Handbook

The Complete Guide to Power BI Themes + 12 Examples [2021]

Last Updated:
February 3, 2021

Introduction

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What we'll cover

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Introduction

Without themes, Power BI users are left manually formatting each element of their report, which not only wastes valuable time but runs the risk of not having a consistent design.

This guide explains how to use themes and create your own custom themes in Power BI so that you can save hours in the build and design process, whilst maintaining a consistent design across your reports.

We'll walk through the step by step process we use to create themes that meet design best practice standards so that you can do the same.

Additionally, we'll share tips on using color throughout your report, and provide a number of example themes, some of which you can download to help get you started.

What we'll cover

Part 1 - What are Power BI Themes?

Part 2 -
Why Should I use a Power BI Theme?

Part 3 -
How to use Power BI Themes

Part 4 -
How to Customize Power BI Themes

Part 5 -
How to Create your own Custom Power BI Theme

Part 6 -
Tips For Using Color in your Power BI Reports

Part 7 -
12 Power BI Theme Examples

Part 8 -
Download Free Power BI Themes

Part 9 -
Power BI Theme Resources

What are Power BI Themes?

A theme is a standardized set of colors and formatting options that can be applied to your entire Power BI report, including visuals, text, and shapes, in just a few clicks.

The purpose of a theme is to allow you to retain a consistent design across your report, without having to change each element individually.

Power BI Report Changing Theme

Why Should I use a Power BI Theme?

Using Power BI themes allows you to quickly apply design changes to your entire report so that you can build and design reports with a consistent look and feel.

The beauty in applying a theme to your report is that all the visuals will reflect the formatting and colors, as default, from your selected theme.

Applying a theme to your reports can save you hours, as you won't have to manually change the formatting of each element, your theme takes care of that.

How to use Power BI Themes

To start using themes in Power BI, navigate to the View ribbon and select the drop-down arrow in the themes section. Then, simply select the theme you want!

In the example below, we've browsed for a theme and imported one of our custom themes. A custom theme can be created in Power BI and is then saved by selecting the 'Save Current Theme' option from the drop-down in the example below. The custom theme will save as a JSON file which you can then import as we did below.

Applying a New Theme in Power BI

Types of Power BI report themes:

  1. Built-in themes are already installed within Power BI. These themes provide a variety of predefined color schemes and can be selected directly from the Power BI Desktop menu.
  2. Custom themes can be created by either customizing a current theme, importing a custom theme from the Theme Gallery, or importing your own custom theme using a JSON file.

How to Customize Power BI Themes

To begin customizing your own theme, select 'View' on the ribbon, click the drop-down on the themes section, and select 'Customize Current Theme'.

Customizing the Current Theme in Power BI

You should then have access to the theme's framework, where you can begin to edit colors and elements to your liking.

In this section, we'll walk through the 'Name and Colors' part of the Power BI themes framework to help you understand how each element impacts the design of your report. We won't cover the other parts as they are self-explanatory.

Customize Theme Framework in Power BI

Name and colors

Advanced

See here for the full list of elements effected by the advanced section.

You should now have a good understanding of how the Power BI customize theme framework works, and how each element affects the design of your report.

In the next section we can begin to use this framework to create our own themes.

How to Create your own Custom Power BI Theme

In this section, we're going to share the simple step by step process we use to create Power BI themes.

Step 1: Building a Color Palette

Before we even start to create our theme in Power BI, it's vital that we have a clear understanding of the colors we want to use, and where we're going to use them.

In this step we'll help you create a color palette that can be used within your Power BI theme, all whilst following data visualization design best practice.

To help build our color palette we'll also be using the following resources:

Color palette builder

Use this to populate your color palette as we go.

Trending color palettes

Use this for color inspiration.

Color picker

Use this to find new colors for your palette.

Theme Color Palette

Your themes color palette should consist of 10 colors, see below.

Theme Color Palette

Primary 1 - E.g. 4E7CFF

Primary 2 - E.g. 7033FF

Primary 3 - E.g. F65164

Secondary 1 - E.g. 22C0FF

Secondary 2 - E.g. DC7653

Header Color - E.g. 252423

Text Color - E.g. 717A90

Slicer Color - E.g. EEF1F7

Visual Color - E.g. FFFFFF

Background Color - E.g. F6F8FC

We'll now begin to guide you through each one of the colors above so that you can populate your color palette builder as we go.

Primary and Secondary Colors

Note that Primary 1 is your lead color and represents a number of additional report elements.

If applicable, use your brands color palette, although ensure you follow the guidance below:

Header

Text Color

Slicer Color

Visual Color

Background

Step 2: Building your Theme

In this stage, we'll transfer your color palette into Power BI and build your theme using the customize theme framework, where you'll then be able to apply and download your theme.

  1. Within your file, select 'View' on the ribbon, then, click the 'Themes' dropdown and select 'Customize Current Theme'.
  2. Use your color palette above to match the right color to the right field in the Power BI customize theme framework. See the Matching Themes PDF for details.

Once populated, simply apply your theme and you're ready to make the final adjustments to your report.

Step 3: Amending your Visuals

Please note that there are a few limitations to the Power BI customize theme framework and as such we implement a few workarounds to provide us with greater flexibility when customizing reports.

For example, we override a number of the default formatting color options that are applied based on the 'Advanced' section of the customize theme framework.

Using this method still ensures you are able to seamlessly change themes without any change in formatting, although the themes will need to be built using our methodology.

For the full list of elements we manually override, see below:

For an example of how this works, see the video below, in which we manually override the default background color on the slicer visual by using one of the colors from our color palette, in this case, color 8 (slicer color). Notice that the formatting is not affected by changing themes, as the visual inherits the new themes color 8 (slicer color).

Manually Changing the Slicer Background Color

Tips For Using Color in your Power BI Reports

Use a single color to show continuous data

In the example below, the bar height provides us with the visual representation of the sale value, and a further gradient provides no additional value.

Pick colors that are easily distinguishable

When showing comparison or part to whole insights, it's important to use contrasting colors to help users differentiate between categories.

Use color to make important information stand out

If you're trying to highlight important data points, use a stand out color to highlight the important insight, and use a grey-based color for the less-important insights.

Don’t use too many colors

Too many colors can be overwhelming for users. Look to reduce the number of colors where possible, ideally opt for a maximum of 6 colors in a visual.

Be consistent with colors across visuals

The great thing about a theme is that it ensures a consistent range of colors across your report. However, should you need to change the color of a specific visual, make sure to use a color from your palette in order to retain a clean and professional design.

12 Power BI Theme Examples

All of the below themes and reports are built in Power BI using the Numerro Toolkit.

Theme 1 - Light | View Live

Theme 1 - Dark | View Live

Theme 7 - Light | View Live

Theme 7 - Dark | View Live

Theme 24 - Light | View Live

Theme 24 - Dark | View Live

Theme 2 - Light | View Live

Theme 2 - Dark | View Live

Theme 21 - Light | View Live

Theme 21 - Dark | View Live

Theme 14 - Light | View Live

Theme 14 - Dark | View Live

Download Free Power BI Themes

To help get you started, see the link below where you can download our signature 'Theme 1' as part of our collection of 24 themes in light and dark. Included is 'Themes 1' in both light and dark, as shown in the example above, as well as each themes color palette as a PDF.

Download Free Themes

Power BI Theme Resources

A collection of resources to support you when building your own themes.

Color Palette Builder

Use this to populate your color palette.

Trending Color Palettes

Use this for color inspiration.

Color Picker

Use this to find new colors for your palette.

We hope you found this guide useful, and we look forward to seeing the custom themes you'll be creating to bring that extra level of polish to your Power BI reports.

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The Complete Guide to Power BI Themes + 12 Examples [2021]

Learn how to use themes in Power BI, including creating custom themes, themes examples and free themes to help get you started.

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