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When you create a Pivot Table, Excel applies some basic formatting so you can distinguish the labels and the organizational layers from the data in the body of the Pivot Table. Excel 2008 also comes with a collection of built-in autoformats from which to choose, so you can change your Pivot Tables overall formatting if you want to. Unlike in previous versions of Excel for the Mac, it is possible to apply formatting to a Pivot Table's cell and have the formatting move with the data. In earlier versions of the program, Excel applied the formatting to the worksheet cell that currently displayed the value, and the formatting did not move when you pivoted the Pivot Table.
As an example, if I were to change the text color for this cell to red and then pivot the Pivot Table, moving Region below Year, you see that the data moved and the formatting moved with it. If you apply formatting to a Pivot Table cell and it doesn't move with the data, the option to preserve formatting might not be turned-on. You can check by clicking a Pivot Table cell, clicking the Pivot Table button, clicking Table Options, and ensuring that the Preserve formatting option is checked.
If it is, you are fine. If it's not, check it and click OK. If you would like to change the appearance of your entire Pivot Table, you can apply an autoformat, which is a pre-made style included with the program. To apply an autoformat, you click any cell on the Pivot Table. And then on the Format menu, click AutoFormat. And then select the autoformat you want to apply. As an example, I would choose Classic 3, and click OK. One important thing to note is that Excel did not overwrite the existing formatting. The value in the cell was formatted in red before, and it still is.
One other aspect of applying autoformats is that you can select which elements to apply. For example, I can go to Format>AutoFormat, with the autoformat applied, and I have Classic 3 still there. If I want to select which aspects of the AutoFormat to apply, I can click Options. I can now select the Number, Font, Alignment, Width and Height, Patterns, and Border. In this case, I don't want to have any cell fills, so I will clear Patterns. Click OK. And now my cells do not have the fill colors previously applied.
If I want to bring them back, I can either go into the AutoFormat and select the option again, or I can go to Undo and undo my change. Applying an autoformat does not overwrite any formatting you applied manually, so you have a great deal of control over your Pivot Table's appearance.
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