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In Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Curt Frye gives a comprehensive overview of Excel, the full-featured spreadsheet software from Microsoft. The course covers key skills such as manipulating workbook and cell data, using functions, automating actions, printing worksheets, and collaborating with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
The built-in PivotTable Style gallery contains a lot of good color schemes, but they are, by design, somewhat generic. When you want to create your own PivotTable style to reflect your personal aesthetic or your company's graphic art guidelines, you can do so by using the New PivotTable Quick Style dialog box. To display that dialog box, you can click any cell in the PivotTable and then on the PivotTable tab of the Ribbon, you can hover over the Styles gallery and then click the Expand button. Then at the bottom of the gallery that appears, you can click New PivotTable Style.
In this dialog box, the first thing that you can do is type a new name for your style, and I will call it Graphics Standard. Once you've done that, you can select the items or the elements of the PivotTable that you want to format. I'll just do one of them, but the skills that I show you here will work for any of the others. In this case, I will format the header row, which is here. So I'll click it from the Table Element list, and then I'll click Format. This is the Format dialog box that you've come to know and love throughout this course.
You can format its font, its border, or its fill color, and I'm going to format the background color. So I will click the List box down arrow, and I will choose this medium blue. There it is. And now I will click the font and change the font color to white, so that there is more contrast against the darker blue. Click OK, and you see that the header row format now appears in the Preview window. Like I said, you can use these skills to create formats for other table elements.
All right, this is good. I'll click OK. Now, even though you can't see it yet, my format is available in the PivotTable Styles gallery. To display it, I'll hover the mouse pointer over it, click the Expand button, and you see it here in the top. When I hover the mouse pointer over it, you see the tooltip Graphics Standard, which tells you its name. When I click it, Excel applies the format. You can't edit a built-in PivotTable Style, but if you want to edit a style that you've created, one of the custom styles, you can do so by hovering over the Gallery and expanding it. And then, instead of clicking the Custom format, you hold down the Ctrl key and Ctrl+Click it.
That displays a shortcut menu, and you can modify, duplicate, or delete the format. Let's focus on Modify. When you click Modify, the Modify PivotTable Quick Style dialog box comes up, and it's exactly the same as the dialog box you use when you create a new style. In this case, it just preloaded the settings from the style that you created earlier, and you can change it any way you want to. Excel 2011 gives you the tools to control exactly how your PivotTable appears in your workbook. Creating your own formats enables you to control how your PivotTable appears in your documents and presentations, enhancing your corporate identity, while making the data easier for your viewers to comprehend.
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