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How to Create PivotTables and PivotCharts in Excel 2010

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How to Create PivotTables and PivotCharts in Excel 2010: Video

This video lesson shows you how to create PivotTables and PivotCharts in Excel 2010. Need more Excel training? Click here for the complete tutorial!

Creating Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts in Excel 2010: Overview

You can use the PivotTable feature of Excel to access some of the most powerful data-analysis that Excel can provide. PivotTables allow you to organize massive amounts of data in more coherent and meaningful ways to extract from the data exactly what you want to know. Probably the most helpful feature of PivotTables is the ability that they have to be reorganized quickly and easily to change what information they are displaying and calculating. When you create a PivotTable, you are comparing information in your worksheet and then calculating intersecting values of your choosing. In addition to the PivotTables, you can also create PivotCharts, which use the data from PivotTables but display it in a graphic format.

The best way to learn how to use PivotTables is to actually create one with which you can experiment and practice. Excel makes it easy to create a PivotTable from your data. To create a PivotTable, first select the worksheet that contains the data from which you want to create a PivotTable. Next, click the “Insert” tab in the Ribbon. Click the “PivotTable” drop-down button in the “Tables” group and choose either the “PivotTable” or “PivotChart” command, as desired.

Either way, next you will see the “Create PivotTable” dialog box appear. Here you must select the source of data for the PivotTable. Your choices are: “Select a table or range,” which pulls the data from your Excel worksheet, or “Use an external data source,” which allows you to use data from a query or an open database connection.

Below that area, you have to select whether you want to place the PivotTable or PivotChart into a new worksheet or an existing worksheet. If you click the “Existing Worksheet” choice, then you’ll have to click into the “Location:” text box and then click into the worksheet to select the cell that will become the upper left corner of the PivotTable or PivotChart. When you are finished, click “OK” to create your new PivotTable or PivotChart.

Next you will see the “PivotTable Field List” task pane appear at the side of your workbook window. If you elected to create a PivotChart, you will see the “PivotChart Filter Pane” appear. In the “PivotTable Field List” pane, you will see the information from your data source. Now you have to click the checkbox next to each field in the “Choose fields to add to report:” section that you want to add to the PivotTable. As you check each field, Excel will add it into one of the four quadrants shown in the “Drag fields between areas below:” section at the bottom of the task pane. For PivotTables, these fields are “Report Filter,” “Column Labels,” “Row Labels,” and “Values.” For PivotCharts these fields are “Report Filter,” “Legend Fields (Series),” “Axis Fields (Categories),” or “Values.” At that point, you can click and drag the fields shown from one quadrant to another, based on what function or layout you want the PivotTable to show. Note fields that are placed into the “Values” section are calculated using the SUM function, by default.

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