Using Unicode Characters in Axis and Slicers

I recently did an experiment with Power BI report by using “Unicode characters” which was shared on LinkedIn. In this example I used selected characters in slicers and axis instead of text. This has created lot of interest among followers and received numerous requests to share details.

In reality it is a fairly simple approach where different Unicode characters were selected for different items and reactions used in this example.


Following three tables were created in Excel which were used in this report. For each dimension table I have added Unicode to represent icon.

Table Name: Serving

Item code Item Unichar
100 Coffee 127854
101 Ice Cream 127846
102 Soup 127861
103 Pizza 127829
104 Donuts 127849
105 Burger 127828


Table Name: Reaction

Rcode Reaction Unichar
1 Smiley 128578
2 Sad 128542
3 Neutral 128528
4 No Feedback 128566


Table Name: Responses (Only few rows shown here. Check Excel file for full list)

ItemCode Rcode
100 1
100 1
101 1
101 2
101 2
101 3
101 3
101 3
101 4
101 4
101 4
101 4
101 1
101 1

After importing excel sheet in Power BI I have added couple of calculated columns and measures. To create icon I have used following DAX.

For Item Icon to be used for Axis

ItemIcon = UNICHAR(ItemDefinition[Unichar])


For Item Icon and name to be used for slicer

IconAndItem = ItemDefinition[ItemIcon] & UNICHAR(10) &  ItemDefinition[Item]


Similar is used for calculated column for Reaction icon.

ReactionIcon = UNICHAR(ReactionDefinition[Unichar])


For Reaction Icon and name to be used for slicer

IconAndReaction =
ReactionDefinition[ReactionIcon] & UNICHAR(10) & ReactionDefinition[Reaction]


Following is the snapshot of relationship.

Model Snapshot

You may download sample excel file and PBIX file to evaluate more. This example is just to show how you can implement Unicode character. There can be numerous implementations and scenarios where icons can add value to your visuals and keep your report simple to grab the information easily.

To download only Excel file click the following link ReactionData

Complete files including PBIX can be download through  the following link

Unichar Example from

Click here to see report in action View Power BI Report

For finding appropriate Unicode characters check the following links.

Will be sharing more examples in future.

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