Excel: Create Pivot Charts

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Problem: Can I show the results of a pivot table in a chart?

Strategy: In Excel 2010, pivot charts have improved to the point where they are actually usable. Here's what you do:

  1. Select a single cell in your data. Select Insert, PivotTable dropdown, PivotChart.
  2. Build a pivot table by using the Field List dialog. Note that the row fields are now called axis fields. Put Region in the Axis Fields drop zone.
  3. Column fields are now called legend fields. Put Product in the Legend Field drop zone.
  4. Add Customer to the Report Filter drop zone.
  5. Add Revenue to the ∑ Values drop zone.

Excel will show both a pivot table and a chart on the worksheet. When you select the chart, you can use the PivotChart Tools tabs on the ribbon to control the chart type and all formatting.

  1. This chart is the result of a pivot table analysis.

    Gotcha: The button on the chart went away in Excel 2007 and came back in Excel 2010. Excel 2007 offered a PivotChart Filter Pane with the filter dropdowns. If you liked the cleaner look of a pivot chart without buttons, you can use the dropdown on the Excel 2010 Analyze tab to remove selected buttons.

  2. Hide pivot chart buttons.

    Additional Details: To filter the chart to a specific customer, you can change the Customer dropdown in the pivot table.

    Gotcha: The Show Report Filter Pages trick (described in "œCreate a Report for Every Customer") doesn't work for a pivot chart.

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