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Using Pivot Charts in Microsoft Excel

This introduction has been contributed by Debra Dalgleish, Excel MVP.
Contextures, Copyright © 2002. All rights reserved.
Check out Debra's Excel Tips and Techniques.

What is a Pivot Chart?

A pivot chart is an interactive graphical representation of the data in a Pivot Table.

You can rearrange the layout, select a different type of chart, and add or remove data.

Many web sites give instructions for creating a Pivot Chart.
(See Pivot Table and Pivot Chart Links).

 


A Pivot Chart can also create a quick summary of text entries. For example if you have a list of products sold, create a Pivot Chart to show the percent of the total sales for each product.

 

Pivot Chart Tips and Troubleshooting

Changes to the Pivot Chart affect the Pivot Table

If you rearrange the fields in a Pivot Chart, the same changes are made to the related Pivot Table. You can make changes, print the Pivot Chart, and undo the changes, or close the file without saving the changes.

Refreshing the Pivot Table Removes Formatting

The loss of formatting is a known problem. There's some info in the following MSKB article, which suggests using a macro to reformat the table as required: XL2000: Changing a PivotChart Removes Series Formatting (215904) . To create a macro, you can turn on the macro recorder as you format your Pivot Chart. After you refresh the Pivot Chart, run the macro to reapply the formatting.

Can't Undo after Creating a Pivot Chart

If you create a Pivot Chart, then delete the rows, columns or cells in which the Pivot Table is located, you won't be able to undo the deletion. For details, read the MSKB article XL2000: Undo Unavailable After Creating PivotChart Report (199269). This problem also exists in Excel 2002.
Note: If the underlying Pivot Table is deleted, the Pivot Chart becomes a normal chart.

Can't Move or Resize some Elements in a Pivot Chart

The following elements in a PivotChart report can't be moved or resized: Axes' titles, Chart title, Plot Area Legend, Value Axis Display Unit Label. For details, read the MSKB article XL2000: Unable to Move or Resize Chart Objects in a PivotChart (199201).

Create a Normal Chart from a Pivot Table

To create a normal (non-pivot) chart from a Pivot Table:

  1. Select an empty cell away from the Pivot Table.
  2. Click the Chart Wizard button on the toolbar.
  3. Click Finish, to create an empty chart.
  4. Select cells in the Pivot Table, and drag or copy them to the blank chart.

Note: If you select a cell which contains a Pivot Table button, the chart will become a Pivot Chart. To avoid this, you can build the chart from the data and either the series or category axis labels. Then choose Chart>Source Data. On the Series tab, select a series. Click on a worksheet cell to add the series name or Category axis label.

Step Through the Chart Wizard to Build a Pivot Chart

If you select a cell in the Pivot Table, and click the Chart Wizard button, a default chart on a chart sheet is created. If you'd like to step through the Chart Wizard:

  1. Select an empty cell away from the Pivot Table.
  2. Click the Chart Wizard button on the toolbar.
  3. In Step 2 of the Chart Wizard, select a cell in the Pivot Table (the entire Pivot Table will be selected).
  4. Continue through the Chart Wizard steps, then click Finish.

Intro | Pivot Tables | Pivot Charts | Programming Pivots (links only) | Pivot Links

 

 

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