Changing the Default PivotTable Functions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 25, 2014)

1

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Limiting Precision

There may be times you need to limit the amount of precision Excel uses in its calculations. Here is one way to accomplish ...

Discover More

Cut and Paste Formatting

What happens when you copy information from one document and paste it into another? It is possible for what you paste to look ...

Discover More

Viewing Comments From a Specific Reviewer

If you have multiple editors (or authors) working on the same document, and each of them is adding comments, you may want to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Default Formatting for PivotTables

Wish there was a way to define how you want PivotTables formatted before you actually create the PivotTable? You may be out ...

Discover More

Setting Stable Column Widths in a PivotTable

When you update a PivotTable, Excel can take liberties with any formatting you previously applied to the PivotTable. Here's ...

Discover More

Rows in a PivotTable

PivotTables are used to analyze huge amounts of data. The number of rows used in a PivotTable depends on the type of analysis ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 8?

2014-06-02 17:01:57

Candi

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.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.