Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Default Formatting for PivotTables.

Default Formatting for PivotTables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 31, 2015)

6

James is frustrated when it comes to formatting PivotTables. He would like all PivotTables to start in the classic format with no subtotals and repeated row items with all values in accounting format with no currency sign and no characters after the decimal. Being able to set a default such as this would save James a huge amount of time. He wonders about the easiest way to set default formatting for PivotTables so that he can avoid going through the repetitive process of formatting each new PivotTable.

Unfortunately, there is no way to create a default format for your PivotTables that we've been able to discover. One thing you might try is to develop a macro that does the formatting for you—start by recording the process of formatting your PivotTable, and then adjust the macro so that it is more global and can apply to almost any PivotTable you create. (This process can be a bit intimidating, but it can be done.)

Another idea is to create a workbook with the PivotTable formatted as desired and then save that workbook as read-only. Then, when you need to do some work using that format of PivotTable, you can open the workbook, save it under a different name, and modify the data used to make up the PivotTable, as desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11263) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Default Formatting for PivotTables.

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

Simulating Alt+Enter in a Formula

You can use the Alt+Enter keyboard shortcut while entering information in order to force your data onto multiple lines in a ...

Discover More

Converting Text to Uppercase in a Macro

Macros are often used to process documents. If part of the processing involves making text selections uppercase, Word ...

Discover More

Disabling Dragging and Dropping

Excel allows you to easily paste information into a worksheet, including through simply dragging and dropping the ...

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 (ribbon)

Expanding PivotTable Rows to Sheets

PivotTables are a great way to work with large quantities of data in an intelligent manner. Sometimes, however, you just need ...

Discover More

Reducing File Sizes for Workbooks with PivotTables

Need to reduce the size of your workbooks that contain PivotTables? Here's something you can try to minimize the ...

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 protect ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 7 - 0?

2015-04-15 11:24:05

Rod Vandig

I have copied the pivot table with the style format I want to the sheet I want the style applied in, then applied that style to the new sheet pivot table, and then deleted the sheet that had the old pivot table in it. That seems to work as well.


2014-11-12 09:28:15

Char

If you know you are going to be creating pivot tables for specific spreadsheets wouldn't saving the spread with the pivot table you have created as template work?


2014-11-12 09:20:03

Nancy Harpe

I wish I didn't always have to select the Classic Pivot Table Layout every time I inserted a pivot table. Okay, I know, I'm old school but I like the old set up better.(Before MS Office 2010) Why does Microsoft fix what's not broken? :-(


2014-11-12 08:22:20

balthamossa2b

As for the formatting of the cells themselves: if you know where the pivot table is placed, you can (probably) say where the data will be placed. Then use something like Cells.NumberFormat to get the job done.


2014-11-12 08:15:08

balthamossa2b

Some info about how to create PivotTables through VBA: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/hh243933%28v=office.14%29.aspx


Even more important than that:

1) You can Refresh the PivotTables automatically, for example when opening the Excel file. Useful for keeping them uptodate (though I don't remember if you also need to update the reports and the graphs manually or if this takes care of everything).

2)You can (and should) clear the pivot cache frequently. Especially in old Excel versions it can build up and create monstrously big files. I think this should take care of it: http://www.contextures.com/xlPivot04.html ...but it's been ages since I've last used a pivot table so you shouldn't take my word for it.


2012-02-04 04:22:02

Jim Huggins

I`m still learning Excel,but who isn`t.I love getting these Emails from you every week,it lets me know that I`m not the only one who scratches my head while using Excel.Believe it or not,Pivot Tables and Charts have been the subject my studies for the last couple of weeks.My professor is convinced(or so he says) that Pivot Tables aren`t as hard as people make them out to be,because,you always get a free Pivot Chart with every Table.


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.