Working with Pivot Table Reports

Excel doesn't allow you to edit data in a pivot table report, because it maintains a link to the source data. But you can update the source file to pass any new or changed information to the pivot table. For example, any new clients will show up on the pivot table if you enter them into the source Excel list on the worksheet. After you change the source data, click the Refresh External Data button on the PivotTable toolbar. Excel returns any new or changed information to your table.

What if you want to change the orientation of the table? No problem. Just drag the field button to the new location. For instance, if you want to see the Month data in a row instead of a column, drag the Month field button from its place in the COLUMN area into the ROW area. Excel will automatically reformat the pivot table, reflecting the new information. You don't have to use the PivotTable Wizard dialog box here. Just make the change in the pivot table directly.

Another thing you can change in a pivot table report is a field name. Just click a field name in the pivot table and type over it with the new field name.

The totals in the table are computed for each subcategory in the row and for the column. When you add another row field, the pivot table displays a new subtotal field on the row. The same happens with column data. The data in every row and every column is totaled. There is a grand total field for the table, too.

If you want to hide the detail data in the pivot table report and show only the totals, select the data cell and click the Hide Detail button on the PivotTable toolbar. To switch back to showing the detail, click the Show Detail button on the PivotTable toolbar.

    Part I: Excel Basics