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Pivot Table Field List Tips

Tips for working with the PivotTable Field List. Move it, change its layout, sort the fields, to save time and work efficiently.

Pivot Table Field List

When you create a pivot table, and select a cell in it, by default, a pivot table field list should appear, at the right of the Excel window. You can use the field list to select fields for the pivot table layout, and to move fields to a specific area in the layout.

pivot table field list

To see the PivotTable Field List:

  • Click any cell in the pivot table layout.
  • The PivotTable Field List pane should appear at the right of the Excel window, when a pivot cell is selected.
  • If the PivotTable Field List pane does not appear click the Analyze tab on the Excel Ribbon, and then click the Field List command.

field list command on Analyze tab

Change the Pivot Table Field List

To see the steps for adjusting the pivot table field list, please watch this short video tutorial. The written instructions are below the video.

Change the Pivot Table Field List Layout

By default, the field list shows a list of the fields at the top, and the four pivot table areas in a square at the bottom. You can change that layout, by using a command on the field list.

To change the layout:

  • In the field list, click the arrow for Tools, near the top right
  • The default layout is at the top of the list -- Fields Section and Areas Section Stacked
  • Select one of the other layouts, such as Fields Section and Areas Section Side-by-Side

pivot table field list layout

Which layout to select:

  • The Fields Section and Areas Section Stacked layout is best if the pivot table has long field names, or a short list of fields
  • The Fields Section and Areas Section Side-by-Side layout is better when field names are short, or there is a long list of fields.
  • I don't use the other layouts -- Fields Section Only, Areas Section Only (2 by 2), Area Section Only (1 by 4)

Adjust the Field List Width

To adjust the width of the field list:

  • Point to the border between the field list and the worksheet
  • When the pointer changes to a two-headed arrow, drag left or right, to make the field list wider or narrower

pivot table field list width

Move the Field List

The field list can be locked in place at the right or left of the worksheet, or it can float over the worksheet.

To move the field list:

  • Point to the Title area of the field list
  • When the pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, drag the field list to a new position

pivot table field list move

To lock the floating field list into its previous position:

  • Point to the Title area of the field list
  • When the pointer changes to an arrow, double-click, to lock the field list at the side of the worksheet.
  • It will go to the side where it was last locked.

pivot table field list move

Sort the Field List

The fields in the field list can be sorted alphabetically, or in the same order that the fields are arranged in the source data.

To sort the fields in Excel 2013:

  • Click the Tools arrow, at the top right of the Field List
  • In the Sort options, click Sort A to Z or click Sort in Data Source Order

pivot table field list sort 2013

To sort the fields in Excel 2010:

  • Right-click a cell in the Pivot Table, and click PivotTable Options
  • Click the Display tab
  • In the Field List section, click Sort A to Z or click Sort in Data Source Order

pivot table field list sort 2010

More Pivot Table Resources

FAQs - Pivot Tables

Pivot Table Introduction

Grouping Data

Summary Functions

Clear Old Items in Pivot Table

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Last updated: September 2, 2016 7:24 PM
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