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Post By AdminLast Updated At 2020-06-11
What is Power BI Slicer? How it is different from filters?

Power BI is the best Microsoft BI tool for analyzing the business of many companies across the globe. This Power BI offers different kinds of features for analyzing the business as per the user needs across the globe. One of those powerful features is Power BI Slicer.  After listening to the word slicer many people thought that it is nothing but a Filter. And if you assume the same, then you are wrong. This is Power BI Slicer and Filter are not the same. It has some differences. Do want to know how Power BI Slicer is different from Power BI filter, read this article till the end and know the difference.

But prior to knowing that difference, let us initially know

What is Power BI Slicer?

Power BI is the canvas Visual filter available on the Power BI Desktop. These slicers play a major role in chart comparison.  Usually, these slicers act as an alternative solution in filtering the narrow portion of the datasets. Moreover, these datasets act as a representation in the form of other visualizations. It is a powerful and smart way to filter out the data.

Today analysts can create these slicers easily in SQL Server Reporting Services(SSRS). This is because, in Slicers, you can use the prompt to filter collections. Likewise in Power BI, we can use Slicers to easily back and forth between the collections. Moreover, slicers can use many features to configure it. All it depends on your requirements.  These Slicers are often in Power BI Reports. These slicers provide a dynamic element. With this, the end-users can take advantage of exploring the data.

And these slicers can appear as sliders, drop-down, checkbox, buttons, (or) even the custom image. We people can display this either horizontally (or) vertically. Moreover, the slicer in the number of selections available in different sizes. i.e. the slicers may be available in small as well as large. And all these can be seen within the share point environment. Usually, different reports require different kinds of quantities as well as slicers.  The default behavior of slicer in Power BI is that it shows the result of OR  in case of multiple selections.


             For instance,  if you have the slicer for the product color,  which contains the red and blue the resultant will the complete red records (or) the complete blue records. But you can see the records which contain both the red as well as the blue records.

(Note: Don't expect the cell that contains both the red as well as the blue cell).

Get more practical knowledge on Power BI Slicers from our experts at Power BI Course 

Moreover, these slicers were classified into the following types as shown below

How Slicers were classified?

a) Relative Date Slicer:

Usually, the data is the most important element during the time of business analysis. Moreover, it helps in forecast identification. And also gives an idea regarding the revenue generation in the upcoming years. And these date slicers were internally classified into 4 further types. They are

a)Between: In Date slicer, between provides the range of value between the Start and End date

b)Before: In this type of Date slicer, the start date gets automatically grades out. i.e it generates the report before the end date

c)After- In this selection of the Date Slicer pane, the end date becomes fixed. Hence we can get the results after the start date

d)List: As the name indicates, it provides a list of all date ranges. Hence,  we can select the dates according to the results.

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2) Numeric Range Slicer:

This slicer is mainly used to apply all kinds of filter sorts to any numeric column in the data model. Moreover, it provides an effective way to filter the data between the numbers.

3) Sync slicers:

Filters were capable of impacting the single visual apply across all the visuals of the page (or) affect the entire report. In the contrast, Sync slicers provide the report design the option of selectively applying the filters on the individual pages. Moreover, it provides a high level that falls somewhere between the page levels as well as the report level filters.

I hope you people have got the basic idea regarding the types of Slicers. So without wasting much time, let's move to

How to create the new slicer to filter data?

people can create the new slicer by following the below simple steps:

a)In Power BI Service (or) desktop navigates and open the Retail Analysis Sample

b)Select the slicer icon present in the visualization pane to create the new slicer.

c)Now Select District - > DM from fields pane to populate the slicer.

d)And finally, the new slicer is created with the list of names, containing the selection boxes before them.

e) Drag and resize the elements present on the canvas to create the slicer room. Since we were aware of Power BI slicer creation, we will now move on to the Power BI Slicer formatting.

How to format the power BI Slicer?

1)To Format your slicer, select the format icon. This icon displays the various formatting options. 2) And if it the case of consuming less space, the slicer from the initial state needs to convert to the dropdown. In the example data shown below, the option "select" has been added and the second slice has formatted with different colors, font sizes and finally allows the single selection.Power BI slicer | OnlineITGuru

Power BI Slicer Limitation:

Even power BI Slicer plays a major role in Data analysis, this tool has some limitations. Those were discussed below a) These slicers do not support the visual level filters b) It is incapable of supporting input fields c)Cannot support Dropdown d)Cannot be pinned to the dashboard. But these power BI Slicers suit best in filtering a small portion of the data sets. And these slicers play a major in representing the data in the form of charts (or) graphs. Moreover, we can represent the power BI desktop more effectively using this slicer through the different effects To be said in a sweet and short manner, these are simple and powerful. Hence, it all depends on the user to it wisely as per the requirement.

How Slicers were different from Filters?

Power BI Slicers are visual and can enjoy the same freedom of movement as other filters whereas the visual filters don't.  Moreover, Slicers all the flexibility of placing the slicers anywhere in the slicer pane. Moreover, it allows the users to add those reports in a unique location. Usually, the filter pane is fixed to the right side of the report canvas. And there are many options for the position slicers around the report canvas. On the other hand, there is no such restriction to place canvas and you can place it anywhere on the report canvas. Besides which filters have different appearances like basic as well as the advanced layout. But the slicers have their own unique appearances. For instance, some people may prefer the slicer button styling with horizontal orientation, drop- menu, and so on.

Why Power BI Slicer is useful?

By using a Power BI Slicer, a user can target to perform one or more of the things said below.

It is useful in accessing main and frequently used filters very easily by putting them on the report canvas.

This slicer helps to view an attentive report by placing it right next to important graphs, plots, and charts.

Here, users can select the reports that they want to look after in the meantime.

It makes it easier to view all the presently applied filters on the report. This stops the user from going to the filters drop-down list without waste of time.

Moreover, this helps to present hidden or fewer useful columns but keep them on for the users. This is in case they require to use them for their analysis.

Power BI slicer edit interactions

Usually, the Power BI reports offer a great level of interactivity for its users that go a step ahead of conventional and static reporting. In comparison to the more traditional BI reports, the Power BI canvas reports are much attractive. Moreover, this platform doesn’t always rely on the outside selected parameters to apply filters. 

Out of these, the PBI platform offers advanced-level interactions to its users to make meaningful selections. Here, they can explore things well and click on the report elements they need. 

Thus, report designers use multiple ways to design the interactivity of their reports. There are three major ways that encourage report designers of P BI to create interaction with techniques. Such as- cross-filtering, slicers, and filter pane. 

But, it is difficult to choose one of these techniques. It fully depends on the user’s analysis and the requirement to use any one of them or all of them.

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In the Power BI platform, cross-filtering offers great interactivity across page visuals. These visuals respond to the selection made by the users from another visual page. Moreover, it is closely associated with cross highlighting available for the visual subset like bars, charts, etc. In the form of visual, the filtered selection by the user becomes opaque but the context is visualized in semi-transparent.

Moreover, there are different levels of cross-filtering available. Through the use of cross-filtering users can dynamically implement filters without the help of an outside slicer or filter pane.  In comparison to cross-filtering, the filters and slicers used through the Filter pane keep their selections until the user changes the values in a clear manner. 

Furthermore, there is a global control available in the “options” menu to set the experience of cross-filtering for the viewers. 

Filter Pane

This is the second option available for implementing filters from the P BI Filter Pane. There are three different features of the filter pane such as - expansion, collapse, or hidden. Besides, users can modify the width of the Filter Pane but no the location. Further, Power BI provides the capability to alter the Filter Pane formatting on a complete basis along with individual filters. 

Also, the Filter Pane in P BI has two different options like Basic & Advanced level filtering. Other than slicers, users can add many filters to the Filter Pane. Moreover, there are Visual Level Filters, Page Level Filters, and Report Level Filters available. These type of filters usage depends upon the user’s selection of the context. 

There is a background-color property that exists within the Filter Pane and is an important element of it. These colors may be different for the individual type filters. The difference between the available and applied filters makes it easier to add color to the visual cues while filters applied.


As slicers are visuals, they provide similar filtering results like the Filter-Pane or Cross-filtering options. Moreover, selecting slicers refers to the allotment of parts of the page to extra visuals. This means the areas of the reporting page that devoted to slicers may not available for the primary visual. While Microsoft decides the location of Filter Pane that gives users different ways to set slicers upon the report canvas. 

We can see the slicers generally grouped together at the left, right, or top of the report page. They should be positioned or set to have natural report views to viewers. Moreover, the selection and positioning of slicers may not be optimal for the users that work for the visual design. It should be balanced to provide the best user experience for slicer users in report visuals. 

Hence, the Sliver visual with in-built features supports the cross-level Power BI scenarios. It provides this service having versatility and supportive advantage. These are the different functionalities and types of using Slicers within the Power BI platform. It makes the tool more powerful in designing attractive visuals for the viewers. Further, these are available for all types of data to use and to check the difference.

So I hope you people have a brief idea regarding the power BI Slicers and how it is different from the Power BI Filters. And you people can get more real-time training from our live industry experts at Power BI Online Training.