. Here the subject chosen is Physics and the slicer filters data for students scoring between 30 to 40 grades in Physics out of 50 grades. In this case, i click add and name the bookmark as Physics.

Bookmarks in PowerBI

Fig 2 – Adding Bookmarks to PowerBI

To test the bookmark, just select ‘Physics’ which is my bookmark name, in this case, and run it. Now, the capabilities added to bookmarks in the December 2017 update is cross highlighting, where if we filter data in a visual, the filtered view can be bookmarked. To view the bookmark, select the bookmark and hit View. It will play all the bookmarks sequentially that exist on the same page, to ensure the order in which you want the bookmarks to play.

Bookmarks in PowerBI

Fig 3 – Bookmarks View

Bookmarking sequence can be an advantageous feature, especially for end users using these reports for their day to day activities.

Bookmarks in PowerBI Service:

1. Publish the report to a workspace in PowerBI Service to use the capabilities of bookmarks on the cloud. Now, to view the bookmark, open the workspace and then go to the Reports section to see the report.

Bookmarks in PowerBI

Fig 4 – Reports View in PowerBI Cloud Service

2.   Open the report and Select View. There should be an option(Toggle control) to turn on the Bookmarks pane.

Bookmarks in PowerBI

Fig 5 – Turn on the bookmarks pane in PowerBI Service

3.   Run the bookmark on the PowerBI cloud.

Bookmarks in PowerBI

Fig 6 – Run Bookmarks in the PowerBI Cloud Service


  1. To view bookmarks in PowerBI Service for a report, ensure that you have at least one bookmark defined in your PowerBI desktop and then have that report published at least once onto the PowerBI cloud service, else one cannot leverage the bookmark feature available on the cloud.
  2. Bookmarks can only be viewed in View mode, too, in the PowerBI Cloud Service. To add a new bookmark, ensure that the report is in Edit mode.

 Key Takeaways:

1.  Download the latest release of the PowerBI desktop (or the December Update release), to leverage the bookmarking feature. To download the PowerBI desktop, use the link below.
(PowerBI Desktop:  https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/desktop/)

2.  For more information about the December 2017 release of PowerBI, refer to the link below.
(December Feature Summary Update: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-december-feature-summary/)

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Navneeth Nagrajan
Navneeth Nagrajan is a Technology Specialist at Deloitte Australia focussing on design, development, integration, and implementation of the Microsoft Power Platform (primarily PowerBI, Common Data Service and Flow) and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations ERP. Other areas of focus include Azure DevOps, Github (related to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations deployments), and Dynamics Lifecycle Services. Profile: Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nav21n LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/navneeth-nagrajan-94a9aa5/

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