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

Understanding the Select Case Structure

Programming structures are an important tool used by any programmer. The VBA language used by Word's macros includes several ...

Discover More

The Last Business Day

Many businesses need to know when the last business day of the month occurs. This tip discusses several ways you can ...

Discover More

Allowing Only Comments in a Document

Develop a document that is to be reviewed by a group of people, and you may want to protect it in some way. One way you can ...

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)

Weighted Averages in a PivotTable

PivotTables are used to boil down huge data sets into something you can more easily understand. They are very good simple ...

Discover More

Formatting a PivotTable

You can format PivotTables using either manual formatting or automatic formatting. You need to be careful, however, as only ...

Discover More

Refreshing PivotTable Data

If you modify the data on which a PivotTable is based, you'll need to refresh the table so it reflects the modified data. ...

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:

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 7 + 8?

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.

Links and Sharing