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Excel Pivot Table Calculated Item


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For information on Calculated Fields, please visit:
Excel Pivot Table Calculated Field


Create a Calculated Item

In addition to the existing items in a pivot table field, you can create one or more calculated items.

Warning: If you create a calculated item in a field, you will:

  • NOT be able to move the field to the Report Filters area
  • NOT be able to add multiple copies of a field to the Values area.

In this example, the pivot table contains an Order Status field, and the orders currently have the following types of status:

  • Shipped
  • Pending
  • Backorder
  • Canceled

In the pivot table, you could create a calculated item, named Sold, to sum all the units that have been sold, for orders with a status of Shipped, Pending, or Backorder.

Follow these steps to create a calculated item:

  1. In the pivot table, select a cell that contains an Order Status item. For example, select cell A5, that contains the Backorder item. 
  2. On the Ribbon’s Options tab, click Calculations
  3. Click Fields, Items & Sets, and then click Calculated Item.
    • Note: If the Excel window is wide enough, you'll see Fields, Items & Sets as a separate command.
    • In Excel 2007, on the Ribbon’s Options tab, in the Tools group, click Formulas, and then click Calculated Item.
  4. calculateditem01

  5. Type a name for the Calculated Item, for example, Sold, and then press the Tab key to move to the Formula box.
  6. In the Fields list, select Order Status, and in the Items list, double-click Shipped, and then type a plus sign (+).
  7. Double-click Pending, type a plus sign, and then double-click Backorder. The complete formula is
  8. =Shipped + Pending + Backorder

    Note: You can include the space characters or omit them.


  9. Click OK, to save the calculated item, and to close the dialog box.

The new calculated item, Sold, is added to the Row area in the pivot table.

However, the Grand Totals have increased, because the Sold item duplicates the values from other items.


Hide the Unnecessary Pivot Items

In the pivot table, you can hide the Shipped, Pending, and Backorder items, because they are included in the Sold calculated item.


With those pivot items hidden, the pivot table will show the correct Grand Totals.


Delete a Calculated Item Manually

If you no longer need a calculated item in a pivot table, you can manually remove it. Follow these steps to remove any unwanted calculated items:

  1. Select the cell that contains the label for the Formula1 calculated item.
  2. On the Ribbon, under the PivotTable Tools tab, click the Analyze tab (or the Options tab in Excel 2010).
  3. In the Calculations group, click Fields, Items and Sets (Click Formulas in Excel 2010).
  4. Click Calculated Item.
  5. From the drop-down list of formulas, select the formula you want to delete.
  6. Click the Delete button
  7. Select and delete any other unwanted items, and then click the Close button.

    remove calculated item

Delete a Calculated Item With a Macro

If you frequently need to remove calculated items in a pivot table, you can use a macro to remove them. The following code remove the calculated item whose label is selected.

Add this code to a regular module, in a workbook that is always open, such as the Personal Workbook. Then, add a button on the Quick Access Toolbar, or on the Ribbon, to run the macro.

Sub CalcItemRemove()
Dim pi As PivotItem
On Error Resume Next

If Not pi Is Nothing Then
   If pi.IsCalculated Then
      MsgBox "Please select a calculated item label"
   End If
   MsgBox "Please select a pivot item label"
End If

End Sub

Modify a Calculated Item

After you create a calculated item in a pivot table, you might need to change its formula.

In the previous section, you created a calculated item named Sold, in the Order Status field. The Sold item sums the orders with a status of Shipped, Pending, or Backorder.

You can change the calculated item's formula, so it doesn’t include the Backorder items.

Follow these steps to modify the calculated item:

  1. In the pivot table, select one of the Order Status items. For example, select cell A6, which is the Canceled item.
  2. On the Ribbon’s Options tab, click Calculations
  3. Click Fields, Items & Sets, and then click Calculated Item.
    • Note: If the Excel window is wide enough, you'll see Fields, Items & Sets as a separate command.
    • In Excel 2007, on the Ribbon’s Options tab, in the Tools group, click Formulas, and then click Calculated Item.
  4. In the Calculate Item dialog box, click the drop down arrow for the Name box.
  5. Select Sold, which is the name of the calculated item you want to change.
  6. calculateditemmodify03

  7. In the Formula box, change the formula, to remove the +Backorder.
  8. calculateditemmodify04

  9. The revised formula is =Shipped+Pending
  10. calculateditemmodify05

  11. Click Modify, to save the change, and then click OK to close the dialog box.

Download the Calculated Item Sample File

To see the pivot table data and the calculated item formula, you can download the Calculated Item sample file. The file is in Excel 2010/2007 format, and is zipped.

Watch the Create a Calculated Item Video

To see the steps for creating a calculated item, please watch this short video tutorial.

Use Index Numbers in a Calculated Item

Instead of item names, you can use index numbers in a calculated item's formula. This can be a helpful solution if the pivot table source data changes each month, to use the previous month's data. Instead of refering to specific dates in the calculated field, use the index numbers.

For example, to sum the data for the first date in the OrderDate field and the fifteenth date, create a calculated item in the OrderDate field, with the following formula:

= OrderDate[1]+OrderDate[15]

You can also refer to pivot items by their index number, relative to the calculated item. For example, you could create a calculated item named DateCalc, with the following formula:

= OrderDate[+3]-OrderDate[+2]

If the DateCalc calculated item is moved to the top of the list of OrderDates, it calculates the difference between the value for the OrderDate that is three rows below and the OrderDate that is two rows below.

Tip: To move the item, right-click the DateCalc item, click Move, and then click Move "DateCalc" to Beginning.

Warning: If you move the calculated item into one of the referenced positions, you create a circular reference.

Warning: If you use a negative number in the relative position, the number is automatically changed to a positive number, and the formula will not produce the expected results.

Download the Index Number Sample File

Download the Calculated Item Index Number sample file.

Change the Calculated Item Solve Order

If you have two or more calculated items in a pivot table, there might be cells that are affected by multiple calculated items. This can cause problems, if the formulas are not solved in the order that you expected.

For example, in the pivot table shown below, there is a calculated item -- CancelRate -- in the Status field. If you select a cell in the CancelRate row, the formula shows in the formula bar. It is calculating the cancellation rate for the total number of policies.

calculated item cancel rate

Later, a calculated item -- Northeast -- is created in the Region field. When you select the CancelRate cell in that column, it shows the Northeast formula, instead of the CancelRate formula.

The rate is shown as 11.7%, which is not correct. We don't want it to add the other rates, we want it to use the CancelRate formula.

calculated item wrong formula

Change the Solver Order

To fix the problem, you can change the Solve Order for the calculated items:

  • Select a cell in the pivot table, and then on the Ribbon, under PivotTable Tools, click the Options tab
  • In the Calculations group, click Fields, Items & Sets, and click Solve Order.

The message at the bottom of the Calculated Item Solve Order dialog box explains that the last formula listed is the one that determines the cell's value.

We'll move CancelRate to the bottom, so its formula will be used in the CancelRate row.

  • Click on the CancelRate item, and click the Move Down button, twice, to move it to the bottom of the list.
  • Click Close

Note: When you change the Solve Order, it affects all calculated items in the pivot table.

The Correct Results

With the Solve Order changed, the percentages in the CancelRate row are now showing the correct values – 5.8% for the Northeast and 2.7% for the Southwest.

When you click on the Northeast CancelRate cell, the CancelRate formula is showing, so the solve order change has fixed the problem.

 calculated item solve order changed

Download the Solve Order Sample File

Download the Solve Order sample file.

Watch the Solve Order Video

To see the steps for creating calculated items, and changing the solve order, please watch this short video.


Pivot Table Tutorials

Pivot Table Introduction 
Clear Old Items in Pivot Table
Create a Pivot Table in Excel 2007 
Custom Calculations 
Data Field Layout
Dynamic Data Source
FAQs - Pivot Tables
Field Settings
Filter Source Data  
Filters, Top 10 
Filters, Report Filters
GetPivotData Function
Grand Totals
Grouping Data
Layout, Excel 2007
Multiple Consolidation Ranges
Pivot Cache   
PivotTable Style
Printing a Pivot Table   
Running Totals  
Show and Hide Items 
Summary Functions
Unique Item Count

Pivot Table Books

Beginning Pivot Tables (Excel 2007) 
Pivot Tables Recipe Book (Excel 2003) 
Pivot Tables Recipe Book (Excel 2007) 

Pivot Table Add-Ins

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Pivot Table Videos

Clear Old Items
Copy a Custom PivotTable Style
Create Pivot Table in Excel 2007
Create Pivot Table from Multiple Sheets
Data Field Layout
Date Filters, Add
Group Data
Layout, Excel 2007
Report Filters, Add
Running Totals
Select Sections
Subtotals, Create Multiple
Top 10 Filters



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Last updated: April 13, 2014