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: Missing PivotTable Data.

Missing PivotTable Data

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2020)

Stephen has an Excel workbook created by someone else. The workbook contains a PivotTable, but he cannot make changes to it. When he tries, he gets a message that says the underlying data was not saved. The worksheet with the data is in the workbook, and the PivotTable is there, but he cannot change the PivotTable directly or even make changes to the worksheet and updated the PivotTable.

There are two possible reasons for this problem. First, when a PivotTable is created, the user can specify an option that causes Excel to not save the data with the table layout. (This option is accessed by clicking the Options button on the last step of the PivotTable Wizard.) If the PivotTable is really based on the worksheet in the workbook, then this is no problem. If, however, it is based on some other data source, then it can cause a problem because you cannot later modify the table.

The second possible reason is that the workbook that you have isn't the same workbook in which the worksheet and the PivotTable originally resided. It is possible that, in creating the workbook for your use, the original user copied the PivotTable and the worksheet from the original workbook to a new, blank workbook. If this is the case, then the PivotTable is independent of any data in the workbook you are viewing. You can check this out by trying these steps:

  1. Click anywhere within the PivotTable.
  2. From the PivotTable menu on the PivotTable toolbar, choose the PivotTable Wizard option. Excel displays the final step of the PivotTable Wizard.
  3. Click the Back button to return to step 2, which is where you define the data range to be included in the PivotTable.
  4. In the Range box, specify an address range within the current workbook, specifically within the worksheet data you want to use.
  5. Click Finish.

Excel redoes the PivotTable, this time based on the information in the workbook. You can then make changes to the PivotTable (or the underlying data) as you desire.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3112) 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: Missing PivotTable Data.

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

Cropping Pictures

Excel allows you to easily add graphics to a worksheet. If you want to crop an image you previously added, here's how to ...

Discover More

Spell-checking Uppercase Words

When Word checks the spelling of a document, it can either check or ignore words that are in uppercase letters. Here's ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text in Merged Cells

When you are formatting your worksheet, Excel lets you easily merge adjacent cells together. If you want to wrap the text ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA 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

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

Maintaining Formatting when Refreshing PivotTables

When you refresh the data in a PivotTable, Excel can play havoc with whatever formatting you applied. Here's how to ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 four less than 6?

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.