Showing the number of selected items in a #PowerBI slicer

In one of the projects, I was working on, I received feedback saying it is hard to understand how many items they have selected in a slicer, and it is not the first time I came across this. It is a valid point, especially when you have quite a few items in a slicer, you use a search bar to look for items, you select a couple, but you were not sure how many were selected.

Obviously, there are many solutions to one problem. I have seen many reports displaying custom labels to handle this situation. Still, after some research for a better UX, I found this example on the dribble, which looked like an excellent design method.

Designing something like this in Power BI is easy!

The logic here, I will use a DAX measure to figure out how many items are selected and count those Items to display in an object.

I can display measure many ways, but I went for a Shape. Having shape allows me to use a shape type as a background; I can use a dynamic DAX expression to show the value. The only thing to note is, my DAX expression must be a string type. Hence, I created my measure like below.

Number of slected Artists Title =fixed(COUNTROWS(VALUES('Most streamed songs of all-time'[Artist])),0,1)

Next is the slicer visual. By default, I enabled the slicer header and used an empty character as text in the slicer header. If I keep the slicer header blank, whenever I hover over a slicer, it jumps down/up to make more options visible.

If I keep the slicer header not blank, that won’t be an issue. I like eraser but not the text on each slicer. It makes sense sometime but not all the time. In this case, I don’t want a slicer title.

The only way to have the slicer header with no title and no tooltip to display is by using Empty Character. So, I used an empty character as the slicer header. (Check my empty character blog to more about using empty characters in Power BI)

Then I went to change the title to DAX measure, grouped slicer and the shape. Now when I select multiple items, it nicely shows how many items were selected. When none is selected, it shows all the items available in the slicer.

In this example, I don’t have many values, so a nice round shape works but based on several results, I may go for different Shape types or location.

To make it work perfectly, I mean to make this shape to show the right number irrespective of other visuals cross-filtering can be a tiring job.

There are only two ways I can think off, one is to make all the rest of the visuals do not interact with this shape. That can be time-consuming when you have a lot of objects on a page.

The other way to handle this is by creating a new table and creating a relationship. So, in this example, I have Artists and their Total streams. I am using Artist in my slicer from Most Streamed songs table. When I select an Artist in another visual, by default, my measure also gets filters.

If I create another table with a distinct Artist, use that in my slicer, also use the same column to count, and in all other visuals, I use the Artist from the Most Streamed songs table; then I get the result I want.

  1. Created an Artist table
  2. Create a relationship between my streams table and Artist table
  3. Update my slicer to get Artist names from Artist table
  4. Update measure to get Artist name from Artist table now.
  5. Rest of the visulas gets Artist from Most Streamed songs table

Cross-filtering doesn’t impact the value I’m showing. I hope this inspires someone out there. Let me know what you think?

Until next time,


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About the Author:

Hi! I’m Prathy Kamasani, born in India and living in London. Currently, working as an independent contractor. I love smiles, technology and art. Technology excites me that eventually brought me into the data world. Hence, this blog is all about my journey with data.


Kamasani, P. (2022). SHOWING THE NUMBER OF SELECTED ITEMS IN A #POWERBI SLICER. Available at: [Accessed: 8th August 2022].

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