Create Your First Power BI Paginated Report: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

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As a Power BI consulting company, we often get asked by beginners how to create their first paginated report from scratch using Power BI Report Builder. 

Paginated reports are printer-friendly reports typically used to generate invoices, forms, and multi-page documents.

Although the paginated report creation process can seem daunting at first, it’s quite easy once you get the hang of it. 

This article will provide a simple step-by-step guide to creating your first paginated report in Power BI Report Builder. Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • Connecting to a data source
  • Adding a table
  • Inserting text boxes
  • Adding images
  • Previewing and exporting your report

So let’s get started!

Step 1: Connect to a Data Source

First, launch Power BI Report Builder. On the start page, click New Report to begin creating a new paginated report.

On the data source page, you’ll need to connect to a database or file containing your report’s data. For this tutorial, we’ll connect to an Adventure Works sample database containing sales data.

After connecting, you may be prompted to select which tables to add. For now, go ahead and add the SalesOrderHeader table. We’ll be building our report using the data from this table.

Step 2: Add a Table

Now that we’re connected to a data source, we can start laying out our report page.

From the ribbon, click Insert then Table then select the SalesOrderHeader table. A table populated with data from that table will now appear on the report design surface.

You can resize, arrange, and format the table how you like by selecting it and using the options on the ribbon. Feel free to play around with formatting at this point.

Step 3: Insert Text Boxes

No report is complete without descriptive titles and labels. Let’s add some.

Click Insert then Text Box on the ribbon. Then draw a text box at the top of the page to serve as the report title. Type “Sales Order Report”.

Below the title, add another text box and type “Sales Order Details:” as a label for our data table.

Format the text boxes to your liking using options on the ribbon-like fonts, colors, borders, and styles.

Step 4: Add Images

Images allow reports to be more visually engaging. Let’s add one.

On the Insert tab, click Image then choose an image file from your local computer to add to the report page. You can also provide a URL to an image hosted online.

Use images judiciously as they can impact file size and formatting once exported or printed.

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Step 5: Preview and Export

We now have a basic one-page report with a title, text, a table and an image. Let’s preview how it will render.

Click Run on the ribbon to preview the paginated report. Confirm all page elements appear as expected.

When ready, export the report by clicking Export and selecting a file format like PDF or Excel. And that’s it! By following these 5 simple steps you’ve created your first paginated report with Report Builder. Let us know if you have any other questions on getting started with paginated reports!

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