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: Bogging Down with Calculated Items.

Bogging Down with Calculated Items

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 16, 2014)

Torben wrote about a problem he was having with PivotTables in Excel. It seems that whenever he adds calculated items to the PivotTable, Excel takes a performance hit. If his dataset contains even a few thousand records, Excel even hangs.

PivotTables put a huge strain on Excel, as it slices, dices, and analyzes the data to create the table. The amount of strain experienced depends on many different factors, such as size of the dataset, the data in the PivotTable, etc. These factors can seemingly conspire against you, leaving you with a system that is sluggish at best.

There are ways, however, to change how Excel works with data to create the PivotTable. If you modify the settings that control this process, you may notice an improvement in Excel's responsiveness. There is no guarantee that these changes will cure all PivotTable problems, but they offer a good place to start. The changes you can make are covered in a Knowledge Base article, located here:

Read through the article and try some of the suggestions—you never know; it could make your PivotTables easier and faster to work with. (Even though the article specifically says it is applicable to Excel 2000, the concepts it suggests can be easily used with other versions of Excel.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2619) 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: Bogging Down with Calculated Items.

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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