Excel: MrExcel's Learn Excel #887 - Keeping Pivot Formats

Nancy sends in a cool tip to solve some of the frustrations from Episode 875 -- Excel changing the column widths of a pivot table as you choose new values fr...

Transcript of the video:

Hey, welcome back to the MrExcel netcast, I'm Bill Jelen. Boy, a great tip today sent in by Nancy. Now, back in Episode 875, I talked about how irritating it is that the Pivot Table will seem to reformat itself. So here, I've gone through and I've set my column widths, I want each one of those to be, maybe, 9. And then as soon as I choose something else-- I'm going to come here to the Pivot Table, choose a different Customer, Bank of America-- all of a sudden it makes the column lists wider to fit that longer value, and my columns start to not look the way that I want them to look. And people keep asking me, is there any way just to make it stay the way that we originally had?

So I'm going to do undo. There is a great setting back here. I'm going to right-click on the Pivot Table and choose PivotTable Options, and right here's the setting that Nancy sent in: If you uncheck "AutoFormat table", what's going to happen is that it's going to not change the column width. So we have a column width set, even if I choose a really long item from the page field, it very nicely just lets that page field expand from B1 over to C1-- it just spills out of the column and doesn't change the numbers in my Pivot Table. Now, here's another annoying thing. So this particular Customer has nothing for XYZ in the central, and if we want those to be zeros-- again, same spot, Table Options, "For empty cells, show" 0, click OK. We'll be able to fill those cells in that way; they don't show up blank.

Now, in Excel 2007, we still have similar options but their named differently, of course. Right-click and choose Pivot Table Options, or just click the big options button up here; and right on the first tab, Layout & Format; we're going to uncheck "Autofit column widths on update"; allows us to change the page field.

Want to thank Nancy for sending in a great solution to a problem that keeps coming up again and again in my seminars. Glad to see that there is a solution. I'm going to be sending Nancy one of the Excel Master Pins.

Want to thank you for stopping by, we'll see you next time for another netcast from MrExcel.

Keywords for this video: Microsoft, Excel, business, accounting, spreadsheets, tutorial, technology, MrExcel, pivot table, formatting

This video is current as of January 5, 2009

For more resources for Microsoft Excel