Saturday, August 25, 2007

Small but Great Fix for Pivot Tables

I've said before that in Excel a majority of your time is spent building structure around the data, not reading the data itself. One minor annoyance is that as you slice n dice data in pivot tables, Excel will automatically reformat the column sizes to the "right" width. However, this width is typically determined by the width of the column titles, which are like "Sum of June" or "Average of X".

You, as a user, don't really care about the titles - you want to see the data, you know what the titles are.

So, how do I turn off autoformating in pivot tables, and fix the column widths? It's easy.

  • Within a pivot table you've created, right click and click on Table Options (Alt+P,O).
  • Uncheck "Autoformat Table"
  • Check "Preserve Formatting"

And you're set!

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Saturday, August 25, 2007