Conditional Formatting in PivotTables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 14, 2018)

David is wondering if it is possible to apply conditional formatting to PivotTables. He would like to use conditional formatting so that when a table is refreshed the conditional formatting is applied to the new data in the PivotTable.

There is nothing that we have found that stops conditional formatting from being applied to a PivotTable. After creating the PivotTable you can apply the conditional formatting and it should work just fine. The problem, however, comes when you refresh the PivotTable and the refreshing results in the PivotTable being enlarged. In that case Excel expands the PivotTable into cells not previously used by the table. These cells also have no conditional formatting applied, so Excel doesn't know that it should apply it.

You can get around this problem by making sure that you apply conditional formatting to more than just the cells presently visible in the PivotTable. You should select a larger range of cells (including those outside the current PivotTable) and apply conditional formatting to that expanded range. In this way Excel can "retain" that formatting as it expands the PivotTable during a refresh.

The obvious problem with this approach, however, is that the flexibility of the conditional formatting is seriously hampered. If you have several conditional formats applied to the PivotTable, and those formats are not the same as each other, then how can you effectively apply those formats to an expanded cell range? Unfortunately there is no good answer to this possibility.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7002) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Paragraph Order

Want a quick way to rearrange entire paragraphs of your document? You can easily do it by using the technique described here.

Discover More

Starting a New Section on an Odd Page Number

A common pagination convention used in publishing is for new chapters (and sometimes new sections) to start on an ...

Discover More

Using the REPT Function

Excel includes a handy function that allows you to repeat characters or strings of characters. How you use the REPT ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Suppressing Zero Values in PivotTables

PivotTables are great for digesting and analyzing huge amounts of data. But what if you want part of that data excluded, ...

Discover More

Rows in a PivotTable

PivotTables are used to analyze huge amounts of data. The number of rows used in a PivotTable depends on the type of ...

Discover More

Removing Subtotals from Many PivotTable Fields

Need to get rid of pesky subtotals from your PivotTables? It's easy to do by applying the macro highlighted in this tip.

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 five more than 5?

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.