Excel 2013 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating PivotTables


Excel 2013 Essential Training

with Dennis Taylor

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Video: Creating PivotTables

One of Excel's most powerful and creative tools is a PivotTable. It's the ideal feature for making sense out of a large amount of data. In this worksheet called Creating, in the Workbook 13-PivotTables, we've got over 900 rows of transactional data here representing sales, usually multiple sales on a given sale. We've got our Salesperson, Product, our Customers are major retailers and they are located in four different regions in the United States and we'd like to be able to get a good quick summary read on what's happening here.
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  1. 1m 6s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 29m 37s
    1. What is Excel used for?
      1m 49s
    2. Using the menu system
      4m 30s
    3. The Quick Access Toolbar
      4m 41s
    4. The structure of a worksheet or workbook
      3m 41s
    5. Using the Formula bar
      1m 43s
    6. Using the Status bar
      2m 24s
    7. Navigation and mouse pointers
      2m 20s
    8. Shortcut menus and the Mini toolbar
      3m 24s
    9. Using the built-in help
      2m 54s
    10. Creating new files
      2m 11s
  3. 24m 1s
    1. Exploring data entry and editing techniques
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data with AutoFill
      4m 6s
    3. Working with dates and times
      3m 32s
    4. Using Undo and Redo
      4m 50s
    5. Adding comments
      2m 55s
    6. Using Save or Save As
      3m 57s
  4. 30m 7s
    1. Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages
      5m 25s
    2. Copying a formula for adjacent cells
      2m 54s
    3. Calculating year-to-date profits
      3m 9s
    4. Creating a percentage-increase formula
      4m 7s
    5. Working with relative, absolute, and mixed references
      4m 7s
    6. Using SUM and AVERAGE
      3m 25s
    7. Using other common functions
      7m 0s
  5. 46m 7s
    1. Exploring font styles and effects
      4m 7s
    2. Adjusting row heights and column widths
      3m 37s
    3. Working with alignment and Wrap Text
      4m 2s
    4. Designing borders
      3m 26s
    5. Exploring numeric and special formatting
      5m 36s
    6. Formatting numbers and dates
      4m 31s
    7. Conditional formatting
      4m 21s
    8. Creating and using tables
      9m 59s
    9. Inserting shapes, arrows, and other visual features
      6m 28s
  6. 20m 40s
    1. Inserting and deleting rows and columns
      4m 52s
    2. Hiding and unhiding rows and columns
      4m 2s
    3. Moving, copying, and inserting data
      5m 42s
    4. Finding and replacing data
      6m 4s
  7. 17m 51s
    1. Exploring the Page Layout tab and view
      7m 20s
    2. Previewing page breaks
      4m 56s
    3. Working with Page Setup and printing controls
      5m 35s
  8. 30m 30s
    1. Creating charts
      4m 36s
    2. Exploring chart types
      7m 47s
    3. Formatting charts
      5m 42s
    4. Working with axes, labels, gridlines, and other chart elements
      5m 35s
    5. Creating in-cell charts with sparklines
      6m 50s
  9. 12m 49s
    1. Freezing and unfreezing panes
      2m 39s
    2. Splitting screens horizontally and vertically
      4m 48s
    3. Showing necessary information with the Outlining feature
      5m 22s
  10. 23m 0s
    1. Displaying multiple worksheets and workbooks
      4m 17s
    2. Renaming, inserting, and deleting sheets
      2m 23s
    3. Moving, copying, and grouping sheets
      3m 39s
    4. Using formulas to link worksheets and workbooks
      6m 1s
    5. Locating and maintaining links
      6m 40s
  11. 20m 25s
    1. Using IF functions and relational operators
      3m 43s
    2. Getting approximate table data with the VLOOKUP function
      7m 6s
    3. Getting exact table data with the VLOOKUP function
      4m 42s
    4. Using the COUNTIF family of functions
      4m 54s
  12. 23m 50s
    1. Unlocking cells and protecting worksheets
      7m 50s
    2. Protecting workbooks
      2m 40s
    3. Assigning passwords to workbooks
      4m 41s
    4. Sharing workbooks
      4m 7s
    5. Tracking changes
      4m 32s
  13. 28m 32s
    1. Sorting data
      6m 9s
    2. Inserting subtotals in a sorted list
      8m 25s
    3. Using filters
      6m 16s
    4. Splitting data into multiple columns
      5m 4s
    5. Removing duplicate records
      2m 38s
  14. 35m 2s
    1. Creating PivotTables
      8m 36s
    2. Manipulating PivotTable data
      9m 47s
    3. Grouping by date and time
      6m 0s
    4. Grouping by other factors
      2m 33s
    5. Using slicers to clarify and manipulate fields
      4m 7s
    6. Using PivotCharts
      3m 59s
  15. 23m 29s
    1. Using Goal Seek
      6m 8s
    2. Using Solver
      6m 34s
    3. Using Scenario Manager
      6m 11s
    4. Using Data Tables
      4m 36s
  16. 24m 31s
    1. Definition and examples
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a simple macro
      7m 0s
    3. Running a macro
      10m 43s
  17. 29s
    1. Next steps

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Watch Excel 2013 Tutorials on Essential Training
6h 32m Appropriate for all Jan 29, 2013

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Whether you're a novice or an expert wanting to refresh your skillset with Microsoft Excel, this course covers all the basics you need to start entering your data and building organized workbooks. Author Dennis Taylor teaches you how to enter and organize data, perform calculations with simple functions, work with multiple worksheets, format the appearance of your data, and build charts and PivotTables. Other lessons cover the powerful IF, VLOOKUP, and COUNTIF family of functions; the Goal Seek, Solver, and other data analysis tools; and how to automate many of these tasks with macros.

Topics include:
  • What is Excel and what is it used for?
  • Using the menus
  • Working with dates and times
  • Creating simple formulas
  • Formatting fonts, row and column sizes, borders, and more
  • Inserting shapes, arrows, and other graphics
  • Adding and deleting rows and columns
  • Hiding data
  • Moving, copying, and pasting
  • Sorting and filtering data
  • Printing your worksheet
  • Securing your workbooks
  • Tracking changes
Business Education + Elearning
Excel Office Office 365
Dennis Taylor

Creating PivotTables

One of Excel's most powerful and creative tools is a PivotTable. It's the ideal feature for making sense out of a large amount of data. In this worksheet called Creating, in the Workbook 13-PivotTables, we've got over 900 rows of transactional data here representing sales, usually multiple sales on a given sale. We've got our Salesperson, Product, our Customers are major retailers and they are located in four different regions in the United States and we'd like to be able to get a good quick summary read on what's happening here.

The data currently isn't sorted, it doesn't need to be. Think of a PivotTable as a separate entity, we're about to create one that will quickly give us summary information about this list. If you look at this list for a little bit, one of the things you might want to see would be a list of our Salesperson's names down the left-hand side and across the top maybe the products that they've sold and then how many at the intersection or possibly the dollar amount. I've done this manually off to the right, it's in column J. I'll just make column I narrower and scroll over there a little bit.

Here is the kind of list I'm thinking of: Customer names down the left-hand side, Products across the top and we can see how many Items have been sold 7997, almost 8000 items had been sold and we quickly see who the top Salesperson, we see which item is selling better than another one, this is good information. Take a look at some of the formulas required to get this though. This formula, not exactly easy, SUMIFS uses a function that's rather sophisticated and setting this up is going to take some time.

Furthermore after doing this, could we easily change this display so that we showed for example the customers across the top, which customers are buying from which salespersons? And as we look at the different fields there, we might want to compare, for example, Region and Product, or Product and Salesperson, Customer and Product, a variety of different interrelationships, somewhat like we're seeing over here in column J. With the PivotTable, we can create a list like this in under 10 seconds without formulas.

It's going to be that simple, and furthermore we won't have to worry about formulas like this one, we can easily change the PivotTable to include other fields across the top here. The PivotTable actually is a separate creation, typically placed on another worksheet, although we could place it on this very same worksheet. Although the feature is database-like in many respects, it's found on the INSERT tab in the Ribbon. A PivotTable not only gives us this quick ability to summarize information, it also allows us to sort the data, it allows us to filter it, it does consist of a number of database technics that you might already be familiar with.

We begin the process by simply clicking within the data. Now you just can't take any collection of data and say, well I'll use a PivotTable and analyze what's going on. The data you're working with has to be list-like in nature and that means you want your titles in a single row. If you other information above it, that's fine but it's best to keep the row above it empty if you do have other information up there and make sure that within the data that you don't have any empty rows or empty columns and that does facilitate the creation of a PivotTable because we need only click within this data here.

If you do have other data to the right as I do here, make sure you've got at least one empty column isolating that data from the data that you want to work with. So the active cells within here, let's create a PivotTable rather quickly. INSERT tab, left button, PivotTable. The Create PivotTable dialog box tells us the data that it thinks we want to use and it nearly always gets this right so a quick look here. This goes down to row 213 out to column H, looks good. The default location for PivotTable, new Worksheet.

Let's go just with it. Recognize you could put it on the Existing Worksheet right here. We could do that if we wanted to. Let's just click OK. We're now on a new worksheet. Off to the left, we see a PivotTable placeholder and off to the right a PivotTable Fields list. We can move this over if we wish, you don't have to do this; you can make it a bit bigger as well. As we make it bigger here, recognize we are seeing the field names right here that we saw in the previous sheet and possibly you can move this down to see them all, sometimes you'll do that but that's not critical but that could be helpful at times too.

Here are the fields that we're interested in. I'm going to click the box for Salesperson. Two things will change on the screen. Off to the left and alphabetized list of our salespeople and in the lower portion of the PivotTable Fields list, we see in the area called Rows, Salesperson. Let's now click the box for Items, let's say we want to track the number of items sold. That's a numeric field. If we check the box, it automatically goes into the Values area that may be just as important over in column B, we see the sum of items for each salesperson and there is that 7997 total that we saw on the previous worksheet.

Now something you wouldn't expect at first, if we do want to show the product here, we're going to drag the word Product into the Columns area and there's our PivotTable, we can move this to the right. The same total that we saw before and if we were to compare the numbers with that manually created table, the same numbers in every single case, nowhere here do you see a formula, click here, click there, look in the Formula bar just the numbers are here, pretty fast. As you look at this you might say, what's this Row Labels, Column Labels? If it's only you working with the data, don't worry about those.

The focus is on the numbers and what they mean, but this does reinforce the idea that this portion of the PivotTable has a name, it's the Row area or the Row Labels area, you could use either term. We also see this term off to the right, in the lower portion of the PivotTable Fields list, we see the term Rows here. Salesperson is in the Row Labels area or the Row area. Column Labels, that's the term we see across the top, we see that also reflected in the PivotTable Fields list to the right. Now if you are making a presentation of this data, you might not want to see these terms here, you might have noticed already that when the active cell is within the PivotTable anywhere here we've got a PivotTable tools Ribbon in our menu system with an ANALYZE tab and a DESIGN tab.

Also whenever the active cell is within the PivotTable, we do see the PivotTable's Field list to the right. I'm about to click on cell E1, watch what changes. That field list to the right is gone and the menu that we had seen is gone as well. As I click back into the PivotTable, both of those features return. If we don't want to see these terms here, Column Labels and Row Labels we can go to the ANALYZE tab and simply not show Field Headers. In some cases that might be appropriate, surely those are products we sell; these are our salespersons so we don't necessarily need labels there.

But I think a better choice will be, let's return those Field Headers and then let's change these cells so that they actually reflect the names of the fields. And the way we do that is to go to the DESIGN tab and choose Report Layout. Now you wouldn't instinctively know that we have been viewing Compact Form. The other two variations Outline and Tabular do show the field names. The difference in these two is that Tabular shows gridlines, let's just choose this one and now we see Salesperson instead of Row Labels and Product instead of Column Labels.

We also see those two terms in our PivotTable Fields list to the right, down here. The more you work with PivotTables, the more you appreciate the PivotTable Fields list and the fact that the lower portion of it serves as kind of a map of the PivotTable itself. A couple of other quick changes you might want to make here, you might click in the upper left-hand corner, Double-Click a column boundary to readjust the column widths, now it's not critical but any other feature that you might be familiar with formatting, you can certainly use it too. So it certainly didn't take us very long to get here.

We have no formulas in sight and we will as you'll see in an upcoming movie the ability to quickly change the layout of a PivotTable. It's very fast to create a PivotTable as you've seen and you will have the choice at any time to put the PivotTable on a separate sheet as we see it here or on the same sheet as the source data.

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