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 July 3, 2021)

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. ...

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