Nested Display Folders In Power BI

The ability to add columns and measures to display folders in the new Modelling view is one of my favourite features of the November 2018 release of Power BI Desktop: it makes complex models a lot more user-friendly. Being an old-school SSAS developer, I immediately wondered if they worked in the same way that they do in SSAS – and the answer is yes and no.

The good news is that display folders can be nested. Say you have a table called MyTable with three columns called A, B and C. This is what it looks like in the Fields pane in Power BI Desktop by default:


If you select column A in the Fields pane and enter a name (in this case “My Folder”) in the Display folder property in the new modelling view, you’ll see column A is now displayed in a folder in the Fields pane:


That’s obvious. It is also possible to create nested display folders though, and you do this by entering multiple folder names in the Display folder property separated by a backslash \ character. For example, entering “My Folder\My Subfolder” in the Display folder property for column A like so:


…makes column A appear in a folder called My Subfolder which is itself in a folder called My Folder.

To give another example, if column B is given a Display folder property of “My Folder\My Other Subfolder” the result is this:


Note that while the screenshots above are from the new Modelling view, in the Fields pane in other places such as the Report view the folders are displayed in alphabetical order:


You may need to use numbers in your folder names to ensure that everything gets sorted the way you want:


[I’ve just noticed that in the screenshot above column C looks like it’s in the same folder as column B, which it isn’t – that needs fixing and I’ll report it as a bug]

UPDATE: it’s now possible to make a measure appear in more than one folder too:

19 responses

  1. Pingback: Display Folder Nesting In Power BI – Curated SQL

  2. Since I didn’t know about this feature. It took me a couple of minutes to figure out it’s a preview feature with it’s own tab.

    How to enable Modeling View
    Open Options and settings/Options/Preview features and check Modeling View, click OK
    Restart PBI
    Now you have a NEW tab on your left. This is the modeling view.

  3. The feature that you had described in the snapshots, i was not able to find, the only way i can see is through the Modeling tab where i can built the folders like SSAS.

  4. Pingback: Nested Display Folders In Power BI |

  5. Chris,
    I’m using Dec.2018 version of Power BI desktop and it show Fields Properties and not Fields like your show also It won’t show the Display folder section at the bottom?
    Oded Dror

  6. Is it possible to create a display folder at the TOP of the hierarchy of tables? I’m envisioning using a display folder to denormalize data that’s stored in a dozen tables into a very “end user” friendly version of a model.

  7. Pingback: Chris Webb's BI Blog: Making One Power BI Measure Appear In Multiple Folders Chris Webb's BI Blog

  8. Hey Chris, it’s now possible to have a column appear in multiple folders using “;”. Are you able to update the last paragraph of this blog?

    Also, if you know of a way to have a column appear under the table and also inside a folder then that’d be awesome! I’ve tried “FolderName;/” but PBI just duplicates the column into a folder called “/” lol

  9. Hello! Connecting via Analyse in Excel from Excel / Power Pivot end those folders are shown at the BOTTOM of the table (and NOT on the Top as in PBI Desktop and as I would expect is as a default). Are there any options to change this?

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