Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Setting Stable Column Widths in a PivotTable.

Setting Stable Column Widths in a PivotTable

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 1, 2020)

4

Stuart has been building PivotTables for a charity so that they can report on donation patterns over time. The problem he has is that he wants to permanently set the column widths in his PivotTable, but whenever the filter variables for the PivotTable are changed, the column widths reset themselves. Stuart wonders how he can permanently fix all column widths in the PivotTable so they don't change.

This is very easy to do in Excel. After your PivotTable is set up and formatted just the way you want, follow these steps if you are using Excel 2013 or a later version:

  1. Select a cell in the PivotTable.
  2. Display the PivotTable Analyze tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the PivotTable tool at the left side of the ribbon. Excel displays some options.
  4. Click Options. Excel displays the PivotTable Options dialog box.
  5. Make sure the Layout & Format tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Layout & Format tab of the PivotTable Options dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Autofit Column Widths on Update check box is cleared.
  8. Click OK.

If you are using Excel 2007 or Excel 2010 follow these steps instead:

  1. Select a cell in the PivotTable.
  2. Display the Options tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Options tool in the PivotTable group. Excel displays the PivotTable Options dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Layout & Format tab is displayed.
  5. Make sure the Autofit Column Widths on Update check box is cleared.
  6. Click OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (759) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Setting Stable Column Widths in a PivotTable.

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

Adding Tabs at the Beginning of a Line

Press a tab at the beginning of a paragraph, and Word normally assumes you want to indent the paragraph. If you don't ...

Discover More

Microsoft Excel VBA Guidebook

Creating Excel macros allows you to extend your productivity with Excel. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the ...

Discover More

Understanding Computer Names

Every Windows computer on your network has a name. This name typically provides some identifying information about the ...

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 (ribbon)

Updating a PivotChart Automatically

If you expect your PivotCharts to update automatically when you update a PivotTables, you may want to alter, slightly, ...

Discover More

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

Bogging Down with Calculated Items

Create a complex PivotTable and you may find that your system slows to a crawl. The reason for this may be due to the way ...

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 2 - 2?

2020-03-05 02:41:39

Sky

Thanks much! This is super helpful!! That column auto-fit is just ANNOYING!!

I'm using Excel 365, It's on "PivotTableTools" - Analyze >> "PivotTable" (on the left) >> "Options"


2019-07-24 09:43:42

John F

I can't find it now, but somewhere I saw how to set this as the default for pivot tables so that whenever a new pivot table is created this is case. I'd love to be able to do the same for tables and set as the default.


2018-03-02 10:51:58

Charlie Arehart

Thank you for that. FWIW the steps for Excel 2016 also apply to what you show for Excel 2013.

FWIW, I wonder if you may want to revisit this post, to reverse the order and focus on later versions of Excel first. :-)

It does come up as the first result in a google search for "pivot table column width". Some may find it, and be frustrated (as I was) when the first set of steps don't work in their more modern version, because they didn't notice you indicating those were for 2007 and 2010.

Either way, thank you again for going the extra step to cover 2013 and above! :-)


2018-02-28 12:39:43

Keith

This was very helpful. I would like to add that if you have more than one pivot table sharing the same columns, you will have to clear the option for all tables.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu 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.