Using Drill Preview (3.42+)

As of Looker 3.42, we have added new drilling behavior. By default, drilling into a dimension or measure in a Dashboard or in Explore will open up the drill preview, which will show the results of the drill without redirecting to a new page in the browser.

This makes drilling easier and more fluid - you can drill in and explore your data without ever leaving the dashboard or explore you’re looking at.

What does a drill preview look like?

Let’s say I want drill into the number of first purchasers on this dashboard:

This will open up the 1,157 first purchasers directly in the drill preview like so:

If I want to explore this data further, I can click Explore from Here. Or, if I decide I don’t want to know more about these rows, I can close the preview. This will bring me back to the dashboard, without having to reload any pages. This enables me to drill into data without every leaving the dashboard or explore I’m currently in.

Note you can disable this feature by going to the Legacy section of the Admin panel and checking the box for the Legacy Drill Behavior feature. Click Update.

This is such a useful feature!

Will a similar feature be considered for displaying an Explore in a modal within the same window as the dashboard rather than redirecting to a new browser page? If not is it possible to implement a “back button” sort of feature? This will be very useful when embedding dashboards.

Also wanted to note that the drill preview doesn’t open up in the same page as mentioned here. it redirects me to a new page. Do not see an option for enabling or disabling the feature and that makes sense since this is the default behavior. Am I missing something due to which this is not enabled?

Hi Lina,

Would you be able to check if you have the ‘Legacy Drill Behavior’ box checked in the Legacy Features section of the Admin panel? This feature will need to be disabled.

Currently users can right click inside an SSO embedded iframe and click ‘back’, however I understand that this is not entirely intuitive for end users if they want to go back after drilling. I will pass along the idea of a ‘back button’ to our product team.


Thank you David! I checked and confirmed that I do not have the ‘Legacy Drill Behavior’ box checked in the Legacy Features section of the Admin panel.

Hi Lina, would you be able to visit with some further details of the fields you’re drilling in? Do these fields have a html parameter which is using a custom drill?

Is it possible to customize the Drill preview to show specific fields?

Hey Parijat, you can specify which fields to drill into using the drill_fields parameter. You can read more about it in our field parameters doc.

It is hard to explain I believe they are custom fields that we have, such as contact name, sfdc type, status, sfdc link. so there will be a different name in each row but it breaks down what the number is showing (for example, Companies Met Look - when you click the number, the drill down shows Company Name, Record Type, SFDC Link, Created Date - or something like that).

It might look like the Data Table fields.

@p_talkad - running off of what @paola noted, you are able to create a drill down on any dimension or measure with the following syntax

drill_fields: [your_list_of_fields]

An example. I have a report that has some attributes (like Company Name, Record Type) and then a count called Count Records. I want my Count Records to drill in to Company Name, Record Type, and Company Created Date. To do so I’ll add drill_fields to my measure like so:

- measure: some_number
  type: sum
  sql: ${TABLE}.some_field
  drill_fields: [, record.type, company.created_date]

Keep in mind that you may reference any LookML built field in the drill_fields parameter.

Does this code have to be in the LookML or SQL of the individual Look?

I want the customization for specific looks not the model

Same measure but different drill downs depending on the look

Hi @p_talkad,

Since Looks aren’t written in LookML, your best bet for this case would be to make two different measures with the desired drill downs, and then select the proper measure depending on the Look. I will let the product team know that you’re interested in this functionality!

Yeah, I have about 10 looks on one measure that I would like to have custom drill downs for! I would love it if you can tell the Product Team about this feature. I know a few people at our firm who would love that!



Seconding @p_talkad! We’re really not using drill fields because people have different expectations for what clicking on the same measure would do in different contexts, on different looks, etc.

Using the links parameter for measures should allow you to provide multiple drill destinations for a single measure for different purposes. Would this work for your use case? It may be clearer to offer people a list of choices rather than changing the behavior depending on the context.

@wilg I think the links parameter for measures now breaks out measures by the filters? i.e. having just a “count” measure, no dimensions, and some relevant filters applied. If links for measures is going away, +1 to the drill_fields menu

@ajhong91 I’m not sure exactly what you are asking. Could you clarify?

Using the links parameter for measures is definitely supported and will not be going away.

I believe prior to Looker 3.56 there was a bug that would not display measure links if there were no drill_fields, but that’s been fixed.

Can you specify what visual you want the preview to show? For example, I have trending chart by month and I want to drill down to the day information, but I want to show a trending chart like the original visual, not a table full of results.