Using Classic PivotTable Layout as the Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2018)


Nancy creates a lot of PivotTables and likes the old layout better than the default set up in Excel 2010 or a later version. Every time she creates a PivotTable she has to go to PivotTableOptions | Display | Classic PivotTable Layout. Nancy wonders if there is a way she can make the classic display the default.

There is no way to set this default, but it is possible to make the process a bit less painful. I created a PivotTable and left it empty, with nothing defined in the various sections of the PivotTable. With the PivotTable sheet visible, I turned on the macro recorder and recorded just the steps that Nancy mentioned, above. Here's what was recorded:

Sub Macro1()
' Macro1 Macro

    With ActiveSheet.PivotTables("PivotTable1")
        .InGridDropZones = True
        .RowAxisLayout xlTabularRow
    End With
End Sub

As you can see, there isn't much (programmatically) to changing back to classic layout—all you need to do is issue two statements that affect the PivotTable. This macro can be improved just a bit, however, by making it more "universal."

Sub PivotTableClassic()
    Dim pt As PivotTable

    For Each pt In ActiveSheet.PivotTables
        pt.InGridDropZones = True
        pt.RowAxisLayout xlTabularRow
    Next pt
End Sub

This version of the macro steps through each of the PivotTables on the current worksheet (if any) and applies those two statements that set them to classic layout.

The best idea we've been able to come up with is to assign this macro to the Quick Access Toolbar or to a shortcut key. Immediately after creating the macro, you can click the QAT button or press the shortcut key and Excel makes all the PivotTables on the sheet classic.


If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3576) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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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What is seven less than 9?

2017-02-04 06:39:36


Thank for this tip and it saved my time

2016-05-16 07:46:11


Hi Matt,

You're the best! Thank you!


2016-04-06 11:47:52


I am so glad I found this post in my Google Search. This "problem" has been annoying me for the better part of a year, and now I have a Quick Access Toolbar button to quickly make the switch. Much appreciated!

Thanks, Allen!!


2015-12-24 11:14:42

Nancy Harpe

Great Tip for no Macros needed!!!I wish I had checked this out 2 years ago! I added these to my ribbon "do not show subtotals" and "show in tabular format". This is a great time saver! I must do 20+ pivot tables a week. Thanks!

2015-06-08 15:54:39


I love this! This will save me a lot time each week. Especially monthly for reports.

2015-04-22 01:14:23


Thanks Matt, that was helpful

2015-02-05 04:19:45


Many thanks for this and to Demetria - what a time saver !!! :)

Cheers, Stu

2014-09-26 13:37:30


Why change it after the fact? Create it directly as a classic pivot. From your source data, click Ctrl-P to run this macro. (You'll have to set up the shortcut, of course. You do that from the macro options).

Sub CreateClasicPivot()
' CreateClasicPivot Macro
' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+P

ActiveCell.CurrentRegion.Name = "myrange"
Application.CutCopyMode = False
ActiveWorkbook.PivotCaches.Add(SourceType:=xlDatabase, SourceData:= _
"myrange").CreatePivotTable TableDestination:="", TableName:= _
ActiveSheet.PivotTableWizard TableDestination:=ActiveSheet.Cells(3, 1)
ActiveSheet.Cells(3, 1).Select
ActiveSheet.PivotTables("PivotTable1").SmallGrid = False

End Sub

2014-09-14 15:15:27



we are not able to view the "Pivots" in Excel 2007..

When we open the file we cant see the pivots... again we have to put the pivot tables and modify... the file...

Note: This is happening in only 2 in once file.


2014-03-25 17:31:44


Allen, I realize this is an old post, so not sure if you will get this, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the macro. Was about to go crazy with this.

2013-06-10 08:13:35

Rudra Sharma

@Matt druce
if you have macro you can change for each Pivot table in the workbook with single click.

2013-06-10 04:15:09

Matt Druce

You don't need a macro for switching to the classic layout, just use the two shortcut icons that you can add to your ribbon..."do not show subtotals" and "show in tabular format"

Build your pivot table, then two clicks and its done!

2013-06-08 05:24:55


i found out that formatting sheet.provides.3 or w icons.with.layouts attached,and 1 of them is s
Classic display plus next to the se icons.are.icons to switch.totals,subtotals,etc what i normalny the right,soon after.changing it saves.a.few clicks quite.well.just need to get

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