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Handling Visual Selection

Visuals can allow the user to select data points or categories by clicking them with the mouse.

For example, in stacked column chart you can select a particular bar.

Stacked Column Chart Selection

Its important to understand that the tooltip is illustrating the three components of this visual's categorical selection id. Category is represented by Opportunity Size = Large, series is represented by Sales Stage = Qualify, and the measure is Revenue.

Creating Selection IDs SelectionIdBuilder

In order for the visual host to track selected items for your visual and apply cross-filtering to other visuals, you have to generate and store a SelectionId for every selectable item. You can use the SelectionIdBuilder to generate selection ids.

Initialize a SelectionIdBuilder

First, you need to create a SelectionIdBuilder in your constructor and store it in a private variable in your visual class for later use.

class MyVisual implements IVisual {
    private selectionIdBuilder: ISelectionIdBuilder;
    constructor(options: VisualConstructorOptions) {
        this.selectionIdBuilder =;

Generating Selection Ids

let dataViews = options.dataViews //options: VisualUpdateOptions
let categorical = dataViews[0].categorical;
let dataValues = categorical.values;

for(let dataValue of dataValues) {
    let values = dataValue.values;
    for(let i = 0, len = dataValue.values.length; i < len; i++) {
        let selectionId = host.createSelectionIdBuilder()
            .withCategory(categorical.categories[0], i)
            .withSeries(categorical.values, categorical.values[i])

SelectionIdBuilder Methods

  • withCategory(categoryColumn: DataViewCategoryColumn, index: number)
    • Tells the builder to use a specific identity under the category provided.
  • withMeasure(measureId: string)
    • Tells the builder to use the provided string as the measure.
  • withSeries(values: DataViewValueColumns, seriesGroup: DataViewValueColumnGroup)
  • createSelectionId()
    • Creates the selection id with the properties provided.

Managing Selection SelectionManager

You can use SelectionManager to notify the visual host of changes in the selection state.

Initialize a SelectionManager

First, you need to create a SelectionManager in your constructor and store it in a private variable in your visual class for later use.

class MyVisual implements IVisual {
    private selectionManager: ISelectionManager;
    constructor(options: VisualConstructorOptions) {
        this.selectionManager =;

Setting Selection

Single selection

To select an item simply call select on the selectionManager passing in the SelectionId of the item you want to select. If there are any other items selected the selection manager will automatically deselect them.

The select function returns a promise that will resolve with an array of currently selected ids. ISelectionId[]) => {
    //called when setting the selection has been completed successfully

Multiple selection

selectionManager can accept an array of SelectionId.

To support multi-selection you can provide the optional second parameter with a true value. When this is set it will not clear previous selection and just add the new selection to the list of selected ids.

If the second parameter is set with a false value, it replaces the current selection with the new selection., true).then((ids: ISelectionId[]) => {
    //called when setting the selection has been completed successfully

Clearing selection

To clear selection simply call clear on the selection manager. This also returns a promise that will resolve once the selection is cleared successfully.

this.selectionManager.clear().then(() => {
    //called when clearing the selection has been completed successfully

Report Bookmarks Support

As of March 2018, Power BI Report Bookmarks feature is generally available. This introduces a new scenario, where a visual needs to restore a previously bookmarked selection state.

For custom visuals, this is achieved by registering a callback function with the selection manager:

    (ids: ISelectionId[]) => {
        //called when a selection was set by Power BI

The registered function should handle rendering so that the visual reflects the new selection state. It is recommended to register it in the constructor, after initializing SelectionManager.

See this Sample BarChart commit for a working example.

Important: The selectionManager.registerOnSelectCallback() method is available from API v1.11.0, make sure to update the visual to that version or higher.

Read more on Report Bookmarks support in the tutorial.