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:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/273583

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Disabled Macros

Do your macros seem to be disabled on your new machine? It could be because of the security settings in Excel. Here's where ...

Discover More

Hiding Spelling Errors

When you are typing in a document, Word normally checks your spelling in the background, marking possible spelling errors as ...

Discover More

Printing without Headings

The writer uses headline styles to create a story outline. He does not want to see the headlines when he prints the story. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

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

Can't Update Excel 2007 PivotTables in Excel 2003

If you create a PivotTable in Excel 2007, you may have problems editing or updating that PivotTable in Excel 2003. The only ...

Discover More

Text Truncated in PivotTable

When you create a PivotTable based on data that contains lots of text, you may be surprised to find that your text is ...

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 for this tip:

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share