How to Insert a Pivot Table in Microsoft Excel

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In Brief...

The following steps show how to insert a pivot table. A pivot table is an interactive table that can be used to analyze, organize, and summarize large amounts of data. Pivot tables make it easy to rearrange data, quickly displaying it in different ways. Before inserting a pivot table, make sure the data you want to analyze is in an organized table and that your data includes a header row, no empty rows or columns, and no subtotals.

This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Excel: 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Instructions

  1. Select any cell in the set of data you want to analyze.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click the PivotTable command, then select PivotTable.
    PivotTable

  3. In the Create PivotTable dialog box, verify that Excel has selected the correct range, select where you want the pivot table to show up (you will almost always want to select New Worksheet), and click OK.
    Create PivotTable Dialog Box

  4. In the PivotTable Field List, which opens up on the right (left in Excel 2007/2010) of the worksheet in which your pivot table will be located, drag and drop fields from your data into the Report Filter (Page fields go here), Column Labels (Column fields go here), Row Labels (Row fields go here), and Values (Data fields go here) boxes.
    PivotTable Fields

    • In the image below, fields have been dragged into the boxes as the first step in creating a report.
      Field Example

  5. Excel assumes you want to sum the values of the Data field (the field in the Values box). To perform a different calculation such as Count or Average:
    • Click the field name and select Value Field Settings.
      Value Field Settings

    • Select the calculation you want to perform and click OK.
      Select Calculation

  6. To change the format of the numbers in the pivot table:
    • Click the field name and select Value Field Settings.
      Value Field Settings

    • Click Number Format.
      Number Format

    • In the Format Cells dialog box, select the number format category, the number of decimal places to show, and whether or not to display a comma (if applicable), then click OK.
      Format Cells Dialog Box

    • In the Value Field Settings dialog box, click OK.
      Value Field Settings Dialog Box

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Author: Dave Dunn

Dave Dunn joined Webucator as Chief Operating Officer in early 2009. He has served as a CFO and COO for numerous small and medium-sized companies, including Summit Software Company, Insight Research Group, Avalon Consulting, CampaignBase.com and HealthcareOne. He has expertise in business development, financial management, marketing and human resources and particularly enjoys working with rapidly growing companies.

Dave received his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and his MBA from Syracuse University. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Montessori School of Syracuse since 2001.

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