Changing the Default PivotTable Functions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 25, 2014)


John Glentees asked if there was a way to change the default SUM function used when creating PivotTables; he would prefer to use COUNT or AVERAGE. The short answer is that no, there is no way to change the default--you are still left with changing the field options for whatever you place in the Data Items area of the PivotTable.

If you find it bothersome to change from SUM to COUNT or AVERAGE after the PivotTable is finished, consider making the change while constructing the table. At step 3 of the PivotTable Wizard, click the Layout button and drag your fields to their respective locations. After you drag a field into the Data Items area, double-click the field and you can change how the field is aggregated.

You can, if desired, also change the way that you put together your PivotTable to simulate a count, even though the SUM function is really being used. Just add a column to the right side of your data table, and label it Count. In each cell of the new column place the number 1. If you use this column (Count) as the a Data Item in the PivotTable, the result at each intersection of the table is a count of the items matching the aggregate column and row. Even though SUM is used in creating the PivotTable, the result is the same as if you had changed to COUNT.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2392) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is six more than 8?

2014-06-02 17:01:57


If you change the format of the cells in the column to general text rather than a number, the default will be count not sum.

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