Power BI Visualization Technique: Learn How To Create Background Design Plates

by | Power BI

Here’s a Power BI visualization technique that you can utilize within your reports by using large images in the background. You may watch the full video of this tutorial at the bottom of this blog.

In a lot of demos I have created and showcased during the Enterprise DNA webinar series or learning summits, I always put a lot of effort in the visualization.

I always put shapes in my reports to segment certain visualizations because I feel that this highlights results in a far more compelling way compared to putting everything on a blank page without color.

Creating Customised Plates

I’m going to show how you can design these customized plates and use them in all of your reports. This would be relevant in a corporate environment where you want to have the same background, same header, and same logo in the very same spot in your reports.

You can use PowerPoint to create a template to fit into the backgrounds of your reports. First, I’m going to place a square inside here and fill it with a custom color.

Power BI visualization

Then I will bring the borders of the square to the outlines of my PowerPoint page, like this:

Power BI visualization

Placing Logo and Header

Let’s bring in something else to the page, like a logo or a watermark for the reports.

Power BI visualization

Let’s also place a generic header. Obviously, this isn’t going to work if you have a variety of titles or names you want to put at the top of your reports. But for demonstration purposes, this is how far you can take this.

Power BI visualization

Once I am satisfied with this as a background design, I am going to save this as a picture on my computer.

Then, I will go back to the Power BI platform and bring in the image I created from PowerPoint.

Make sure the image fits by changing the setting here:

As you can see, I now have something embedded into the background of my report. This is what I mean by designing these background plates; you’ll find there’s plenty of applications for it.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to move around the design elements you added on PowerPoint, so you are giving up a bit on the design front. However, you will be pleased to know that these white lines won’t show up on your visualizations.

You will have to give up some design capability, but then you will also get a different look and feel in your reports. If you use this technique in combination with PowerPoint, there’s quite a bit you can achieve.

Obviously, you can still use the in-built Power BI functionality to change the background of your reports. But it is nice to have other options where you can design some plates which will fit in nicely with your reports.


With the technique that I talked through in this tutorial, I demonstrated a way that you can design a background plate, create an image, and then import them into your Power BI report.

This will prevent you from having to work with a lot of individual shapes like I have done previously. It’s a really quick and easy way to create backgrounds especially if you have some themes or corporate templates that you need to work with.

This will be perfect idea to utilize if there is a requirement across a whole range of Power BI reports. Instead of having your developers in your organization create their own themes, this is a way to standardize things.

Certainly, I’ll demonstrate this quite frequently in a lot of the examples on the Enterprise DNA showcase page. So if you need inspiration, I suggest you check it out.

For more visualization techniques you can utilize in Power BI, check out the course module below at Enterprise DNA Online.

Dashboarding & Data Visualization Intensive

Hope you enjoy this one.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV0EL01lkvc?rel=0&w=784&h=441]

author avatar
Sam McKay, CFA
Sam is Enterprise DNA's CEO & Founder. He helps individuals and organizations develop data driven cultures and create enterprise value by delivering business intelligence training and education.

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