Tabular Editor – Tool that lets you easily manipulate and manage measures, calculated columns, display folders and perspectives

What is Tabular Editor?

Tabular Editor is a powerful open-source tool designed specifically for working with tabular models in Microsoft Analysis Services, Power BI Desktop, and Power BI Service. It provides an intuitive and efficient environment for managing, editing, and deploying tabular models. It is available in two versions:

Tabular Editor 2: This version is an open-source tool tailored for manipulating and managing various aspects of tabular models, including measures, calculated columns, display folders, perspectives, and translations.

Tabular Editor 3: This commercial version offers advanced features such as an enhanced DAX editor, improved user interface, and dedicated customer support.

Comparison of Tabular Editor 2 and Tabular Editor 3

FeatureTabular Editor 2Tabular Editor 3
Offline EditingCan edit BIM files without a workspace server connection, enabling quick changes to the modelOffers similar offline editing capabilities, allowing for manipulation of BIM files without connecting to the model’s data
Open-SourceYesNo (Tabular Editor 3 is a commercial product)
LicensingFreePaid (Enterprise Edition)
DAX EditorEnhanced DAX editor with additional features such as improved syntax highlighting, formula auto-completion, and error diagnosticsEnhanced DAX editor with additional features such as improved syntax highlighting, formula autocompletion, and error diagnostics
User InterfaceFunctional but less polished compared to Tabular Editor 3Modern and intuitive user interface with improved navigation, layout, and usability features
PerformanceGenerally performs well but may lack some advanced featuresOptimized performance and stability, especially for handling large models and complex operations
CollaborationLimited collaboration featuresEnhanced collaboration capabilities, including team projects, shared configurations, and multi-user editing
Support and UpdatesCommunity-supported with updates from the open-source communityOfficial support and regular updates from the development team, with access to enterprise-level support options
Advanced FunctionalityProvides essential functionalities for tabular model developmentOffers a broader range of advanced features, including schema drift detection, model health checks, and scriptable automation tasks


To install Tabular Editor, follow these steps:

  1. Download Tabular Editor: Visit the Tabular Editor website at and navigate to the “Download” section.
  2. Choose the Edition: Tabular Editor offers two editions: Community (free) and Enterprise (paid). Click on the appropriate download link based on your preference.
  3. Run the Installer: Once the download is complete, run the installer file (.exe) you downloaded.
  4. Follow Installation Wizard: The installation wizard will guide you through the installation process. Follow the prompts, and choose any customization options if provided.

Complete Installation: Once the installation is complete, you can launch Tabular Editor from the Start menu or desktop shortcut.

Key features of Tabular Editor include:

  1. Model Editing: Tabular Editor offers a rich set of features for editing tabular models, including creating, modifying, and deleting tables, columns, measures, relationships, hierarchies, and partitions.
  1. Scripting: Users can write and execute powerful scripts using the Tabular Object Model (TOM) scripting language to automate repetitive tasks, customize model behavior, and implement advanced logic.
  1. Version Control: Tabular Editor supports integration with version control systems like Git, enabling collaborative development and managing changes to tabular models across teams.
  1. Metadata Exploration: Users can explore and analyze the metadata of tabular models, including object properties, expressions, dependencies, and annotations, facilitating comprehensive understanding and documentation of the model structure.
  1. Performance Optimization: Tabular Editor provides tools for optimizing model performance, such as partition management, calculation evaluation, and query optimization, helping users improve query response times and overall model efficiency.
  1. Deployment: Users can easily deploy tabular models to different environments, including Analysis Services instances, Power BI Desktop, and Power BI Service, ensuring seamless integration with existing data analytics workflows.
The advanced features of Tabular Editor include
  1. Replace Tables

    This feature helps us to replace a table, by simply copying the table from another instance of tabular editor, then selecting the table to replace and paste the table. All relationships pointing to or from that table will be updated to use the new table. For this to work, columns participating in relationships must have the same name and data type in both the original table and the inserted table.

    2. Roles and Row-Level Security

      This feature gives the flexibility to create, delete, or duplicate existing roles by simply right-clicking on the explorer tree. Also, we can view and edit the members of each role, by locating the role in the Explorer Tree and navigating to the “Role Members” property in the Property Grid. The biggest advantage of working with Roles through Tabular Editor is that each Table object has a “Row Level Filters” property, which lets us view and edit the filters defined on that table, across all roles:

      3. Manage Table Partitions

      1. Allows creation, modification, and deletion of partitions with ease.
      2. Define partition settings as templates for easy application across multiple tables.
      3. Group partitions based on criteria like time ranges for easier management.
      4. Utilize scripting to automate partition tasks for efficiency and consistency.

      4. Metadata Back Up

      Tabular Editor 2 can automatically save a backup copy of the existing model metadata, prior to each save (when connected to an existing database) or deployment. This is useful if we are not using a version control system, but still need to roll back to a previous version of our model.

      This feature is available only in TE2.

      5. Formula Fix-up and Formula Dependencies

      Tabular Editor continuously parses the DAX expressions of all measures, calculated columns and calculated tables in our model, to construct a dependency tree of these objects. This dependency tree is used for the Formula Fix-up functionality. This will automatically update the DAX expression of any measure, calculated column or calculated table, whenever an object that was referenced in the expression is renamed.

      6. Translations

      Translation provides alternative language versions or localizations for metadata elements such as object names, descriptions, or other properties.

      a. Export Translations:

      • Select one or more cultures in the Explorer Tree.
      • Right-click and choose “Export Translations…”.
      • Generates a .json file for later import in Tabular Editor or Visual Studio.

      b. Import Translations:

      • Choose “Import Translations…”.
      • Import a corresponding .json file.
      • Option to overwrite existing translations.
      • If not overwritten, translations in the .json file are only applied to objects lacking translations for the given culture.

      7. DAX Script

        The DAX Script feature enables viewing and editing of DAX expressions and basic properties for multiple objects within a single document. This is particularly valuable when dealing with complex business logic spread across numerous measures.

        To utilize this feature:

        • Navigate to the desired objects in the TOM Explorer.
        • Multi-select the objects, then right-click and select “Script DAX.”
        • A new document is generated, consolidating the DAX expressions and basic properties of all selected objects.
        • Additionally, DAX scripts can be generated for all objects within a table or the entire model by selecting the table or model object, respectively.

        8. Table Groups

          The Table Groups feature was introduced in Tabular Editor 3 version 3.5.0, offering a convenient way to organize tables into folders within the TOM Explorer. This enhancement simplifies the management and navigation of large and complex models.

          To use Table Groups:

          • Right-click on a table and choose “Create > Table group,” or name the Table Group in the Properties View while selecting tables.
          • Rearrange tables between Table Groups via drag-and-drop in the TOM Explorer. Note: Table Groups cannot be nested.
          • Right-clicking on a Table Group offers the same context menu options as selecting the tables within it.

          9. Best Practice Analyzer (BPA)

            • The Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) in Tabular Editor evaluates your Tabular model against predefined rules covering naming conventions, relationships, calculations, and performance.
            • It scans your model, identifies deviations from best practices, and generates a detailed report with recommendations for improvement.
            • By following the BPA’s recommendations, users can optimize their Tabular models for better performance, reliability, and maintainability.

            Follow the below steps to use the Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) in Tabular Editor,

            1. Open Tabular Editor: Launch the Tabular Editor application.
            2. Connect to Your Model: Establish a connection with your Tabular model (e.g., Power BI Desktop file, Analysis Services model).
            3. Run the Best Practice Analyzer:
            • Access “Best Practice Analyzer” from the menu.
            • Initiate analysis by clicking on it.

            4. Review the Results:

            • Tabular Editor generates a report summarizing findings.
            • Identify issues and areas for improvement.
            • Each issue includes a description and recommendations.

            5. Make Changes: Implement recommended changes in Tabular Editor.

            6. Re-run Analysis (Optional): If changes are made, re-run the Best Practice Analyzer.

            7. Save Changes: Save your modified Tabular model.

            8. Publish (if applicable): Publish changes back to your Power BI service or Analysis Services server.


            By leveraging Microsoft Power Automate alongside Azure Data Factory (ADF), we can seamlessly bridge the gap between data loading in Power BI and user awareness. Through the detailed steps outlined in this blog, you can create a Power Automate flow tailored to notify business users of the latest data updates in Power BI via Microsoft Teams channels or groups. With this integration, users can stay informed and access reports with confidence, ensuring data-driven decision-making across your organization.

            Author: Team PowerBI

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