Subtotals Option Grayed Out

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 19, 2013)

Katherine, using Office 2003, reports that when she is working with a table of data in Excel, she can't choose the Subtotals option from the Data menu. When she displays the Data menu, the option is grayed out, and she cannot select it.

When things are disabled in a workbook there is usually some setup which prevents it in some way. If it happens with all the workbooks (even a new one) there is probably a problem with Excel, and you should look at fixing it or reinstalling it. (How to do this has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips.)

If the problem occurs only in a single workbook, then the problem is probably with the data itself. For instance, Excel 2003 allows you to create formal data lists, which are generally used for generating XML data. If there is a blue border that appears around your data, then you have probably created a data list, and the Subtotals option will no longer be available for that data. To get rid of the data list, select one of the cells within the list, and then choose Data | List | Convert to Range. The Subtotals option should be available as soon as the conversion is complete.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3074) applies to Microsoft Excel 2003.

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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