Excel Tutorial: How To Add To Pivot Table Excel


If you work with data in Excel, you've probably heard of pivot tables. But what are they, and why are they so crucial for data analysis? In this tutorial, we'll dive into the definition of pivot tables in Excel and explore the importance of using them for effective data analysis.

Key Takeaways

  • Pivot tables in Excel are essential for effective data analysis and organizing large datasets.
  • By inserting, arranging, and customizing pivot tables, you can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions based on your data.
  • Refreshing pivot tables allows you to keep up with any changes in your source data, ensuring your analysis is always up to date.
  • The design options for pivot tables provide flexibility in presenting your data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format.
  • Practice and further exploration of pivot tables in Excel will enhance your data analysis skills and proficiency in using this powerful tool.

Step 1: Open Excel and select your data

Before creating a pivot table in Excel, you need to open the application and select the data you want to include in the pivot table. Follow the steps below to get started:

A. Launch Excel

To begin, launch the Excel application on your computer. You can do this by clicking on the Excel icon in your taskbar or by searching for Excel in your applications folder.

B. Open the spreadsheet containing your data

Once Excel is open, navigate to the spreadsheet that contains the data you want to analyze with a pivot table. If the data is in a separate file, open that file in Excel.

C. Select the range of cells you want to include in the pivot table

After opening the spreadsheet, use your mouse to select the range of cells that you want to include in the pivot table. This could be a single column or multiple columns, depending on the data you want to analyze.

Step 2: Insert a pivot table

Once you have organized your data, the next step is to insert a pivot table to analyze and summarize it.

A. Click on the "Insert" tab

To begin, navigate to the "Insert" tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.

B. Select "PivotTable" from the dropdown menu

Once you are on the "Insert" tab, look for the "PivotTable" option in the Tables group. Click on it to open the PivotTable dialog box.

C. Choose the location for your pivot table (new worksheet or existing worksheet)

Within the PivotTable dialog box, you will have the option to choose where you want to place your pivot table. You can either create a new worksheet or select an existing worksheet to place the pivot table.

Step 3: Arrange the pivot table fields

After you have added your fields to the pivot table, the next step is to arrange them to organize your data effectively.

  • A. Drag and drop the fields into the "Row Labels", "Column Labels", and "Values" areas
  • Once you have added your fields to the pivot table, you can drag and drop them into the different areas of the pivot table. The "Row Labels" area will display the fields as rows in the pivot table, the "Column Labels" area will display the fields as columns, and the "Values" area will display the summarized data based on the selected fields.

  • B. Arrange the fields to organize your data as needed
  • Arrange the fields in the "Row Labels" and "Column Labels" areas to organize your data as needed. For example, if you want to see sales data by month and product category, you can arrange the fields accordingly to display the information in a structured manner.

  • C. Remove any blank rows by adjusting the pivot table layout
  • When arranging the fields in the pivot table, you may encounter blank rows. To remove these blank rows, you can adjust the pivot table layout by hiding or filtering out any irrelevant data. This will ensure that your pivot table is clean and organized.

Step 4: Refresh the pivot table

Once you have created your pivot table in Excel, it's important to know how to refresh it when your source data changes. Here's how to do it:

A. If your source data changes, refresh the pivot table to update it
  • 1. Whenever the source data that your pivot table is based on changes, you will need to refresh the pivot table to reflect those changes. This ensures that your analysis and reporting are always based on the most current information.
  • 2. Changes in the source data can include new entries, updated information, or deleted records.

B. Right-click on the pivot table and select "Refresh"
  • 1. To refresh the pivot table, simply right-click anywhere within the pivot table area.
  • 2. From the context menu that appears, select the "Refresh" option.

Step 5: Customize the pivot table design

After creating a pivot table and arranging the data to your liking, you can further customize the design to make it visually appealing and easier to interpret.

A. Modify the pivot table layout, style, and formatting
  • 1. Change the layout:

    You can modify the layout of the pivot table by dragging and dropping the fields in the "Rows," "Columns," and "Values" areas to rearrange the data presentation.
  • 2. Apply a different style:

    Excel provides various built-in styles that you can apply to your pivot table to change its overall appearance. You can choose a style from the "PivotTable Styles" gallery on the "Design" tab.
  • 3. Format the values:

    You can format the values in the pivot table to display them in a specific number format, currency format, or date format. Right-click on a value field, select "Value Field Settings," and then click "Number Format" to make the necessary changes.

B. Use the "Design" tab to change the look of your pivot table
  • 1. Choose a different pivot table style:

    Click on the "Design" tab in the Excel ribbon to access a variety of preset pivot table styles. Select the style that best suits your data and preferences.
  • 2. Modify the report layout:

    You can change the report layout by selecting a different option from the "Report Layout" dropdown menu. This allows you to display the data in a compact form, outline form, or tabular form.
  • 3. Customize the pivot table options:

    Explore the "PivotTable Options" to adjust settings such as subtotals, grand totals, empty cells, and display options. This can help you tailor the pivot table to meet specific reporting requirements.


In conclusion, pivot tables are a crucial tool for analyzing and summarizing data in Excel. They allow users to quickly and easily manipulate large datasets to extract valuable insights. To add and customize a pivot table, simply select your data range, go to the "Insert" tab, and click "PivotTable." From there, you can customize your pivot table by dragging and dropping fields into the rows, columns, and values areas. We encourage you to explore and practice with pivot tables to fully harness their potential in Excel.

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