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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 31, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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

Determining Differences Between Dates

Macros are often used to process the data in a worksheet. If that data includes dates that need to be processed, you'll ...

Discover More

Rotate a Graphic Using the Keyboard

Rotating a graphic using the mouse is rather easy. Rotating a graphic using the keyboard is a bit trickier. This tip ...

Discover More

Forcing Word to Display Spelling and Grammar Errors

If your document has enough spelling errors in it, Word informs you that you have too many and then refuses to display ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing the Default PivotTable Functions

When you create a PivotTable, Excel automatically sums the data that you place into the Data Items area of the table. ...

Discover More

Too Many Rows or Columns in a PivotTable

PivotTables are often used to aggregate lots of information, and they do it beautifully. What do you do if Excel starts ...

Discover More

Bogging Down with Calculated Items

Create a complex PivotTable and you may find that your system slows to a crawl. The reason for this may be due to the way ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 9 + 7?

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.