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How to update a pivot chart

In this video, we'll look at how to update data in a pivot chart.

When you use a pivot chart, it's important to understand that the chart won't update by itself when source data is added or modified.

To demonstrate this, let me create a new pivot chart using this order data from a small online surf shop.

You can see we have a date, order number, item, total, and state.

So, to start off, let's just see what items are sold. I'll add item on the axis, and then put total into the value area.

You can see the store sells hats, hoodies, sandals, shorts, and t-shirts.

Now, let me change a value in the source data. I'll change the very first entry on January 1 from $32 to $3200.

Notice, nothing that in the chart has changed.

To update the chart, you need to tell Excel to refresh the data, and the easiest way to do that is to right click either on the chart or the pivot table, and choose refresh.

Once I refresh, the new data flows into the chart. Now the sales of shorts is much higher than all the other items.

I'll undo that change to the data, and refresh again to bring the chart back to where we started.

So remember to refresh the pivot table or pivot chart when data changes.

You'll need to follow the same process if you add or remove source data.

To illustrate, I'll first change the chart to show sales by month. You can see we have sales for January and February only.

On the sheet named "more data" I have sales for March and April and I'll copy and paste that into the data sheet. And because I'm using an Excel Table, the table expands to include the new data.

But notice nothing on the chart has changed.

As before, I need to refresh to update the chart to show the new data.

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Author 
Dave Bruns

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