Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Formatting a PivotTable.

Formatting a PivotTable

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2016)

You know that you can format cells in your worksheets by using the different tools on the Formatting toolbar, or by using the Cell option from the Format menu. Excel also allows you to format PivotTables using these same techniques. You should know, however, that the best way to format PivotTables is to use the AutoFormat feature. This is because whenever you manipulate the table or refresh the data, any explicit formatting you might have applied (using the Cell option from the Format menu) is eliminated by Excel. This limitation does not apply when you use the built-in AutoFormats.

To use the AutoFormat feature, select a cell in the PivotTable, and then choose AutoFormat from the Format menu. Excel displays the AutoFormat dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The AutoFormat dialog box.

Scroll through the available formats, and click the one you want to use. When you click the OK button, the desired format is applied to the PivotTable.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2482) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Formatting a PivotTable.

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

Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box

Setting tabs in a paragraph is a common task. This is most easily done by using the Tabs dialog box. Displaying the dialog ...

Discover More

Too Many Cell Formats

The error message "too many cell formats" can be difficult to fix. This tip describes ways you can attempt to get rid of the ...

Discover More

Formatting Raw Data

When you get a bunch of raw data into Excel from an external source, it isn't going to be formatted to your liking. The ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Reducing File Sizes for Workbooks with PivotTables

Need to reduce the size of your workbooks that contain PivotTables? Here's something you can try to minimize the ...

Discover More

Counting with PivotTables

One of the ways you can use PivotTables is to generate counts of various items in a data table. This is a great technique if ...

Discover More

Removing Subtotals from Many PivotTable Fields

Need to get rid of pesky subtotals from your PivotTables? It's easy to do by applying the macro highlighted in this tip.

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. 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 six less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.