Intro to PivotTables

Use pivot tables in Excel for stronger data analysis. This Excel pivot table tutorial also helps you summarize data.

To create a PivotTable:

  1. Select the table or cells (including column headers) you want to include in your PivotTable.
    selecting a table
  2. From the Insert tab, click the PivotTable command.
    pivottable command
  3. The Create PivotTable dialog box will appear. Choose your settings, then click OK. In our example, we'll use Table1 as our source data and place the PivotTable on a new worksheet.
    pivottable dialog box
  4. A blank PivotTable and Field List will appear on a new worksheet.
    blank pivottable
  5. Once you create a PivotTable, you'll need to decide which fields to add. Each field is simply a column header from the source data. In the PivotTable Field List, check the box for each field you want to add. In our example, we want to know the total amount sold by each salesperson, so we'll check the Salesperson and Order Amount fields.
    selecting fields
  6. The selected fields will be added to one of the four areas below. In our example, the Salesperson field has been added to the Rows area, while Order Amount has been added to Values. Alternatively, you can drag and drop fields directly into the desired area.
    fields added to areas
  7. The PivotTable will calculate and summarize the selected fields. In our example, the PivotTable shows the amount sold by each salesperson.
    finished pivottable

Just like with normal spreadsheets, you can sort the data in a PivotTable using the Sort & Filter command on the Home tab. You can also apply any type of number formatting you want. For example, you may want to change the number format to Currency. However, be aware that some types of formatting may disappear when you modify the PivotTable.

sorted and formatted

If you change any of the data in your source worksheet, the PivotTable will not update automatically. To manually update it, select the PivotTable and then go to AnalyzeRefresh.