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How to add fields to a pivot table

One you've created a pivot table, you need to add fields to it in order for it to be useful. The fields in a pivot table correspond to columns in the source data.

Let's take a look.

Here we have a set of data that's already formatted as an Excel Table. Let's create a pivot table and add some fields. Since the source data is in a Table, we'll use the Summarize with Pivot Table command, on the Table Tools design tab.

Let's accept the defaults, and let Excel create the pivot table on a new worksheet. A new pivot table doesn't have any fields, so our first task is to add some.

The easiest way to add a field to a pivot table is to check the box next to the field you want to add.

By default, fields that contain numeric information are added to the values area, and fields that contain text are added to the row label area.

Fields added to the Row Labels area appear as headings on the left of the table, and fields added to the  Column Labels area appear as headings across the top of the table. Fields added to the Values area appear inside the table.

You can see how the field list pane mimics the pivot table layout.

To remove a field, just uncheck the box. Or, simply drag the field out of the field list pane. You can also click the field drop-down menu and select Remove Field from the menu.

Another way to add a field to a pivot table is to drag it from the field list into the location you like below.

Finally, you can right click a field and chose a location from the menu.

If you ever want to reset a pivot table back to it’s original, blank state, it’s easy to do. Just click a cell in the pivot table, and click the Clear menu, on the Options tab of the PivotTable Tools ribbon. Then select Clear All. All fields will be removed from the pivot table at once.

Dave Bruns

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