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If you were to ask business owners or managers the number one program they use on a regular basis, many would probably say the spreadsheet. This versatile program helps managers and owners keep track of various information but some spreadsheets can reach such massive sizes that they become unwieldy. Excel has a function that can help you easily pull data from a large spreadsheet – the pivot table. While useful, the pivot table isn’t perfect and will usually require a some formatting.
Here’s four ways you can modify Excel 2013 for Office 365’s pivot tables to meet your needs.
Make your tables look good
When you first create a new pivot table you may notice that the numbers aren’t formatted properly, or the table didn’t pull the format from the base spreadsheet. They may have too many decimal places, or are lacking currency figures. You can make edit this by:
This will open the Field Settings panel and allow you to edit the whole Value field, which means that if you change numbers, location, etc, the formatting will stick. Pressing Number Format will bring up the Format Cell window where you can apply numbers, currencies, decimal places, etc. Pressing Ok will apply the formatting you have selected to the whole field.
You can also apply color schemes or styles by pressing the Design tab and selecting the theme that looks good to you. This will not usually change the layout, just the color and style.
Change the name of the table and fields
If you are going to be sending the table to clients or colleagues, you may want to change the name of the table and fields to something a little more user-friendly. You can change the names by:
Add gridlines for easier viewing
If you need to separate the information in the cell, the easiest thing to do is to add gridlines. This can be done by:
Change blanks to 0s
There may be an issue where the data that’s used to create the table leave blank spaces when they should be 0s. This isn’t a big deal, but it would be a good idea to ensure that, for consistency, blank cells are represented as a 0, especially if other related cells are numbers. You can force Excel to fill blank cells with a 0 by:
Excel and the pivot table bring some excellent functionality to the spreadsheet, and having a properly formatted pivot table could go a long way in ensuring the information shown is easier to read. If you would like to learn more about how Excel or any of the other Office 365 programs can help, please contact us today.
Published on 9th April 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.