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: Maintaining Formatting when Refreshing PivotTables.

Maintaining Formatting when Refreshing PivotTables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 31, 2018)

PivotTables provide a great way to analyze large amounts of data and pull out the summarizations that you need. Once you have the PivotTable displaying the values you need, you can then format the table to make the data presentable—for a while. You see, when you update the data on which the PivotTable is based, and then refresh the PivotTable, all your formatting work may go away.

The way around this is to follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your PivotTable displays the values you want.
  2. Format the PivotTable in whatever way desired.
  3. On the PivotTable toolbar, choose Table Options from the PivotTable menu. Excel displays the PivotTable Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The PivotTable Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Preserve Formatting check box is selected.
  6. Click OK.

Now, when you refresh the PivotTable, your previously applied formatting should remain on rows and columns previously in the PivotTable. If the refresh results in new rows being added to the PivotTable, then you will still need to format those, unless you are using an AutoFormat.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3099) 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: Maintaining Formatting when Refreshing PivotTables.

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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