Power BI Sidetools

Power BI Sidetools, a free external tool

Power BI Sidetools is a free Power BI external tool intended to increase productivity during reports development in Power BI desktop.

Many thanks to Reid Havens for helping me to showcase Power BI Sidetools

DAX generator

Power BI Sidetools

You can use a DAX template created by an expert, adapt it to your model using the model browser and then generate a DAX expression. This expression can be formatted and created by the tool into your model. Then you may even debug your DAX expression with DAX debugger.
DAX generator documentation page

DAX debugger

DAX debugger

DAX debugger is meant to help Power BI report developers displaying sample data from a DAX formula. Measures, calculated columns and calculated tables can be debugged very easily without impact on calculation performance. An advanced mode allows user to fine tune how data is displayed :

DAX parser

Visualise your DAX expressions in a tree. Expand / collapse nodes and get help clicking on functions.
I can share the library to be used in your tools.

Type measure, calculated column, calculated table name in DAX debugger field and select DAX parser in the menu.

Easily export data to Excel

Export to Excel

Export your Power BI desktop data into Excel with only one click. Then you can setup pivot tables, add theme & graphics, macros and do whatever you want. You can even generate a paginated report. Next time you will open this file from Power BI Sidetools, it will be refreshed and you will keep all the setup you did previously. Super quick and super efficient in few steps :

Transfer DAX and M formulas to files

Power BI Toolbox

With just one click, you can transfer M and DAX formulas in a folder named like your report. The very first use case will be probably to save your different versions in backups. Right click on your report name and select “Send to/Compressed folder”.

View your DAX and M formulas in Visual Studio Code

Power BI Toolbox

With just one click, you open Visual Studio code to view your DAX and M formulas.

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but very powerful free source code editor created by Microsoft. Its functionalities are really amazing :

  • Powerful editing capabilities including advanced search and replace across multiple files, compare files, …
  • Flexibility splitting the editor to display multiple files simultaneously
  • Themes
  • Snippets (reuseable pieces of code)
  • Plugins
    • syntax highlighting and/or intellisense (DAX, M , R, Python, SQL, Json … )
    • GIT functionalities
    • ChatGPT
    • Collaboration
    • Azure management
    • Color picker
    • Translator
    • Script editor
    • File viewer (csv, binary, …)
    • And much more …

Discover VSCode with videos :

Visual Studio Code docs : Introductory Videos

Microsoft ignite : Empowering Ops with VS Code


Installer version

Download Power BI Sidetools from it’s GitHub repository

Portable version

Power BI Sidetools is now portable meaning you can store it’s folder on a USB key or anywhere in your hard drive. No installation is needed. Just run ‘Power BI Sidetools.exe’ from this folder.

Sidetools is available as a portable package in Business Ops from PowerBI tips. That’s the best user experience for installing a portable external tool :


Do you have comments, propositions for new functionalities, bug report ?
Please create an issue for problems in GitHub : https://github.com/didierterrien/Power-BI-Sidetools/issues
or a discussion for ideas : https://github.com/didierterrien/Power-BI-Sidetools/discussions

It’s just a beginning …

You probably have a question right now : will it be possible to modify DAX and M formulas within Visual Studio Code ? The reply is … yes … most probably.
Please stay tuned to discover more functionalities coming soon. You may subscribe to to be aware of new content clicking here.

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