A Quick Start Guide to Transitioning Existing Power BI Reports to Power BI Paginated Reports

Why move a PBI report to Paginated Reports?

The Use Case of Paginated Reports

Paginated reports offer powerful features that regular Power BI reports may not fully address. When you encounter requirements like print-ready documents or data grids that overflow across multiple pages, paginated reports are the solution. Here’s why they’re essential:

  1. Print-Ready and PDF Generation:
    • Paginated reports are optimized for creating hard copies or generating PDFs.
    • If your audience needs physical reports, paginated reports are the way to go.
  2. Data Grids with Overflow:
    • Imagine large tables or matrices that can’t fit on a single screen.
    • Paginated reports dynamically resize to display all data across pages, ensuring readability.

Step-by-Step Transition Guide

1. Install Power BI Report Builder

  • What Is Power BI Report Builder?
    • It’s a specialized tool for creating paginated reports specifically for the Power BI service.
  • Getting Started:

2. Connect a Data Source

  • Understanding Data Sources:
    • Connect to the semantic model used in your existing Power BI report.
    • The semantic model structures your data for reporting purposes.
  • How to Connect:
    • In Power BI Report Builder, go to ‘Data Sources’ and add your existing model from the service.

3. Create Data Sets

  • Leveraging Performance Analyzer:
    • Use the Performance Analyzer in Power BI Desktop to identify impactful queries and visuals.
    • Run the Performance Analyzer while refreshing your Power BI visuals.
    • Identify the report elements needed for your paginated report.
    • Copy the DAX query directly from the analyzer.
  • Building Data Sets:
    • In Report Builder, right-click ‘Datasets,’ select ‘Add Dataset,’ and paste the query.
    • New fields will be populated and ready to use in the report builder
Performance Analyzer in Power BI

Copy a query using Performance Analyzer


Report Builder add a copied query - Power BI Paginated Reports

Report Builder add a copied query

4. Design Your Paginated Report

  • Bring in the Fields:
    • Add the newly created fields to your paginated report.
  • Layout Design:
    • Constrain tables, add headers, footers, and customize formatting.
    • Optimize visuals for printing or sharing by ensuring they fit well on a page.

5. Publish to Power BI Service

  • Final Steps:
    • Once your paginated report is ready, publish it to the Power BI service.
    • Choose whether to publish it to your workspace or a specific app workspace.

For more information on paginated reports take a look at the following links:

What are paginated reports in Power BI? – Power BI | Microsoft Learn


Create a paginated report based on a Power BI shared dataset – Power BI | Microsoft Learn