Power BI Publisher for Excel

Publish Excel to Power BI

It’s been awhile that lots of Excel users were wondering if there is a way to include their Excel elements into Power BI dashboards. With Power BI Publisher for Excel you’re now able to publish snapshots on your important PivotTables, Charts, cell ranges etc. to your Power BI Dashboards. In this post you’ll learn how to get the job done.

How does Power BI Publisher for Excel works?

With the Power BI Publisher Excel you take snapshots of your important insights in Excel and Pin them in Power BI Dashboards.

You need to download and install the Power BI Publisher for Excel from here: Excel x64, Excel x86

What Excel elements you can/cannot pin?

You can pin almost everything in your Excel worksheet including:

  • A range of cells (from a simple sheet, from a table or a pivot table)
  • Pivot charts
  • Illustrations and images
  • Text

However, you cannot pin 3D Maps or visualisations from Power View.

Note: Although you can pin almost everything from your worksheet to a Power BI Dashboard it doesn’t make sense to pin some elements like Slicers or Timeline filters.

Enabling Power BI Publisher for Excel

The Power BI Publisher for Excel add-in should be enabled by default, however, if for some reason it is not enabled you can manually enable it as below:

Power BI Publisher for Excel 01

Sign in to Power BI Service with Your Account

To be able to pin your Excel elements to your Power BI dashboards you need to sign-in to your Power BI Service. When you open Excel for the first time after installing the publisher you’ll prompt to sign-in.

Power BI Publisher for Excel

  • Click “Sign In”
  • Enter your account name then click “Sign In” again

Power BI Publisher for Excel 02

  • Click “Work or School account”

Power BI sign in

  • Enter your password and “Sign In”
  • Click Close

Power BI Publisher for Excel 03

If for any reason the sign-in form didn’t get through then:

  • Click “Power BI” tab from the ribbon
  • Click “Profile”
  • Click “Sign In” then follow the above steps

Power BI Publisher for Excel 04

Pin a Range/charts to a Power BI Dashboard

You can select and pin any range of cells from your worksheets to your Power BI Dashboard.

  • In you r Excel worksheet select a range
  • Click “Power BI” tab from the ribbon
  • Click “Pin”
  • If you are not already singed into Power BI service you’ll be prompted to
  • Select an existing dashboard or create a new one
  • Click “Pin”

Pin to Power BI

  • To pin a chart just simply click a chart then click Pin from Power BI tab

Pin to Power BI 01

Now sign into your Power BI service using to see the tiles you pinned from Power BI Publisher for Excel.

Power BI Dashboard with Excel Tiles

Can I Refresh the pinned elements?

Yes you can. It is super easy. just select the element and pin it again. You’ll be prompted that the tile already exists in the dashboard and you have the option to update the existing one or add a new tile. To update an existing tile select “Update tile” then click OK.

Refresh pinned elements

You can also refresh multiple elements through Pin Manager which is explained below.

Managing Pinned Elements

You can refresh an element which is already pinned to a dashboard or you can remove it. You can also select multiple elements and update or remove all of them by following the steps below:

  • Click “Pin Manager” from “Power BI” tab from the ribbon
  • Select one or more elements then click “Update” to update and “Remove” to remove the pinned tiles from the Power BI Dashboard

Pin Manager

Switch between Power BI Accounts

You can switch between Power BI Accounts to pin Excel elements.

  • Click “Profile” from “Power BI” tab
  • Click “Sign out”

Power BI Account in Excel Publisher

  • Click “Sign In”
  • Enter the new account and sign into the Power BI Service normally
  • Select a Chart or Range and click pin
  • Now click “Pin Manager”
  • As you can see the elements you pinned to a dashboard when logged in to your previous Power BI account are exist in the Pin Manager with a warning icon on the right side, so if you want to switch to the new account forever, you can select the old elements and remove

Remove Elements from Pin Manager

Note: Removing a pinned element does NOT remove the associated tile in Power BI. So to remove the tiles from the old Power BI account you need to sing into that account and remove the tiles manually.

Removing Pinned Elements

4 thoughts on “Power BI Publisher for Excel”

  1. Hi,
    is there a way to have power bi automatically refresh the excel data and then the pinned excel objects?

    Thank you,
    Roberto

    1. Hi Roberto,
      Welcome to biinsight.
      When you pin an Excel element to a dashboard you’re indeed pinning a snapshot of the element to your dashboard.
      So the answer is no for now.
      Maybe in the future the Power BI team add this feature.
      Who knows? 🙂

      Cheers

    1. Hey WayOutWest,

      Power BI Desktop is a report authoring tool and you cannot create dashboards on it.
      So I recon you meant Power BI Desktop reports rather than dashboards.
      If so the answer is no, you can pin Excel elements to Power BI dashboards as tiles.

      Definitions:
      Dashboard: A dashboard combines all data in a single pane that provides a consolidated view across the organization regardless of where the data lives. You can create dashboards only in Power BI service.
      • Tile: A tile is indeed a snapshot of your data pinned to the dashboard. A tile can be created from a report, dataset, dashboard, a Q&A question box, Excel, and from SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). As tiles are elements of a dashboard you can see them only in Power BI service.

      Cheers

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