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Excel Pivot tables explained for the beginners

Using Pivot tables can really help you to see and present your Excel data in a nice and more functional way.

  Author: mat | Version: 2010 | 22nd October 2012 |  

I'm going to show you the basics of Pivot tables usage on this simple Costs worksheet. Let's say I want a report of people sorted in groups and how much "they cost".


First, I'm going to select the whole spreadsheet with the data I want to present in a Pivot report table.


Click Insert in the menu and click PivotTable.


In the Pivot Table settings, choose if you want the pivot table in the new or existing worksheet.

If you choose the Existing Worksheet ...


Choose where on a worksheet you want that Pivot Table to be.

Simply click a cell and then click OK.


A blank pivot table shows up.


Now on the right you should notice the PivotTable Field List. As I said I want my report to show me the people sorted into groups, I need to choose the Name and the Group field of my table.


And as I also want the cost next to the names, I selected the Cost field.


And here's my simple Pivot Table sorted into the groups, with names that fall under them.

As I also added the costs, Excel automatically summed up the costs of individual groups and the grand total cost at the end.


You can change the way the Pivot table looks like and the way it presents data, by simply clicking and dragging the fields into available areas.

I'm going to drag the Group filed from the Row Labels ...


... to the Column Labels.


And this is what happened. Instead of having my fields presented in rows, they are now sorted in different columns.

There are many more aspects of Excel Pivot Tables, you can do all sorts of complex reports and charts, this tutorial was only meant to get you started and to show you the basics of Pivot Tables and how can they make your life easier when dealing with vast amount of data.

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